|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.