Will trader Jerry wheel and deal his way through the draft this season?
There are quite a few intriguing players that would address some of the Cowboys pressing needs after the first round this year. Generally, it is considered a poor idea to trade down in the draft: away from the more talented players. The quality of players present at positions of need and the lack of depth throughout the roster, however, may prompt Jerry to do so.
According to the draft trade value chart, the Cowboys could trade down with the Colts at 24, and collect their third round pick (87). Then a team such as Arizona in dire need of a quarterback could ask to trade back up before some of the better known names get taken. This would give the Cowboys five picks on the second day (39, 48, 70, 81, and 87), but no first round selection for the first time under Jason Garrett. This strategy would also help with its onerous salary cap.
This is what the 2013 Dallas Cowboys NFL draft could look like:
Barrett Jones was the Rimington Award winner (best center in NCAA football) this past season. Barrett is the top ranked center in the 2013 NFL Draft, but his stock will dip as he admitted to having suffered a Lis-Franc fracture in his foot that will likely require medical intervention. Jones had a 4.0 GPA at Alabama, so coordinating offensive line calls should not be too difficult for him. Of course, there is a rumor that Alabama won the National Championship.
Jamie Collins was a pass rushing phenom for a terrible Southern Mississippi football team. While he is currently undersized to play a 4-3 defensive end, a season under a NFL strength and conditioning coach could remedy that shortfall. Collins lacks competition at a high level, but could see some action in Dallas behind Spencer if the Cowboys choose to franchise Anthony this off season.
JJ Wilcox was invited to participate in the Senior Bowl. His final draft position will hinge on how he does in Mobile. With a good showing, as draft pundits expect, Wilcox shoots up to the third round. With projected 4.5 speed, Wilcox could be the free safety in waiting behind Sensabaugh that offers Kiffin the range needed to cover the deep half.
David Bakhtiari was playing right tackle when Nate Solder was at Colorado. He was moved to left tackle the next season, and is now coming out a year early due to the frustration known as Buffaloes football. Bakhtiari is a little light, but demonstrates the aggression and physical play sought from a NFL right tackle. Had David stayed in school for his redshirt senior season, he would have been projected as a first round offensive tackle.
Gabe Jackson is a mobile, but large guard in a relatively strong guard class. Unlike Bakhtiari, Jackson's aggressiveness has been questioned. His athleticism, however, is well documented. Gabe could step into the left guard position and provide an element of mobility that could permit Dallas to return to the screen game that made the Landry-era Cowboys so deadly against blitzing teams.
Marcus Lattimore is projected to be a third round prospect at CBS Sports, but considering his extensive injury history, and the physical rigors of the position he plays, there are draft pundits expecting him to plummet to the third day of the draft. The Cowboys would be a great fit for Lattimore, and vice versa. Given the inability of the starting running back, DeMarco Murray to stay healthy, a back with a questionable injury history like Marcus could see significant snaps. As long as Marcus and DeMarco are not injured simultaneously, Lattimore and Murray could give the Cowboys two productive running backs with a similar skill-set.
Brandon Kaufman is a junior that attended the same college as Matt Johnson, drafted by the Cowboys last season. He is a tremendous athlete that had the production to match: unlike Holmes, the previous tall receiving project. Kaufman has the speed, size, and strength to become the downfield complement to Dez Bryant - much as Alvin Harper was to Michael Irvin. Kaufman led the Eastern Washington team to the championship last season.
Etienne Sabino was a stud at Ohio State when healthy. Sabino is a sleeper that was originally recruited as a safety for the Buckeyes. Etienne showed tremendous instincts and was a tackling machine with OSU after making the move to linebacker (again, when healthy). Sabino would be an excellent Sam linebacker in Dallas' new 4-3 scheme, where his 4.5 speed and athleticism would rival Bruce Carter's. A HEALTHY Sean Lee (Mike), Etienne Sabino (Sam), and Bruce Carter (Will) would be a handful for any type of offense: especially any option type schemes...looking at you, RGIII: at least for the 2014 NFL season.
Buckeye moment: The Ohio State University was the only division I football team undefeated last season, and therefore should have been the team romping all over Notre Dame.
Quanterus Smith had a productivity ratio of 3.10 during his senior year in the Sun Belt Conference. That was not a typo: 3.10!! Only Jarvis Jones (1.21) came close to matching Smith's 1.25 sacks per game. As the case with Jamie Collins, Quanterus could use some expert training from a NFL strength and conditioning coach. Quanterus could be drafted late, but is currently projected to be undrafted.
Jake Stoneburner would be an absolute steal as an undrafted tight end. When Ohio State was running a pseudo pro-style offensive system two seasons ago, Jake was a stud. As teams realized that Pryor (that *^%&##) could only chuck it deep and dump it off to Stoneburner, teams adjusted: the quarterback known as a "*^%&##"could not adjust due to deficiencies from the neck up. Stoneburner will be a complete tight end in the NFL and a legitimate target.
Zack Boren is the epitome of the RKG (Right Kind of Guy). Zack is a throwback, slobber-knocking fullback, a student of the game, and even participated in special teams with glee. What makes Boren a great RKG, however, is that he volunteered to play linebacker when Ohio State ran out of bodies at the position due to injury this season. He actually did a very solid job against the run (he was a liability in the Bradie James mold in pass coverage). With the disappointing performance from Vickers as a blocker this season, the $1.1 million that Dallas could save with Lawrence's release may be a great reason to bring in Zack.
Kenny Tate started as a wide receiver at Maryland. He was moved to safety, and then grew into linebacker. He would be a project, but could offer depth at the outside linebacker spot.
Abry Jones was an athletic defensive tackle that was limited due to injury. Jones accumulated modest numbers at Georgia despite being stuck behind mountainous tackles. Jones could be a solid 1-gap defensive tackle behind Ratliff.
Please feel free to offer feedback and other names that could be of interest. Thanks.