April 14, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back HaHa Clinton-Dix (6) during the spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. Predicts the Dallas Cowboys will Draft...

NFL Draft guru and ESPN Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has now released his first official mock draft for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. And in it, he predicts the Cowboys will look to fill a need in their defensive backfield with their first round pick. Here’s what Kiper’s prediction is for Dallas:

Dallas Cowboys Select: Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

“I don’t see a decent free safety solution on the Cowboys’ roster, and good ones typically don’t make it to free agency so this pick lines up need and board value pretty effectively…Instinctive and fluid, he’s the top free safety option in the draft and has proven he can play Cover 1 against teams looking to exploit him by working the perimeter. He reads the quarterback well and can accelerate or turn quickly to make plays in any direction.”

Here’s my report on Clinton-Dix from an earlier article:

Measurables: 6-1, 208, 4.54

CBS Big Board Rank: 32nd Overall

Walter Football Big Board Rank: 14th Overall

Quick Analysis: Hasean “HaHa” Clinton-Dix sits alone in the first round at safety. NFL Mocks calls him a classic center fielder, who has the speed to cover the entire field and excels at reading quarterbacks before the ball is out. But there are some personality issues to consider as he was previously suspended for taking a loan from an Alabama assistant.

Cowboys Angle: If Dallas wants take a safety in the first round, Clinton-Dix is the one to take. Despite the tackles racked up by Cowboys starting safety Barry Church this season, he has yet to prove himself anything but a tackler. And when rookie J.J. Wilcox has been on the field, he has underwhelmed. The Cowboys have the worst pass defense in the NFL and possibly the worst in franchise history. If Dallas continues to participate in the Monte Kiffin experiment next season, stronger safety play will be required. And Clinton-Dix’s coverage skills could make the perfect complement to the hard-hitting Church and Wilcox.

To see my Top Ten 2014 Draft Prospects For The Dallas Cowboys First Round Pick, click here.

To see Mel Kiper Jr.’s entire first round mock draft, click here. (subscription required)

Source Links: NFL Mocks, CBS Sports Big Board, Walter Football Big Board

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  • Scott.

    Once again I like this pick but it will mean Jerry will have to admit that he’s wasted the picks on Johnson and Wilcox. He might be ready to do so with Johnson but with Wilcox all they’ve talked about is that he needs time and he’s only played one year at safety. This pick is likely a defensive lineman.

  • Jerry Jones

    Ha Ha. How ironic.

  • Steve Watson

    Best safety is Pryor from Louisville

  • Earl Robertson

    I’m worried about Wilcox he got bench for one of the worse playing safety I have ever seen in my life Heath!!

  • JTracker

    We need strong and fast pass rushers.

  • Ed

    A) Many college players cant afford to be in college, but aren’t allowed to or don’t have time to work. So I don’t have a real “issue” with that.
    B) If he can cover center field effectively then I am all for it. Let Church become a quasi-LB.
    C) Have a great day!!!

  • Juanito Juanito

    what kind of safety could be good with no pass rush, thats why cowboys should not draft safety insted of DT or DE in first round