What will the Cowboys do in the draft?
We're finally down the home stretch. The finish line is less than 10 days away. On April 25, the Dallas Cowboys will have the 18th overall selection in the first round of the NFL Draft.
How will they use it? The January mock drafts projected names like Alabama guard Chance Warmack or North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper or Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. All of them are still in play, however, waiting 17 picks makes things a little cloudy. All three of those top prospects could be already off the board by the time it's Jerry Jones' turn to phone in the choice.
Heck, maybe the Cowboys won't even draft at that spot. They traded up in the first round last year, selecting LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick. Or maybe the Cowboys will trade back. That's a scenario that one mock draft expert is predicting.
I say they'll stay at No. 18 and take the best offensive lineman or interior defensive lineman on the board.
Here's what the experts have recently predicted, including a little of what they wrote about their selection.
SI.com's Don Banks:
Pick: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State. Banks has the Cowboys making this pick at No. 31 after trading with San Francisco, speculating that the teams get the deal done with the Cowboys receiving an additional third and fourth-round pick.
Comment: "Now picking near the bottom of the round, the Cowboys are still in position to upgrade their offensive line with Watson, a right tackle in college who is thought to possess left tackle skill level in the NFL."
CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco:
Pick: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama.
Comment: "They have to get better inside. Warmack is a mauler. So he stays in this spot."
CBSSports.com's Pat Kirwan:
Pick: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri.
Comment: "The Cowboys might have considered D.J. Fluker, but since he's gone in this mock, it's time to take a "3 tech" defensive tackle for Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense."
CBSSports.com's Clark Judge:
Pick: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama.
Comment: "The Cowboys just sank a gazillion dollars in Tony Romo. Time to protect the investment."
NFL.com's Charles Davis:
Pick: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas.
Comment: "Vaccaro can do it all: run, cover and tackle. The former Longhorn gets to stay in state and shore up the back end of the Cowboys' defense."
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah:
Comment: "Dallas could be deciding between two players: Richardson and D.J. Fluker. Richardson would be an ideal fit in defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's scheme."
NationalFootballPost.com's Russ Lande:
Comment: "Richardson is one of the most explosive interior defensive linemen in this year's Draft and would add a dimension that has been missing to the Cowboys' defensive line."
WalterFootball.com's Charlie Campbell:
Comment: "There have been reports that the Cowboys love Jonathan Cooper. Last year there were similar reports about Mark Barron, Dontari Poe and David DeCastro, but the team was targeting Morris Claiborne all along. I think that could be the case with Warmack."
WalterFootball.com's Walter Cherepinsky:
Pick: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina.
Comment: "The front office actually found two downgrades at guard last offseason, while center Phil Costa is a sieve. The Cowboys have to find some help for Tony Romo."
Rotoworld.com's Josh Norris:
Comment: "The UNC product failed during his attempt at center in college, but teams will love how agile he is in space."
FOXSports.com's Peter Schrager:
Comment: "Injuries stung, but there needs to be more good, young linemen protecting [Tony] Romo. Cooper could be a great addition to the line."