If you would ask me right now which position I see the Cowboys taking in the first round of the 2014 draft, I bet my answer would shock you. I actually don’t see them taking a defensive lineman early, despite the obvious need. I don’t see a safety worthy of a top 20 selection. But what I do see is a bunch of really solid offensive lineman that could help shore up the line which actually played well in 2013. So today we are going to take a quick look at a few offensive lineman.
The first one is left tackle Zack Martin (#70) from Notre Dame:
How He Fits: Martin is the “safest” offensive lineman that will be available to Dallas. A four year starter, Martin is a tough, smart player who has the versatility to play all five positions. In Dallas, his best fit would be as a right guard early with the potential to develop into the team’s starting right tackle once Doug Free moves on.
Why He Doesn’t Fit: Martin is very good in every area of his game, but has no dominant trait. His short arms might be a concern if he were asked to play left tackle. If he isn’t a tackle for Dallas, would the #16/17 overall pick be too high for a guard without one dominant aspect of his game? I say no.
Our next offensive line prospects I want you to watch is Cyrus Kouandjio (#71) from Alabama.
How He Fits: Kouandjio has the length and size that would entice any team. He plays with tremendous power and has the position flexibility to be a guard or tackle in the NFL. If in the right scheme and with the right coach, you could see a dominant run blocker early in his career. Once he engages with a defender, it’s all over. He would be an instant starter at guard and would be the team’s starting right tackle in 2015.
Why He Doesn’t Fit: Lacks elite foot quickness, but so did D.J. Fluker at Alabama last year. Fluker was a top 10 selection in the 2013 class and I think Kouandjio has the chance to be better. Gets beaten with speed and can get lazy with technique and foot work. Some team may see his length and size and pull the trigger early.
And our third and final offensive line prospect to watch is Taylor Lewan (#77) from Michigan.
How He Fits: Most natural tackle out of the bunch. Battle tested and knows how to win against elite pass rushers. Great size at 6’8, 312 pounds. Moves his feet very well and is exceptional as a pass blocker.
Why He Doesn’t Fit: May be a right tackle-only in the NFL and wouldn’t be a day one starter in Dallas. Position flexibility is key for Jason Garrett and having a player that may only be able to play right tackle could be a concern.
Which of the three would you want Dallas to select? All three will likely be available when the Dallas Cowboys pick and may present the most value on their draft board. Don’t be surprised if one of these three is a Cowboy next fall.