With the first wave of free agency subsiding, we now have a far better idea where NFL teams and their prospective prospects will land when the NFL Draft starts in April. With the exception possibly being the Dallas Cowboys.
Just checkout this explanation of the Cowboys needs that appeared on NFL.com:
“The addition of Darren McFadden is a stop-gap at best. Despite talent on the roster at RB, this is the draft to go bargain hunting at that position, if desired. Dallas could use immediate help at cornerback. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli demands upfield talent from his interior D-linemen, and that is missing on this roster. Dallas could look for a strong side or middle linebacker this year. The Cowboys could also add depth to the offensive line. “
Reading this, you’d believe Dallas’ finished last place in the NFC East rather than first. With the signing of controversial defensive end Greg Hardy last week, the Cowboys did help ensure an improved pass rush for a least part of their upcoming season. But Hardy is on a one-year contract without the hope of Dallas using a franchise tag to retain him for future seasons.
More from The Landry Hat
But the Hardy signing actually frees the Cowboys up to take the best player available when their number is called in the first round. Prior to Dallas getting one of the league’s best pass rushers under contract, the defensive line was considered their biggest need.
But even in a draft that has a fairly deep pass rusher class, drafting at No. 27 overall meant the Cowboys would have to hope one of those elite players fell to them or they would have to reach for a prospect with second round talent.
With the pressure of drafting a pass rusher first overall now lifted, Dallas can focus on getting the best player available. But it all depends on how the draft unfolds.
Around the league, big names, big trades and big signings have mock drafters scrabbling to catch up. With players like Dallas’ own running back DeMarco Murray heading to the Philadelphia Eagles, or the New Orleans Saints shipping All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks, NFL Draft boards are changing as we speak.
With no further ado, here’s The Landry Hat’s second official mock draft of the offseason. In this edition, we’ve also listed the key free agency additions and losses for each NFL team from the past few weeks underneath our draft selections. Note that traded players and re-signed free agents are not included.