A new name has surfaced among mock draft experts when it comes to predicting what the Cowboys will do with the No. 18 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. Obviously, a lot will change in the upcoming months, but as of right now, several experts seem to think Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd will help the Cowboys in their transition to a 4-3 defensive front.
The 6-3, 300-pounder has bounced from tackle to end while playing with the Gators but he’d certainly play in the middle if selected by the Cowboys. According to his NFL.com draft profile, Floyd is comparable to New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Wilkerson, a first-round pick in 2011, has started 31 games the last two seasons, recording 8.0 sacks and 119 tackles.
Here’s what NFL.com’s draft profile says about Floyd: “He has been an incredibly important and versatile defender up front for Florida, playing both one and two-gap techniques at defensive end, one and three-technique, and as a true zero-technique nose tackle. While Floyd is rough around the edges and will take time to develop as a two-gapper, the Gators’ quickness, athleticism, and scheme versatility will make him coveted by 4-3 and 3-4 teams alike in the first round.”
Here are what recent mock drafts are predicting for the Cowboys.
WalterFootball.com’s Charlie Campbell
Pick: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama.
Comment: “Clearly, the Cowboys need to upgrade the interior of their offensive line. Warmack would be a perfect fit and is worthy of this pick.
“Warmack (6-3, 320) entered this season having started two years at guard for the Crimson Tide. He is a powerful road grader who did an excellent job of opening up holes for the Alabama running game in 2011. Warmack played better in the rematch against LSU than he did in the regular-season contest.
“The senior was dominant in the Crimson Tide’s 2012 season opener against the Wolverines. Warmack blasted open holes in the ground game and protected his quarterback well. He had some pass-protection issues against Western Kentucky, but bounced back against Arkansas.
“Warmack played well against Ole Miss, Missouri and Tennessee. He didn’t play as well against Mississippi State, but rebounded with a nice performance against LSU. Warmack was beaten for a sack by Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins, but helped the Crimson Tide to a huge night on the ground against the Bulldogs. Warmack capped his career with a dominant showing against Notre Dame in the National Championship.”
NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler
Comment: “With Warmack off the board, there is a good chance the Cowboys switch gears to their needs on the defensive line, especially as they transition their defensive schemes. Floyd, who has experience both inside and outside on the line, would be able to fill a big need for Dallas’ new-look defensive front.”
SBNation.com’s Dan Kadar
Comment: “It’s true, the Cowboys desperately need offensive line help. While most fans want needs to be filled, NFL teams often weigh a combination of best player available and need. With Monte Kiffin taking over the defense, the Cowboys may switch to a four-man front. If they do, they’ll need help at tackle. Floyd is the kind of lineman who can play outside in power three-man fronts or tackle in a four-man set. He may need to play inside after nose tackle Jay Ratliff played in just six games this season and Josh Brent’s playing future looking bleak.”
DraftCountdown.com’s Scott Wright
Comment: “Dallas already had a need along their defensive line due to the unfortunate Josh Brent situation but with Dallas now transitioning to a 4-3 front it will be even more important that they bring in a difference-maker on the interior. Sharrif Floyd of Florida excelled at both tackle and end in college due to his impressive blend of athleticism and strength. A terrific all-around player who offers considerable positional and schematic versatility, Floyd would be a fine compliment to Jay Ratliff.”
NFLMocks.com’s Sayre Bedinger
Comment: “The Cowboys could go a number of directions here, but I think they are due to shore up their defensive line rotation. Floyd had a big junior season, and showed versatility that could make him an attractive piece to the Cowboys’ defense.”
WalterFootball.com’s Walter Cherepinsky
Pick: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU.
Comment: “The Cowboys hired Monte Kiffin and are moving to a 4-3 defense. Anthony Spencer said he would love to play the defensive end position across from DeMarcus Ware, but that’s probably not going to happen because Dallas doesn’t have the cap space to re-sign him. If Spencer does leave, Dallas may use this selection to find a new complement for Ware. Sam Montgomery makes a ton of sense at this spot.”
NFL.com’s Gil Brandt:
Pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan.
Comment: “Fisher, who has tons of upside, could step in and start at right tackle immediately for the Cowboys, whose troubles on the line were well-documented in 2012.”
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks
Pick: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah.
Comment: “Monte Kiffin needs an athletic defensive tackle capable of playing the one or three technique to implement his vaunted Tampa 2 scheme in Dallas.”
NFL.com’s Josh Norris
Pick: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri.
Comment: “The Cowboys are implementing a four-man front under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Richardson would fit nicely at three-technique, offering enough positional versatility to play end in a three-man front if the defense reverts back to its previous scheme.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper
Pick: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina.
Comment: “The Cowboys need to address one of their lines in the first round, and the top guards this year are exceptionally highly rated. So while a tackle might be preferable, there would be nothing wrong with strengthening an area of significant weakness. Of course, you know the Cowboys will trade up for some big-game guy and reduce their inventory of picks again, but assuming common sense prevails this time, a lineman at 18 works fine.”