Due to the Dallas Cowboys having the fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft, the release of Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of the year is certainly worth spotlighting.
With the Dallas Cowboys choosing fourth overall in the upcoming NFL Draft, the franchise has a chance to make a landmark choice that can reshape the future for their team for years to come. Naturally, there are several different areas the Cowboys could choose to address first. And there are several different mock drafts swarming around with several different players likely on the team’s radar at that high point in the draft.
But no one voice is louder than longtime NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. And when Kiper releases a mock draft, it certainly worth spotlighting. Especially the day he releases his first mock draft of the year. That day, is today.
And in Kiper’s first mock draft for 2016, the renown analyst believes the Cowboys will elect to address their defensive line.
With the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select…
DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Here’s Kiper’s explanation of the selection.
"“It’s rare to find a team picking No. 4 overall that can genuinely say, ‘We’re in win-now mode.’ But the Cowboys get a healthy Tony Romo back, so that’s a fair statement. If Greg Hardy isn’t back, Buckner is a great fit. You get a 6-foot-7, 290-pound defensive end who can put a tackle on skates right into his own quarterback. The No. 1 thing you love about Buckner: major motor. He plays hard. He could have been taken relatively early last year, but came back and put an exclamation point on it.”"
Buckner is a defender who sounds very much in the mold of a Rod Marinelli-type player, the Cowboys defensive coordinator. But you likely haven’t heard his name associated with Dallas’ top pick very often simply because there could be two other defensive ends better than him, in this draft class. Those players being Joey Bose out of Ohio State and Shaq Lawson of Clemson. Dallas, along with every other team, will use the upcoming Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine to help determine which player should be taken first.
But there is little doubt that Buckner is a first round talent. Last season at Oregon, he recorded 83 tackles, 17.0 tackles for a loss, and had 10.5 sacks as a senior. Buckner has the size you like at 6-7, 290 pounds, and he posted better numbers every year he was a Duck, which means he’s only getting better. Plus, adding this rookie to the Cowboys defensive line allows them to part ways with controversial defensive end Greg Hardy.
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