Round 1, Pick 14 (14th overall)
Dallas could go several different directions with their first round pick. The 'Boys have several serious needs on their roster and the fourteenth overall pick should provide an impact player. After the jump I'll highlight six possible Dallas first round targets that are probably being talked about in Valley Ranch and are definitely being talked about around the web. I'll finish up with my thoughts and who I'd pick if I were turning in Dallas' draft card.
DE/OLB, North Carolina
6'6", 275 lbs
A classic boom-or-bust prospect, Coples is as physically gifted as any single player in this draft. Versatile and explosive, he's capable of being a real matchup problem. However, his consistency and work ethic have almost always been questioned. His strong showing at the Senior Bowl will help solidify his status as a high first round pick. Does not appear to be a RKG. Addresses an area of need (OLB).
6'5", 310 lbs
Considered one of the best guard prospects in a long time, DeCastro is expected to step in for whichever team drafts him and be immediately (and highly) effective. DeCastro is a good pass blocker and devastating run blocker. Would help keep Romo healthy. Majored in Engineering at Stanford; definitely a RKG. This pick would be a signal that Jerry is fully committed to Garrett as the future, as it would be the second year in a row that Dallas makes a non-splashy, conservative first round selection. Addresses an area of need (G).
6'4", 265 lbs
Starting to emerge from under the radar. Tied Simeon Rice's single season record and lead the nation with 16 sacks. Forced 9 fumbles, the second most in NCAA history. Would play across from Ware and hopefully take advantage more effectively than Anthony Spencer has. Could be a long-term replacement plan for when Ware retires or moves on (Ware will turn 30 on July 21). High motor and relentless; RKG. Addresses an area of need (OLB).
6'3", 190 lbs
A talented player with several real red flags. A five-star recruit coming into Alabama, Kirkpatrick never lived up to the incredible hype that preceded him. A solid player for a very successful college team. Great size and range. Could possibly move to FS. Great athlete. Good cover skills, but has poor hands - should have more interceptions than he does. Could be the DB version of Dez Bryant - for better and worse. Recently made headlines for a possession of marijuana charge. Not a RKG. Addresses the area of most dire need (CB).
CB, North Alabama
5'10", 183 lbs
A similar prospect in many ways to Alabama's Kirkpatrick. Extremely talented, but has several red flags, too. Great in coverage and is not afraid to mix it up in run support, either. A small player that plays big - wants to line up against and shut down the best receiver. Really stood out at the Senior Bowl and answered questions about his ability to face bigger competition than what he faced at North Alabama this past year. Effort and commitment are not in question. Marijuana-related incidents at Florida raise legitimate questions about off-field decision-making. Addresses the area of most dire need (CB).
6'2", 215 lbs
Dallas has to find improved safety play from somewhere to take advantage of the pressure that Ware and the rest of the front seven creates. This may be a reach, especially considering Barron's recent double-hernia that will take some time from which to recover, but he also represents a potential major upgrade to the back end of Dallas' defense. Very physical and a heavy hitter. Pretty good ball skills. Started a ton of games at FS on a very good and complex NFL-style defense at Alabama. Had a monster sophomore year and solid junior and senior campaigns. Addresses an area of need (S).
Dallas has multiple areas of real concern on the roster and a lack of overall depth. If at all possible, I would trade back from #14 for additional picks and make athleticism in the defensive backfield the main priority for the draft. However, barring a trade, and if all of these prospects were available at 14, I would draft DeCastro; he's considered a can't-miss prospect at an area of need, while all of the other players mentioned carry a fair amount of risk.