I see all of these mocks about who the Cowboys will pick when they are on the board, but really, how do you know that person will even still be on the board. There 31 other teams in the NFL and 8 are slotted ahead of us. I am guilty of this as well, but as a lover of Football first, I think it's time to have a top 10 mock of my own. So here it goes:
- Carolina takes Da'Quan Bowers - DE - Clemson. The guy is a beast and defensively will be able to be a factor every single play. The defensive ends are the strongest class in this draft so it only makes sense that an end is the first off the board
- Denver takes Robert Quinn - DE - UNC. John Fox is taking Denver back to a 4-3 front. Robert Quinn's pass rushing ability is compared to our own Demarcus Ware. The guy is quick as well as fast and has great agility and a natural ability to dip around a tackle just like Ware does. If a guy is compared to the league's best pass rusher, you know he has to be one of the first off the board.
- Buffalo takes Marcell Dareus - DT - Alabama. What, not nick fairly? I will explain this later. He fits a little better the scheme that the Bills run now with the 3-4. He could come in and play Nose for them but with his stamina issues, I am more inclined to say he will take over for the recently departed Marcus Stroud as a 3-4 DE. Some time with an NFL strength and conditioning coach though could fix those stamina issues though.
- Cincinnati takes A.J. Green - WR - Georgia. This is highly contingent on if Carson Palmer leaves or not. If he does decide to leave then Wideout might not be the best choice this high. He is a phenomenal talent. Although they could take a defensive lineman here I think Green will be their best option, probably even without Carson Palmer there.
- Arizona takes Von Miller - OLB - Texas A&M. Von Miller has also been compared to Demarcus Ware, but even more so for his ability to play the LB position, not just on pass rush. Has really good instincts and can play the pass as well as rush the passer. The Cardinals could definitely use this as part of their arsenal.
- Cleveland Selects Nick Fairly - DT - Auburn. I have seen some drafts where he is the first off the board. Here is the thing, Cleveland will return to a 4-3 front, instead of the 3-4 they ran with Rob Ryan. Fairly fits better into a 4-3 defense because of his aggressive style on the line. While that is all good stuff, the last thing you want are O-lineman getting to the second level and blocking the linebackers, which could happen often with Fairly trying to get into the backfield every play. Catering to his playing style and ability, Cleveland would be a great fit for Fairly.
- San Francisco takes Patrick Peterson - CB - LSU. Everyone knows how high I am on this guy, but I am not going to try to simulate a trade up for him in a mock. That's just a waste of time and effort. No way a guy like this makes it past San Francisco. You take best player available and they are pretty good up front. Only way this doesn't happen is if Blaine Gabbert jumps up the board or just if he is still on the board and San Francisco decides to take him. Outside of that, Peterson will help San Francisco to overtake the division by holding quarterbacks like Sam Bradford in check and helping his team with field position both defensively and with his return ability on kick-offs AND punts.
- Tennessee takes Blaine Gabbert - QB - Missouri. A top 10 QB is a franchise QB, so with that said, he could go anywhere in the top 10. It just depends on the homework that each team does. It doesn't look like Vince Young is going to be the starter for the Titans anymore, and this could be a move just to move on from him. They have some talented receivers so a guy that can get the ball to them and provide stability and leadership to the team would be great for them.
- Dallas takes Prince Amukamara - CB - Nebraska. I like this kid, but am not a big fan of this pick. I think that Dallas will entertain trade offers for people to jump the Redskins to get a player. Dallas may even trade up with the Browns to jump the 49ers for Patrick Peterson (who could go as high as #4, I think). Browns would probably still be able to get their guy @ #9 anyway. Amukamara is impressive though. His lack of interceptions as a senior is attributed to the fact that he played press-man the majority of the time his senior season. He did get 5 interceptions as a Junior I believe is what he said in his combine interview on the field. So he has the ball skills and instincts. Ran a pretty good 40 as well.
- Washington takes Julio Jones - WR - Alabama. I wonder how this whole QB thing will shake out for them. Well, they get a hell of a player. I have been following this guy for a couple years and I knew he was a physical freak, and he still impressed people at the combine. And did it on a broken foot no less. Oh yeah, and that is the exact same injury that kept Michael Crabtree from participating in the combine and his pro day a couple years ago. This is also a time that a need for a team just happens to match perfectly with best player available.
Well, there are a couple of variables in there but more or less this is how I would expect the top 10 to shake out in 2 months. However, there will be some trades, that I guarantee. I just hope we trade up to get Patrick Peterson. If Julio Jones is going to be playing for the skins, it would be great to have him to go up against him. Not only that but it would be an interesting match-up since the 2 were pretty much the only ones to get the best of the other during their college careers.
On just some other notes for later in the draft:
I watched all of the combine and was impressed by some players. I was dissapointed that I didn't get to see Casey Matthews workout because of what happened to his shoulder during the bench press (that is why he only got 13 reps, the 14th is where something happened to his shoulder). I haven't heard any news about what happened but he intrigues me, even if he is rated as a day 3 prospect (for now).
Aaron Williams was also impressive, not as a corner though. I was watching him and I was thinking the same thing that Mike Mayock was saying. He looks like a safety, just with his size and frame and everything. He has the speed to play the position, the physicality and the ball skills to be a good free safety. He was compared to Malcolm Jenkins who was drafted to play corner for the saints, but we all know that he took the FS position from Darren Sharper this year (He is the one who ripped the ball out of Roy's hands on Thanksgiving). Mayock is considering making him his #1 safety prospect as opposed to where he is currently ranked as the #3 rated corner on his board.
A teammate of Williams is Curtis Brown (one of the 2 other Longhorn corners who both are named brown). I was impressed with his ball skills and he had some good measurables. Could be a great corner for depth on our team.
Dissapointed by the injury to Deunta Williams, the free safety from UNC. It looks like he should be able to participate in his pro day though, just couldn't do the combine. I already know he is a ball hawk with great ball skills that come from him being a converted Wide Receiver.
DT Stephen Paea from Oregon State was very impressive, even though he only could do the bench press. He is one of those rare guys that has some ability and some great measurables. 49 reps @ 225?! Are you kidding me? Thats like a gorilla on the defensive line. He'll probably put on some weight too so he might be great for a 3-4 defense. He just doesn't have the pass rushing skills you might like, but maybe Rat could teach him some of that. Was a great run-stuffer @ Oregon State though. Most likely won't be on the board when we pick anywhere though. Seems to be a mid-first round prospect.
DT Marvin Austin from UNC is also intriguing. Listed as a prototypical 4-3 defensive tackle but could fit nicely into a 3-4 as a DE. He has first round talent but not playing last year and some off the field issues that might need some investigation may push him into later rounds.
DT Phil Taylor from Baylor is another prospect that is intriguing. He wasn't a top performer @ the combine but you don't really expect that from a 6' 3" 334 lbs defensive tackle.
DE J.J. Watt from Wisconsin was a top performer in almost every category amongst the Defensive Lineman. Could be a good prospect and has a great motor and work ethic. The kind of player you really like to have on a team. Not worth the #9 pick but maybe deserves a look later in the first, which is where he is projected should we receive a decent offer to trade down.
OT/G Marcus Cannon from TCU is also a great prospect. People like him better as a guard at the next level but he could develop into a starting right tackle. @ 6' 5" and 358 lbs. he is definitely a specimen. Good feet and sneaky athleticism (meaning a guy his size and build should not be as athletic as he is) paired with posting the second highest rep total in the combine on the bench, he is a great prospect who I really like. If he does play guard though he may need more strength. Should be up closer to 37 reps range for a guard in the NFL, or so I'm told.