The Dallas Cowboys had a player they viewed as a 1-technique defensive tackle sitting there for them last year in the first round. But they decided to pass. Sharrif Floyd was scooped up by Minnesota after the Cowboys traded back.
Dallas could have the opportunity to draft another 1-technique DT in this year’s draft and several experts are projecting that the Cowboys will pull the trigger.
While Pitt 3-technique defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been the popular Cowboys projection over the last three months, Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan is gaining momentum. The Cowboys agreed to terms with free agent 3-technique Henry Melton Tuesday night, so pairing him with Jernigan, a 1-technique, doesn’t seem like the worst idea.
As you will see, five of these 10 experts seem to like the fit.
SI.com’s Don Banks:
Pick: Timmy Jernigan.
Comment: "Though the Cowboys always seem to work in mysterious ways, there’s little intrigue remaining when it comes to Dallas’ first-round pick. With DeMarcus Ware gone to Denver, Jason Hatcher now in Washington and Anthony Spencer still making visits in free agency, Dallas is about 99.6 percent certain to select the best available defensive lineman on its board."
DraftCountdown.com’s Scott Wright:
Comment: "Florida St. DT Timmy Jernigan doesn’t have the prototypical size that you look for but he is very athletic with excellent quickness and surprising strength."
NFL.com’s Charles Davis:
Pick: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville.
Comment: "Cowboys seeking to upgrade safety position. Done."
CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco:
Comment: "This makes too much sense, although the loss of DeMarcus Ware could force a pass rusher."
CBSSports.com’s Pat Kirwan:
Pick: Aaron Donald.
Comment: "Donald is the most explosively quick inside player in the draft. He is what Rod Marinelli needs at the 3-technique position."
SBNation.com’s Dan Kadar:
Pick: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota.
Comment: "Hageman may not be rated higher than Notre Dame’s Louis Nix, but he offers more as a pass rusher."
WalterFootball.com’s Walter Cherepinsky:
Comment: "Aaron Donald may have leapt in front of Timmy Jernigan as the top defensive tackle available, but Jernigan is still worth a top-16 selection."
Yahoo.com’s Eric Edholm:
Comment: "This is a great fit for a Rod Marinelli defense, and Donald could be the godsend this gutted front needs."
OptimumScouting.com’s Eric Galko:
Comment: "The top-10 isn’t out of the question for Donald, so the Cowboys should pounce on the chance to bolster their interior pass rush."
ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper:
Comment: "The D-line in Dallas needs a youth movement. If you just go on performance, Jernigan is a steal at this point in the draft and Dallas doesn’t need to overthink it."
NOTE: The entire comment from each expert is not included in many of these.