Many previous mock drafts have narrowed down the Dallas Cowboys’ first round pick to an offensive or defensive lineman.
The latest installment of the mock draft roundup shows that those experts have narrowed things down even further, suggesting that the Cowboys need to focus on interior offensive and defensive linemen.
Of the 10 mock drafts gathered for this article, five have Dallas selecting a defensive tackle with the 18th overall pick. Three have the Cowboys choosing an offensive guard, one predicts an offensive tackle and the other forecasts a safety from an in-state university.
None of those options seem poor and all of the players mentioned would seemingly make an immediate impact during the 2013 season.
I would be leaning toward an offensive guard if North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper or Alabama’s Chance Warmack are available.
But who cares what I think? Here’s what the experts are saying.
Comment: “Tony Romo had a big statistical year despite playing behind a terrible offensive line. Doug Free hasn’t been the player the Cowboys thought he’d be when they rewarded him with a big contract, and he could be let go in the coming weeks. Tyron Smith seemed to be called for a false start on every other play from scrimmage this past season.”
Comment: “Richardson’s calling card is his outstanding quickness. That trait is coveted in Monte Kiffin’s scheme. He still needs to work on his hand usage, but new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli is the perfect guy to develop Richardson.”
Comment: “Coordinator Monte Kiffin’s version of the Tampa 2 requires an ultra-quick defensive tackle in the middle. Williams, who shows fantastic first-step quickness, is also powerful at the point of attack.”
Comment: “After a long run with the 3-4 defense the Cowboys are making the switch to the 4-3 alignment with new coordinator Monte Kiffin. For Kiffin’s famous Tampa-2 scheme to work the team will need to add a penetrating three-technique defensive tackle. Short, powerful and surprisingly quick, has been a playmaker throughout his career for the Boilermakers and enjoyed a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl.”
Comment: “Will Jerry Jones really draft an offensive guard in the top-20 of the draft? Although it might seem like a longshot, Cooper is absolutely worth the pick and Dallas can’t afford to pass on an interior lineman of his caliber, especially because he brings versatility at guard and center.”
Comment: “The safety position was a major weak point for the Cowboys this past season after Barry Church tore his Achilles’ tendon. Church was extended prior to the injury, but he’s owed less than $1 million next year, so that wouldn’t have prevented Dallas from picking a safety early. Gerald Sensabaugh’s release only magnifies that need.”
Comment: “The Cowboys would be fortunate to land a gap-splitting defensive tackle like Richardson with this pick. He’s by far the best player available, though his attitude may rub some teams the wrong way.”
Comment: “Dallas is weak in the interior OL, evidenced by pressure Romo faced up the middle and an inability to consistently gain yardage rushing the ball. Cooper is an athletic OG and packs a punch with an explosion factor of 72 (Combine results: 35 bench reps, 27 vertical, 9’4″ broad).”