Targeting Early Round Cowboys Targets

I finish this week’s pre-Combine chat with Cowboys Nation’s draft analyst TD by trying to build a short list of prospects for Dallas first two picks at the guard, safety and defensive line spots.

Cowboys Nation: Let’s try and slot available players of need into Dallas’ draft spots.  Start with players on defensive line, guard and safety who should be available in the 15 to 25 range.  Dallas is picking 18th.  Who sits there right now.  I know things are fluid but right now who might Dallas expect to see when their pick comes up?

TD: At guard Chance Warmack, possibly, because of his not ideal workouts this week.  Cooper should be there as well.  At safety, Vaccaro most likely he’ll be there.  As of right now, I think he’ll be there.  I have a tough time putting a safety in the top 15.  If the Cowboys trade back a bit, Eric Reid from LSU should be there.

On defensive line it’s an interesting question.  If you’re looking at a pure pass rusher, Barkevious Mingo could be there, the pass rusher from Texas A&M Demontre Moore could be there.  I’ll have to talk to more people to figure out what this week’s medical news has done to Jarvis Jones’ stock.  I think he might slide a bit, but I think 15 is his limit.  I can’t see him sliding into the 20s.

I think right now Mingo is an option as the best pure pass rusher in that range.  But if Mingo blows it up he could go in the top 10.

The best value is if Chance falls to you.  I think I’d put Vaccaro next, because there’s a good chance he’ll actually be there.  He’s a safe pick.  I would have said you can get some value with Lane Johnson, but the way he worked out, I don’t think he slides there.

One thing Cowboys fans could have going for them is if a quarterback slides a bit and a team in the 20s is interested in moving up.  If say a Barkley is there and a team wants to deal up you could slide down a bit and still pick up a Cooper or an Eric Reid.

The Cowboys are in a tough spot at 18.  I think Sharrif Floyd is gone by 18.  I think Johnathan Hankins from Ohio State could be there but I don’t know if he’s an ideal fit for them.  I’d rate Warmack higher than Hankins and I would also rate Vaccaro higher than Hankins.

CN:  2nd round.  Same positions, safety, guard, guard/center and 4-3 defensive linemen.  Who do you see in the 40-55 range.  The Cowboys are picking 47th.

TD:  At guard, we’ve talked about Larry Warford.  I think he’ll be there in the 2nd because he’s a phone-booth player and maybe even in the 3rd.  I think Brian Winters from Kent State could come into play.  He had a good workout.  He can move a bit.  He’s heavy handed.  I have to say I don’t think we’ll see as many guards in that 2nd to 3rd round range as last year.  I think Warford goes in there but I think it thins out until about the 4th round.

Defensive linemen, I think Sam Montgomery is in that 2nd round range right now.  Oregon’s Dion Jordan has a lot of folks raving about him if he fits their scheme.  He’s a natural rusher but a lot of teams don’t want their edge rushers being 6’6″, or 6’7″, so I think he’s limited more to 4-3 teams than 3-4 teams.  He is a bit angular.  He has some things going for him and some against him.  I don’t think he goes in the late 1st, I think he’ll wind up in the 2nd.

Alex Okafor from Texas could go in that range. We’ve talked about Margis Hunt from SMU.  Michael Buchanan from Illinois could go in that range.  I think Buchanan could be that guy.  I think he’s viewed as a later-round guy but he could jump up this week.

CN:  Where do you put Florida State’s Tank Carradine?  He’s been mentioned as a 2nd round option if he works out well at his Pro Day.

TD:  He’s a typical 4-3 guy.  He’s 6’5″.  He’s got good get off.  He can play three downs, which adds to his value. I didn’t think he had that type of production before his injury. You look at a Bruce Carter and you knew he was a 1st round talent before he hurt his knee.  I would not put Carradine in that category.

CN:  Where do you see him

TD:  More as a 3rd-4th round guy right now.

Rafael Vela

Rafael Vela

Senior Analyst Cowboys at Sports Talk Line
Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ in '95 and '96. Two more stops along the way and here I am. Senior Analyst for
Rafael Vela

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  • I’m a Cowboy

    Here is my mock Draft.

    1st Cooper/warmack (need to fix OL)
    2nd Cyprien/Elam (fix biggest hole on D)
    3rd Escobar/good hands TE (TE dominated playoffs more than WR)
    4th Logan/DL (This pick is wishful thinking but we all can dream)
    5th Taylor/RB (hopefully his 4.8 in the combines drops him to us)
    6th CB (very deep DB draft we should have better luck this year finding a small school very fast slot CB to compete with Scandrick)

    • truecowboyfan

      First two picks would be awesome. I’m hoping for Knile Davis in the 3rd round, but not sure where he is slated to go. I was interested in the A&M RB in the 3rd or 4th, but he sounds a little flaky. Might not be a RKG.

      • chuckcowboy

        I too was excited about Knile’s straight-line speed and home run potential. But then I noticed on a collection of film on him that he has no vision and not the slightest wiggle. And despite his weight, he goes down too easily upon initial contact. I just can’t stand the thought of once again being frustrated with this type of runner.

        • I’m a Cowboy

          Stephan Taylor has been a 3 time 1000 yard back for Stanford. I would rather take the smart high production guy who is a good blocker. Knile reminds me of Felix.

        • truecowboyfan

          Yeah, your description of Davis doesn’t sound so great.

  • Kenny Albert

    Not too sure about some of the players you mentioned will be available at 18. I think both those OG are way gone. You are correct on Floyd, hes been the talk of the NFL network of late. Sheldon Richardson will be there and maybe because of medical OLB Jones, DT Lotuleiei may also be sitting there for the taking. For me I think they could get Warford if they way move down. OT Johnson is who Im thinking will be our pick or the S, Vacarro…just my guess. If J.Jones OLB is there on the board still…wow. Imagine him with Lee and Carter. After that my next wish
    Id prefer the either WR from Tenn or WVA who are both dynamic playmakers. This is a scoring league and its like the run & shoot now. No defenses are going to shine that much any more. Ok with that being said Then round 2 getting that OL rd 3 RB, rd 4 OLB. rd 5 Blocking TE.

  • juz sayin

    Kinda hard to believe Vacarro(4.59) was able to shut down the fastest WR at the combine Ryan Swoope (4.34) & Tavon Austin (4.37) Austin was held to 10yds.maybe he”s like Mark Barron (4.54) or Darren Sharper(4.67).

    • Steven Van Over

      You touch on the perfect example of why the 40 is certainly not the be all, end all of drills for the NFL. As you look deeper, you find that Vacarro’s 20 yard shuttle splits was a top 5 result at 4.06 seconds. Da man has excellent reactions and quick burst, getting to his top gear in just a few steps. He covers in space extremely well, as Swoope and Austin can attest!

    • moghbelli

      I think you’re wrong. Personally remember Austin going nuts in the UT vs. WVU game.

      • Steven Van Over

        Reportedly against other dB’s.

  • jrcowboy49

    For QB Dallas should trade for Ryan Mallett of the Patriots. 6′ 6″ tall, 245 lbs, and 2 years under Tom Brady.

    • Steven Van Over

      Gisele has been under Brady for 6 years, still can’t throw the deep ball.

    • CoolDude

      Question:What O-Line is going to protect a statue pocket passer like Mallett? Definitely not our guys. Have you seen Romo running for his life, Mallett wouldnt make it through 1 game like that. OMG, That would be such a mistake Jr

    • I’m a Cowboy

      Trade who? More draft picks? Did you read Rafael’s article?

  • truecowboyfan

    I’ve liked what I’ve read from Mr. TD. I think his assessments are based on how he views the player from a talent and production standpoint. However, he does not seem to factor in the “stupidity” factor of the NFL front offices, which will preclude him from ever being good at mock drafts. There is always going to be a sucker who goes after a Mike Mamula or a Dontari Poe because he blows up the combine. We saw it with Bruce Irvin last year too. As such, Jordan is probably going to go high. And I fear that Cooper won’t be there at #18 either because he is going to be selected ahead of Warmack on the strength of their combine performances.

    • DW94

      Bruce Irvin had eight sacks last season. I’m too young to remember Mike Mamula’s career, but his problem seemed to be injuries. He averaged six sacks a season – the same as Anthony Spencer.

      Connecting the stupidity factor with Dallas’ front office is too easy of a cheap shot…but I just said it.

      • truecowboyfan

        My point is that NFL front offices get blinded by the combine test results. Its happened in the past and it will continue to happen. I’m not saying Irvin won’t be a good, or even great player, but he had some serious off field issues, as well as questions about whether he was a tweener that didn’t quite fit a scheme, that Seattle was willing to ignore after he blew up the combine. I doubt they would have drafted him that high had he ran a 4.75 (instead of sub 4.5). As for Mamula, you do have a point about the injuries. Maybe he wasn’t the best example, although even if healthy, I still wonder whether he warranted the 7th pick in the draft. We’ll never know.

        No doubt that the Cowboy front office, Jerry, in particular, is incredibly stupid when it comes to running a football team. There is no doubt in my mind that the Cowboys should have been legitimate, perennial superbowl contenders from 2007 to present. But the moves that he made, or didn’t make (i.e. hiring JG as offensive coordinator, Roy Williams trade, neglecting the OL) have doomed the Cowboys to perpetual mediocrity. I still have hope, but with the careers of Romo/Ware/Ratliff/Witten winding down, good ole Jerry might have missed his best chance of ever winning another championship.

  • Cgrodner

    I’m not saying that TD doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but he sure seems out of touch with what other analysts are saying.

    For example, Jordan appears to be a candidate at #4 to the Eagles according to everyone else. TD doesn’t even address that.

    • The interview was done on Sunday, before Jordan worked out.

  • MontecitoTex

    9ers get the 34th overall draft pick in 2013 for Alex Smith, who has existing years at a high price on his contract. Why the Cowboys don’t explore and “Herschel Walker” the same for Romo is beyond comprehension. Take a 2014 first rounder from the Cardinals for the beleaguered QB. Kyle Orton can certainly play .500 football and has done so his whole career. All in for Johnny Football in 2014.

    • truecowboyfan

      Because the Cowboys don’t have Kaepernick. I would also like to add that the Chiefs are stupid to part ways with a high 2nd round pick for Alex Smith. What they should do is trade Jamaal Charles and acquire picks, not relinquish them. Then they can suck for Clowney.

      • I’m a Cowboy

        What they should be doing is having Clowney come out early in the supplemental draft by having someone chirp in his ear that KC would pay him top 5 money this year. He would be worth every penny. Can you imagine how big KC turn around would be if they were to get Floyd and Clowney this year?

        • truecowboyfan

          That would be crazy lucky for KC if Clowney comes out in the supplemental draft.

        • Steven Van Over

          You have to have a mandate/reason to “come out” in the supplemental. Lost elgibility, injury, school transfer issues, etc. This rule is to protect teams from players attempting to manipulate the draft.

          • I’m a Cowboy

            True but if I was a Chief’s fan I would certainly want him anyway I could get him.

    • Jon B.

      Jerry has hitched his wagons to Romo, whether we like it or not. My guess is the pear shaped signal caller will get more money than Tom Brady………….who has appeared in 5 and won 3 Super Bowls. Tony is probably out on the links currently working on his life after the NFL career.

      One thing about golf, there are no interceptions, fumbles, or botched snaps. Hooks and slices perhaps………and his pear shaped figure will still look svelte next to Daly.

      • Lee1936

        My guess is that if he stays, his contract will average $15 million annually. I hope he leaves, because I’d like to see what he can do with a decent OL, a good RB, and a good pair of pass catchers.

        • truecowboyfan

          Romo has a good RB and a very good TRIO of pass catchers. But the weak OL certainly holds him back. That being said, Romo isn’t going anywhere, unless Jerry is a complete idiot. OK, let me revise my statement, Romo might not be going anywhere.

          • I’m a Cowboy


          • Lee1936

            Yes, RB Murray is good when he plays, but he misses 6 or 8 games/season with injuries–intolerable unless you have a reliable, near starter-quality backup. We don’t.
            Agreed, that Romo has a dynamite trio of catchers, except that Dez has missed several games, and Miles has missed gobs of games–intolerable.
            Good players don’t miss games every year.

    • Michael

      It would be great if the Cowboys traded both Romo and Ware this offseason, cut all the bad contracts and generally refocus on building from the inside out. Alas, we will get a big Romo extension, and another year of Free, Ratliff and Austin.

      But,are we sure Romo wants to sign an extension here? He could make a lot more on the open market and the chance to go to a team that can give him a running game has to be tempting. If I were Romo, after listening to Jones latest round of stupid remarks about the OL, I would be thinking twice about an extension.

    • Taylor

      Tex, you hate Tony, but think the Cards would give a 1 for him, with the contract and all the warts? You have been too deep into the Calvados on this one.

      • SlickRick

        Yes they would. Im hearing they are now trying to pursue NE/KC castoff QB Matt Cassel..WOW. Some teams you could sell water to a whale…

    • Hardy

      Wont happen. Jerry has lost his “trader Joe” skills. Just look at what it was said teams offered for Mike Jenkins last year (2nd rd). But no, Jerry decided that a guy who missed camp, didnt rehab with team, was still hurt and missed the beginning of the season was worth keeping….go figure??

    • chuckcowboy

      I don’t care how they do it. But Johnny Football needs to be picked by the Boys in 2014 as their next franchise QB–regardless of how Romo performs in 2013. And regardless of whether Romo gets extended by 4-5 years. Romo’s ceiling will probably only be as high as Alex Smith’s–even with great talent around him (and yes I know their skill-sets are different). So we need a 49er-like, Seattle-like, and Redskins-like QB bold move for the future.

  • Salman Merchant

    Interesting about Jordan, all the other “draft guys” I’m following speak of him like a top 15 guy

    • DW94

      Ditto. Dane Brugler (CBS) mentioned him as guy who won’t fall past the Browns at #6.