Cowboys Post Combine Draft Rankings: It’s a Lineman’s World

Jarvis Jones – a wild card at 18?

Cowboys Nation chatted Saturday with our draft analyst TD and got updated data on player ratings post-Combine.  The big news has the defensive linemen rising, with some offensive tackles coming along for the ride.

Cowboys Nation:  The Combine is over, now.  Can you go down the list and rate the risers and fallers by position?

TD:  Okay, let’s start with offensive line.  Lane Johnson had an excellent combine.  I’d say Johnson could get looks inside as well.  Kyle Long from Oregon is getting looks now in 2nd round.  Eric Fisher is now closing the gap at the very top of the draft.  A lot of people think Fisher will be top offensive tackle from this class in long run.  That doesn’t mean he’ll get drafted higher than Luke Joeckel, but the gap between Fisher and Joeckel is very small now.

I’m hearing some teams are high on Virginia’s Oday Aboushi.  They think he could be a good right tackle value.  I’d say he goes somewhere in the 3rd round.  He’s a bit like Kelichi Osemele, who Baltimore took in the 2nd last year.  Aboushi could be a right tackle or start at right guard for a team this season.

CN:  Last week you talked about Jonathan Cooper, the North Carolina guard and mentioned his versatility; some teams told you they think his best position could eventually be center. I saw one draftnik write this week that he thinks Cooper’s versatility could make him the first interior offensive lineman off the board.  Have you heard any similar thinking from the teams you talk to?

TD:  I haven’t  heard anybody say Chance Warmack is the lesser player.

I think this goes to what I told you last week.  Warmack didn’t have the best workouts and some teams in the middle of the round now may feel that they have a chance to get him if he slides a little.  That may be why you’re reading Cooper might be picked 1st from the two.  This is what some teams want other teams to think.  The 10 – 12 teams in the league who run power schemes all want a shot at Chance.

He’s been one of the highest rated-players in the entire draft and now he’s not a good player? Give me a break.

CN:  Let’s go to defensive line.  I want to focus on one player you had at the 1st/2nd round break last weekend, and who now seems like a certain top-10 player — Oregon DE Dion Jordan.

TD: The reason I thought he might be late 1st was that he ended the season with an injury. I didn’t know how he would work out and he worked out real well.  Combine that with Damontre Moore’s poor workouts and I think Jordan has shot up, along with Ezekiel Ansah and Barkevious Mingo.  These guys, Jordan and Ansah especially, are the long, angular rushers who are the sexy rush picks right now; everyone compares them to JPP or Aldon Smith.

I think Moore is down in the second tier of ends, with guys like Margus Hunt, Datone Jones and Florida State’s Tank Carradine.

CN:  What have you heard about Carradine?  He’s rehabbing a knee and I was told a few weeks ago his pro day would make or break him.

TD:  He had a medical at Indy.  I’ve heard he’s on schedule.

CN:  Where does LSU’s Sam Montgomery fit now, after the bad reports on his work ethic?

TD:  Right now, I think someone rolls dice on him in 2nd.  I think you could maybe see a team roll the dice on him in late 1st, but I think teams will a lot more comfortable taking a shot in the 2nd.

CN:  Which interior lineman helped himself?

TD:  Your guy Sharrif Floyd. He’s now being talked about as dark horse for 1st overall, and will probably go in the top 5.  We saw something like this last year with Dontari Poe.  Poe was being talked about at the top of the draft right after his workout, then he floated down into the top 13.  In Floyd’s case, he might drift down a bit too, but  I think he has the lack of top QBs this year working for him.   I think Floyd goes ahead of Bjoern Werner and is up there with Luke Joeckel.  You know you won’t whiff with him if you take him in the top-5.  He worked out extremely well.

CN:  Let me pin you down on a Top 10.  You’ve mentioned a lot of names already and it’s easy to lose track of how many guys you put into the top 5 or the top 10.  You don’t have to link players to specific teams, but today, on March 2nd, who do you think will go in the top 10?

In no particular order — Floyd, Werner, Joeckel,  Fisher, Ansah, Jordan,  Mingo.  Dee Milliner is almost certain to be the top corner and he’ll go top 10. , Lane Johnson has a real chance.  Star Lotulelei has a chance but will probably fall a bit after his heart issue.  I think Geno Smith and Matt Barkley will go in that range.  

CN:  That’s 12.  There are still five more spots before the Cowboys come on the board in the 18th slot.  Who do you think goes in that next group?

TD: I think the receivers Keenan Allen and Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee will go before Cowboys pick.  It think Sheldon Richardson has a good chance to go off the board right before Dallas picks.

I think the Cowboys could be in play for Chance Warmack.  Kenny Vaccaro could be around.  D.J. Fluker and Jarvis Jones could also go in that area.  These are the names that should be in that zone where Dallas picks.

CN:  Last week we discussed Jarvis Jones’ medical reports and conflicting information was getting out.  What have you learned since then?

TD: With Jarvis Jones, it’s all about the teams doing the selecting.  He has a neck issue.  Some teams have taken him off the draft board.  He missed a whole year with this neck problem back when he was at USC.  It’s real.  On the other hand, I think there are some teams that will ignore it.  It hasn’t limited him the last two years at Georgia.

Now, how many of these guys, a Warmack, a Vaccaro, come into play at 18?  If I was a Cowboys fan, I want to see at least two QBs, Smith and Barkley, go high and maybe a Ryan Nassib come into play early.

Next:  Rating the receivers, running backs, safeties and some high, high risers at the quarterback position.

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

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

  • One point which just hit me about TD’s comments. Andy Reid now controls the 1st overall pick. Look at his long draft history in Philly. He took McNabb in his 1st year then went heavy for OL and DL. He always seemed to whiff on the DL but he took a ton of them in the 1st and 2nd rounds.

    With Alex Smith in house he’s not going after Geno Smith. Shariff Floyd may well be in play for #1. It’s in Reid’s DNA.

  • Lee1936

    TD suggests that both Warmack and Vaccaro might be available at 1/18. Wet dreams are made of such.
    Will GM Jerry do the right thing, and take the better player?

    • I think those are the players likely to be in that 16-19 zone. This suggest that Dallas will get definite shots at two of those four players and if Vaccaro and Warmack go directly in front of the Cowboys Fluker and Jones are nice consolation candidates.

      If, OTOH, a 3rd QB does go high then one of the Vaccaro, Warmack duo will hit 18 and I think Dallas would grab that guy with both hands.

      • Lee1936


      • jarhead

        My confidence that JJ will use his 1st on either guy is completely shot.

      • SportsDrunk

        And you’re still leaving Cooper out of that equation.

  • I’m a Cowboy

    If this plays out I can see JJ going all Wheeler and dealer. Especially if there multiple players still available that Dallas would take in the first and someone wants to move up to get some other player. In a deep draft this may no be a bad thing as long as we don’t end up in the second round with a Quincy Carter clone. My only hope is Stephen is holding the ranes a little tighter now.

    • Nice idea, but who moves up? What I’ve heard is that EVERYBODY wants to move down because this is considered a deep draft. What concerns me, as I’ve written on recently, is that we root for one of those teams that has a habit of dealing up.

      The odds of Jerry doing another Claiborne-type or Dez-type trade are greater, IMO than in staying put or dealing down.

      And that gives me pause.

      • Cowboys4Life

        San Francisco might want to move up. Possibly for Vaccaro since they could use a safety.

        And they have a boatload of picks to trade with.

      • jarhead

        pause you say? im convinced that is exactly what will happen.

      • Steven Van Over

        My analysis leads to the same dangerous area. Especialy if he locks on to the DL.

  • Troy

    o many great players. Can’t really be unhappy with the 8-9 of the names there from 13 to 22. That is, if Jerry doesn’t give away picks again. He may be the only one who can mess up the 1st 2 rounds. G, RT, Safety, DL –

  • AustonianAggie

    I think it’s a little weird to resign Barry Church and Phil Costa at a time when both have spent more time injured than playing

  • draftmane

    I hear the Steelers are high on Jarvis Jones & Vaccaro but they cant have both if they are there which leads to one of them Richardson or Cooper.

  • olinehelppls

    Still prefer Cooper to Warmack. Livings was a real crutch last year in the pull game. If we get Cooper, we would have 5 guys penciled in who could pull and really move. We could use more of a zone scheme to cover up for our talent deficiencies along the line. OT is a larger problem though. I don’t trust Free/Parnell but the trifecta of top tier OT will probably be gone by pick 18

  • Ware94

    What’s the latest on Short from Purdue? I think he could possibly be someone that Dallas takes a look at. I would still be surprised if Dallas took Warmack. I’m not saying I would be against Warmack it’s just that I feel the Dallas staff likes its current OL just a little bit better than we fans do. I will guess either Richardson or Vaccaro will be the pick (as of today).