Dallas Cowboys Draft Day Dilemma - Anthony Barr vs. C.J. Mosley

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Nov 2, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) is called for a roughing the passer penalty after a hit on Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau (13) at Rose Bowl. UCLA defeated Colorado 45-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 

Welcome to part two of an ongoing series focusing on possible options for the Dallas Cowboys first round draft pick.  Last week, we discussed the pros and cons between two defensive ends in Kony Ealy from Missouri and Dee Ford from Auburn.  If you missed the breakdown or would like to re-read it, here is a link to that column:  http://thelandryhat.com/2014/03/25/dallas-draft-day-dilemma-ealy-v-ford/

As I stated in my previous column, there are certain prospects that will very likely not be around when the Cowboys pick in the sixteenth spot.  Guys like Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack and likely Aaron Donald will be all be off the board.  Just because that is the case, it does not mean that Dallas should forgo their glaring needs to improve the defense.

Luckily, there are several options that should be available.  If Dallas chooses to trade down and acquire another mid round pick, Ealy or Ford would make a lot of sense in that 21-25 range of picks.  If Dallas elects to stay at sixteen though, the defensive line may not be the area they focus on.  Two linebackers with massively different skill sets should both be there for the taking.  Today we will be looking at the merits of UCLA’s Anthony Barr and Alabama’s C.J. Mosley in this version of the Draft Day Dilemma.

Anthony Barr is a pure athlete in the body of a beast.  At 6’5″ and 255 lbs., UCLA used him at running back as well as wide receiver and tight end the first two years he was on campus.  Going into his junior year, the team decided to play him at linebacker and a star was born.  Barr put up a NCAA leading 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss to go along with four forced fumbles.  Barr returned for his senior season and proved that move was no fluke as he again racked up double-digit sacks (10) and tackles for loss (20) while leading the entire NCAA in forced fumbles with six.

Barr’s best attributes clearly come from his experience as a running back.  He has amazing lateral quickness, which was confirmed when he posted the third best cone drill time for his position.  For those who may not be familiar, the cone drill is a key indicator of pass rushing ability.  He also possesses quick burst and explosion as evident by his 4.66 forty-yard dash time with the first ten yards being completed in 1.56 seconds.  These metrics, along with the game tape and stats all back up the fact that Barr may be just approaching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his ability to be a dominant sack artist.

If he has any glaring weaknesses, it may be as a run defender.  His bench press numbers at the combine were poor in comparison to the rest of the options at his position. It will be imperative that he does not get engaged in blocks, especially in open space, one-on-one with a pulling guard or tackle that reaches the next level.  That being said, he is not a liability in pass coverage so if he can improve his run defense skills, he could be an every down terror, which would only provide more opportunities for him to get after the quarterback.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Anthony Barr Bruce Carter C.J. Mosley Dallas Cowboys Sean Lee

  • Duie

    All this talk about Lee playing olb but can Lee be as dominate on the outside as he is when he’s playing the miidle linebacker, I think that’s the real question

    • MCA

      Yes he can. He has the speed and athleticism. Moving him from MLB will hopefully keep him off the disable list. That’s if he makes the move.

      • duie

        I understand that he has the ability and athleticism but having our best defensive player playing smack in the middle of the field makes sense to me, he can get to every play as it happens.. Playing OLB I think at same time it’s a precaution to keep him on the field. it also kind of minimizing his skills other teams are obviously gonna be running away from him the whole game which means he’s gonna be chasing everything from now on also in pass coverage he’s pretty much limited to a third of the field as when he was in the middle he could react to everything

        • David

          Lee is pure football player with an extremely high football IQ. I think he would be able to play one of the outside spots and it could reduce the wear and tear he is taking in the middle right now. The only problem is Mosely has some injury concerns too..

    • PaulTX

      I think Lee is fine. The real question is are we going to get a better training staff. That hamstring business really pissed me off.

  • Duie

    I understand that he has the ability and athleticism but having our best defensive player playing smack in the middle of the field makes sense to me, he can get to every play as it happens.. Playing OLB I think at same time it’s a precaution to keep him on the field. it also kind of minimizing his skills other teams are obviously gonna be running away from him the whole game which means he’s gonna be chasing everything from now on also in pass coverage he’s pretty much limited to a third of the field as when he was in the middle he could react to everything

  • David

    I dont really think this is a delemma. I really like both players but I believe Barr has the much higher ceiling and versatility to play either the Sam or put on 20 pounds and still keep his speed and play DE. The same can not be said for Mosely. Mosely also has some injury concerns which might bother the Cowboys. In this scenario I think Barr is the no brainer and Dallas should sprint to the podium to take him.

    • PaulTX

      I do not see Barr playing Sam. I’m not saying that he can’t, but he’d be better suited at DE. I doubt Barr will be around at #16 anyway. Maybe Pryor or Dix, but not both, and possibly Mosley. I’d be ok with drafting Donald if we move Melton to DT1, but we probably are going to end up with Mike Evans.

      • David

        Paul I sincerely doubt they would ever move Melton or Donald to the 1 tech unless it was an obvious pass situation. And Melton was one of the best 3 tech’s his pro bow year before last so why would they move him from there??

        • PaulTX

          I’m just trying to make sense of drafting Donald. Personally, I cannot rationalize drafting a player in the first round that would not play every down, but everyone is still projecting Dallas to grab Donald or Jernigan.

          • David

            Well like I said if they had no huge holes at FS and LB, I would be more open to it. Or if he was the second coming of Suh I would be open to it. But he is not having that kind of hype right now. If he was he would be a top 5 pick.

          • PaulTX

            I’m with you. My pick order at #16 is Barr, Dix, Pryor, Mosley, Lewan, Martin, Donald, Jernigan, Evans, Dennard, Beckham. I have all those players ranked between #10 and #20. I do not expect them all to be there at #16, but maybe a couple. If the first four are gone, I would consider trading back, then going after Ealy or Tuitt around #20, and Su’a-Filo or Kouandjio at around #30.

          • David

            That is a pretty good order and if they got one of those top 4 guys and then landed a Crichton, Reilly, Murphy or a falling KOny or Ford I would be very happy..

          • PaulTX

            My ideal pick at #47 in the 2nd round are: Crichton
            (DE), Martin (DE), Murphy (DE), Richardson (OT), Van Noy (LB), Jackson (G),
            Yankey (G), Hageman (DT), not particularly in that order. Of course, if one of my 1st round
            prospects is on the board, I would take him, or if a 1st round
            talent at a non-need position like Louis Nix (NT), Derek Carr (QB) or Eric
            Ebron (TE) is still on the board, I would take them. There’s a few more I would consider around #60 in the 2nd round.

            My hope is that we trade for a late 1st round and a 2nd round. Or maybe trade for an early to mid 2nd round and a pick in next year’s 1st round. I view the whole “fix” of this defense as a two year process.

  • Old Frog

    Any discussion of a choice for the first pick has to include Zack Martin, otherwise it’s incomplete. I really believe the conversation on draft day will be “Do we take Martin for the O line, or any one of six different defensive players?” It’s either Martin or Defense.

    • BaMBaM

      They definitely don’t need to draft a slow O-lineman from ND in the 1st. If one of the 3 top LT fall then yes.But not Martin.

  • BaMBaM

    I think all this talk about moving Lee to out side is asinine. Lee was in the running for defensive MVP until he got hurt.The Cowboys do not need to draft a MLB or a 3-4 OLB in the first. They need to draft a DT.

    • David

      So they draft a DT with the 16th pick do be a rotational player in an 8 to 9 man rotation like Marinelli wants. No thanks. With their 16th pick they need a guy who will be on the field every down. And they have already signed two DL and have two more coming back from injury.

      • BaMBaM

        The only real starter on the team is Melton and no body knows how his knee is going to hold up. Every body else are back ups. So yes the cowboys need to draft D-line in the 1st round. Matter of fact the need to draft D-line in the 1st 3 rounds.

        • David

          No offense bro but I dont think you are grasping the Defensive philosophy and what Marinelli wants to do with the D-line. I think you also need to understand there is very good D-line depth in the draft this year and the Cowboys have huge needs at FS, LB and DE.

          • BaMBaM

            OLB yes MLB no the Cowboys are not going to draft a safety in the 1st. Barr is not a 4-3 OLB and he is not 4-3 DE. Out the 2 best DT in the draft one of them will be there. And if Donald is there he is going to be the pick.

          • David

            Well first off why would they not take a FS in Dix or Pryor. Right now FS is probably in the top two needs of the team. And after those two there is quite a drop off. As for Barr you clearly have not read much on him or watched him. He can play the Sam in a 4-3 or add 20 pounds and make the transition to DE with his speed and pash rushing ability..

          • BaMBaM

            The Cowboys can draft a starter at OLB in the 4th by taking Telvin Smith. The biggest need is D-line. The Cowboys have had a chance to take a safety in the1st the last 2 drafts and did not do iit and they will not do it this draft. I don’t understand why fans think the signing of Melton and some other bums has fixed the D-line. If you want a great D you build from inside out not the other way.

          • David

            And Ill never understand why fans think that just having a great D-line fixes every other position. Its an ignorant way of thinking. How did it work out for Dallas when Ware was in his prime and Spencer was very good across from him. Oh yeah their safeties still sucked. Cracks me up how people think the Cowboys should use a 1st round pick on a DT who will be a rotational player when they are desparate at LB and FS as well…And are you fn serious you want to place all your money on Telvin Smith in the 4th round? There is a good chance he will be gone by the end of the 2nd round..And yeah they could have drafted a safety in the 1st round but since the only one they were seriously looking at in Vaccaro was already taken they traded back and addressed their other biggest need on the team at that time which was the O-line particularly the center position.

  • PaulTX

    I like Barr over Mosley, and he would play DE and not Will or Sam. Lee can play Will, Mike, or Sam, but in a Tampa 2, the positions are not that different, so why move him? Barr should be gone at #16, so that should make the decision easier. The big question when Dallas gets on the clock will be “do we trade back?”