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

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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.

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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