‘Tis the season of lies and rumors for the NFL Draft. Every day leading up to May 8th, you will hear that a team likes this player, doesn’t like another and so on. And looking back at these whispers, they rarely hold any weight. But some in fact, do. This week, I heard a rumor from someone close to the Cowboys organization about a potential draft pick come May. What I heard was that the Cowboys have heavy interest in Virginia tackle Morgan Moses, who could possibly be a selection for the team in the second round. The Cowboys officially met with Moses at the Senior Bowl and that is when my ears first perked up. So this rumor and the possible interest isn’t coming out of nowhere.
Another note that was given to me is that the Dallas front office loves taking the highest rated player at a position if possible. I know that seems like a given and a pretty obvious statement, but it make sense. Look at the some of their last few drafts:
2010: WR Dez Bryant
2011: LT Tyron Smith
2012: CB Morris Claiborne
2013: C Travis Frederick
Regardless of what you think now, all four of those players were arguably the best player at their position at the time of the draft. And Morgan Moses would also fit that mold if the Cowboys decide to go there. Moses projects as the best right tackle in the draft (although he played left tackle in school) and can be a plug-and-play starter for this team. If you haven’t seen Moses play, below is a video of him against Clemson and potential top 10 pick DE Vic Beasley. See if you think he should be a target for the Cowboys in the second round:
There has been a lot of buzz about the Cowboys selecting an offensive lineman early in the draft. And often you will hear the name Zack Martin brought up for the Cowboys in the first round. But if you are spending a top 16 pick on an offensive lineman, he better end up being able to play tackle eventually. Selecting Martin in the first as a tackle means you are betting against the odds. What do I mean by that? Look at how Morgan Moses and Zack Martin compare against the league average:
Moses is above or at average in all categories (except for he his weight) and he has elite arm length and broad jump (which translates to lower body power). On the other had, Martin is below average at all categories, except for his broad jump. Martin has the smallest wingspan out of any tackle prospect in the 2014 class and yet, you would still have to pay a steeper price to get Martin. It may seem like I am down on Martin, I am not. He is a terrific player in his own right, but maybe the play for the Cowboys is to select Moses later in the draft and save the valuable first round pick on another position.
What intrigues teams the most about Moses is the raw ability he has and what he could become in a few years. And typically when you hear a statement like that, it means that a prospect is still a long ways away from being able to produce.
When I watch Moses, the first thing I notice is how strong his hands are. Once he gets a hold of you, it’s all over. His punch can drive players off the line of scrimmage. In this case, look at how he throws the blitzing linebacker off of him without much effort. Moses doesn’t over-extend his body and doesn’t bend his waist to throw the defender off balance. Granted, this is a linebacker, but a impressive play nonetheless. Every time I tune in to watch Moses I see a few of these types of plays that make me laugh in my chair.
If the Cowboys do decide to select Morgan Moses, what does the future hold for Doug Free? Free counts for $6.5 million on the cap for 2014, but the team does have a few options for Free. They could keep him and let him battle Moses in camp with the possibility of moving Free to guard which was discussed last training camp. The team could cut him after June 1st and save a little more than $3 million. But Free also played well enough in 2013 to potentially have some trade suitors. If the Cowboys traded Free for a late round pick, that would save them over $20 million over 2015 and 2016. Maybe a team like Oakland or Miami whose offensive lines are in shambles would be willing to part with a 5th or 6th round pick for a proven commodity at tackle.
Drafting Morgan Moses would show that the team has some foresight with this roster and would give the team plenty of flexibility in terms of the cap and roster construction in the upcoming seasons. Keep Moses in mind if Dallas does decide to pass on Zack Martin in the first round. I do believe the Cowboys would like to upgrade their right tackle spot via the 2014 draft and Morgan Moses just may be the answer in a later round.