Playing the Numbers: Can Dallas Get a Quality Offensive Lineman in the 2nd?

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Could Jonathan Cooper fall to the 2nd?

Part two of Cowboys Nation’s chat with our draft analyst TD handicaps the chances that a quality offensive lineman will reach the team’s 2nd round pick (47th overall).

Cowboys Nation:  Let’s stick with offensive line.  If we’re looking at guys in the 15 to 45 range, where does Chance Warmack fit?  Is he a top 15 pick?  Is he at the top of this 15 to 45 group?  Do we not know at this point, given that interior offensive linemen often slide?

TD:  I think he’s top 25.  I think he’s the guard that definitely goes in the 1st round, but does a team pull the trigger on him at 15, at 20, or at 25?  When does a team say, “he’s the guy we want?”  All I can say with some certainty is he’s a top 25 pick.  We’ll get a clearer picture after the Combine.

CN: Is Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson roughly even with Warmack, because he plays a priority position?  Is he just behind Warmack?

TD:  I’d say Johnson is going to be a bit below Warmack.  He’s a borderline 1st/2nd rounder, based off talent.  I think Johnson had a good Senior Bowl week, but Chance Warmack is simply a better player.

CN:  Once you’re past those two, how do the offensive linemen stack up?  If we’re looking at 1st and 2nd round offensive linemen and putting them in tiers, how do those break down?

TD:  You have D.J, Fluker, the offensive tackle from Alabama.  He’s massive. He’s 6’5″, 355.  He carried his weight really well, but he’s more of a right tackle only.  I think he does have late 1st round potential.  Oday Aboushi, the Virginia offensive tackle is 6’5″, 310, and he’s got pretty good feet.  But like Fluker, I think he’s more of a right tackle only prospect.

Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina is in that 1st-round mix, just like Warford.  He’s about the same as Warford, in that late 1st, early 2nd range.  Justin Pugh from Syracuse is a junior who red-shirted, so he played at the Senior Bowl this week. He’s probably a solid 2nd, early 3rd round.

Looking at centers you have Barrett Jones. He’s a solid 2nd with a chance to slip into the 1st.  Travis Frederick from Wisconsin is a center who’s in that 2nd/3rd round mix.  That’s the next group of guys.

CN:  You’ve just named eight guys, from Chance Warmack to Barrett Jones.  Add Joeckel and Fisher and that’s ten offensive linemen.  I can see a lot of them going in the 1st, but I have a hard time seeing ten offensive linemen going in the top 32 picks, especially when three of them are guards, one is a center and two are pure right tackle prospects.  Dallas’ second pick comes at 47 and there’s a pretty good chance at least one of those top 10 slides to that spot.

TD:  Right now, when I say a guy is in the mix, I’m saying he has a chance of landing in a certain range.  If you put a gun to my head I’d say Barrett Jones will go in the top 40 picks.  I would say Warmack and Warford go in the top 40.  I’d say there’s a chance Jonathan Cooper goes in the top 40 but if he goes top 50 or 60 you really don’t know.

In my opinion, I think there are seven guys who are pretty certain top 40 picks — Joeckel, Fisher, Warmack, Johnson, Warford, Fluker and Jones.

CN:  That will probably make Cowboys fans happy, because it means there can be a quality offensive lineman in the 2nd.  The team needs help on both lines and the sense I get, from what I’ve read and what I’ve heard, is that Dallas will prioritize defensive line in the 1st round.

Next:  TD breaks down the deep defensive line crop. 

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Rafael Vela

Rafael Vela

Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ TheBoys.com in '95 and '96. Two more stops along the way and here I am. Senior Analyst for SportsTalkLine.com
  • cowboyny

    Here is my OL wishlist for the offseason:
    -Sign FA Brandon Moore to start at RG. If Parnell is going to be the starter, why not put a seasoned veteran next to him. It also allows Ronald Leary more development time.
    -Sign a low cost insurance policy for Jeremy Parnell, cannot put all the eggs in 1 basket, the team also needs a swing Tackle if Free does receive his release. A player like David Diehl who is expected to be released by the Giants, would be an excellent target, can play either Tackle spot as well as the Guard positions.
    -Target a C/G to be added to the mix. Jones/Fredrick/Holmes all have the ability to play all in line spots. The Cal center is another option, where he was very impressive in the Senior Bowl game.

    • sidarc

      Very interested in Frederick now. Name kind of came out of nowhere, but is a larger C/G prospect and some reports have him as a higher rated C prospect than Konz was last year. He could be a steal in the 2nd.

      Not sure if the Datone Jones played himself out of our reach this week, but he’s also intriguing. With his size you would assume he could kick inside on obvious passing downs and stay at end on early downs. Marinelli would turn him into a monster.

  • Mandmeisterx

    If they could land Floyd or Richardson in round 1 and snag Cooper in round 2, I would be beyond ecstatic.

  • AustonianAggie

    I hope there is depth on OL for that, but I’d be ok if Dallas drafted a Guard in the 1st AND the 2nd!

  • truecowboyfan

    I think adding 1, talented OG next to Tyron Smith would do wonders for this offense. It would solidify the left side and give the Cowboys a “go to” side when they need to get the tough yards on the ground. It would also enable them to more confidently slide protection to the right side of the OL on passing downs, which might give Romo better protection across the board.

    So with Warmack/Cooper/Warford filling that description, the Cowboys should just bite the bullet and make OG the top priority in round 1. If the offense can do a better job of scoring points and controlling the clock, I believe the Cowboys can win with Ratliff/Hatcher/Lissemore (and Crawford if they try him at 3T) as the core of the interior DL.

  • Michael

    If they draft Cooper (I assume he is closer to 310 and not 290) then he plugs in at LG and Livings can move to RG. As much as the Cowboys like to pull the weak side G, Cooper might be a very good choice. Because, to be kind, pulling is not Livings forte. He would do better on the strong side.

    Cook is also a guy who might be able to play LG. He has good size and mobility. He can pull and make the reach and cutoff blocks Livings struggles with. And he plays with some power. I could probably live with Cook and Livings at Guard.

    I am a little iffy on Center and RT, though. Of the two, my feeling is that RT is the more pressing need. The combo of Costa, Kowalski, and Bernadeau will produce a workable Center, but Doug Free is a disaster at RT. He simply can’t anchor in pass protection or get any movement in the running game.

    As much as I want to say Jones, I like DJ Fluker in round 1 because the Cowboys are saddled with Livings and Bernadeau (and their huge contracts) and just have to make the best of them for another season or two. Cook, I think, was a great signing, and might work out well at LG.

    • Xgonzo22

      Your wrong about the kind of deals that livings/bernadeau signed. There is no guaranteed money and they can get rid of both. They will keep Bernie for his ability to play c. Livings was horrible and will be gone because of it.

      • Michael

        I think Livings has 6 million in guaranteed money on his contract. I don’t know about Bernadeau, but I assume it was something, even if minor.

        Also, Bernadeau played 1 game at Center in which he wasn’t a disaster. This hardly counts as proof than he can be the starting Center.

        Livings is not a good player in space. Everyone knew this when he was signed, but he plays with power and can move big DTs and DEs off the LOS. He can be more effective on the strong side where he won’t have to play in space much. The Cowboys were pretty effective running the ball with Livings at the POA.

        On the other hand, Bernadeau was terrible all season. He gets no push in the run game and has rarely seen a pass blocking assignment he can carry out. He was a turnstile – the type old people can pass through without injuring their hips.

        But, it really doesn’t matter much because the Cowboys need something like 3 or 4 DL this offseason. So, I doubt either Livings or Bernadeau is going anywhere.

        • Jason Sacks

          Michael is correct about many of the things he posted. Livings and Bernadeau have signing bonuses which would accelerate if either were cut this year to a very detrimental effect. Look at their contracts on Rotoworld or Spotrac. It’s much more feasible to cut one or the other after one more season.

          • Xgonzo22

            It’s a good thing the cowboys don’t have rotoworld writing up their contracts.

  • fivetwos

    I’d have to think that many teams who don’t have the owner playing fantasy GM have taken note of how the quality offensive lines in the league played into January.
    The depth at OL in this draft may be somewhat offset by what may become a trend.
    That said, I’m sure there will be several quality OL on the board at 47, as there will be at 18.
    The question is will they use those selections that way.
    Nevermind that we can’t run the offense because the guys up front can’t block. Just fire the coach. There’s the answer Jerry.

  • leswung

    Time and again, experts are saying: “well, TonyRomo can fight for his own life, if he is good, he can keep his head, if not, time to draft a new qb. We really really want a good defense, it doesn’t matter if we can have any offense (even if Tony is gone) but it is very very important that we can keep the opponent score close to zero”

  • kameleon_o

    I agree about the D-line Raf. It’s not that I don’t prioritize O-line, cuz I think it’s the most important need on the team right now, but I think it’s going to be much easier to find a starting caliber pressure player on the D-line in the 1st than in the 2nd, whereas it seems like there are going to be starting caliber O-linemen in the 2nd in abundance. I think a starting draft of say Ezekiel Ansah or Sheldon Richardson in the 1st round and a 2nd round pick of say a Larry Warford, Barrett Jones, or Oday Aboushi. We’re talking about 2 instant starters if Jerry doesn’t screw it up. Oh wait…….

  • truecowboyfan

    Congratulations to Larry Allen! To commemorate this historic occasion, lets hope Dallas drafts LG in the first round this year!