Fletcher Cox on the Cowboys radar?
Todd McShay released his latest NFL Mock Draft, this time including the first and second rounds. I generally like McShay's stuff over his colleague Mel Kiper, so I was interested in what he had to say. When I read it, I thought, hmm... I think I've seen this strategy before. Here's what I mean.
Let's go back a day in the BTB time machine when our very own rabblerousr penned an article outlining a Cowboys draft strategy. In it, he used the example of last year where the offensive tackles, after the elite, really dropped off in talent, so if you wanted one you needed to get them in the first round. With the Cowboys deciding between offensive tackle and defensive line (J.J. Watt being the prime contender), the idea was to wait on the defensive line because there was better talent later (meaning second round). Dallas went with the tackle.
Ol' Rabble then decided that this year the situation was reversed, but substituting offensive guard for offensive tackle. No matter how much some of us might have fallen in love with David DeCastro, Rabble cautioned that the defensive line drop off was steep, and the guard talent was much deeper. He referenced Long Ball, BTB member and Draftek contributor, as thinking along those same lines. Rabble even threw out some possible combinations for Dallas, including Fletcher Cox in the first and Amini Silatolu in the second.
Just so happens that is the exact combination McShay goes with in his latest mock draft.
#14 Fletcher Cox*, DT, Mississippi State
Stanford G David DeCastro and Alabama S Mark Barron are possibilities here, but I like what Cox could bring to Rob Ryan's defense. He has the versatility to play anywhere along the defensive line and can provide pass-rush production from the inside.
#45 Cowboys Amini Silatolu OG Midwestern State
Nice job, Rabble.
Most of us know about Fletcher Cox, but for those unfamiliar with Silatolu, here is some info.
Sporting News via Mocking The Draft:
Silatolu should be able to transition to the NFL from Midwestern State because of his athleticism. His exceptional initial quickness is what allows him to get on top of defensive linemen before they are ready.
Pulling/trapping: Hustle and agility allow coaches to use him in front of bubble screens despite his thick, compact build and average long speed. Nimble and quick enough to trap inside or even pull around to the strong-side of the formation from his left tackle spot. Flattens small-college linebackers at the second level when coming straight-on. Flashes some flexibility to get a hand up against oncoming inside defenders, but must show he can make that block against speed of the pro game.
Impression: He has some technique flaws that needs to be fixed and will need to kick inside at the next level. However, he's a wide-bodied athlete with a powerful/explosive frame, good foot quickness and can really pull from the backside. Might need some time, but is one of the top guards in the class with as much upside as any.