NFL Mock Draft Tracker 2013: A Defensive Tackle For Monte Kiffin?

Al Bello

Thursday is mock draft day on Blogging The Boys, and today is no different as we review the latest, greatest mock drafts published over the last seven days.

It seems like much longer, but it was less than two weeks ago that the Cowboys hired Monte Kiffin as their new defensive coordinator. And the mock drafters across the nation are still catching up to that fact.

In today's roundup of the freshest, juiciest mocks published in the last week, eight out of twelve mocks reference Kiffin or the new defensive scheme. Interestingly, seven of those eight mocks have the Cowboys picking a defensive tackle in the first round.

Source Player Update
SI.com (Don Banks)
Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
January 24
Comment: "Hankins has been a streaky player for the Buckeyes, and Lord knows there are enough of them already in Dallas. But his talent is obvious, and recent developments (see Josh Brent, Jay Ratliff) make defensive tackle the Cowboys' obvious area. The move to a 4-3 defense in Dallas only makes addressing the tackle position all the more critical. "
Drafttek.com Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama January 24
Comment: "The Cowboys are weak in the interior of their OL, evidenced by the pressure Romo faced coming straight up the middle and the inability of the team to consistently gain yardage rushing the ball (with the exception of Murray bouncing a play outside). Chance Warmack, the #1 rated OG in this year's draft class, is talented . . . but it must be pointed out that he benefitted from playing on a talented OL at Alabama. Cuzzin Jerra likes the sizzle better than the steak . . . will he draft OL #1? If not, look for a pass-rushing DE for Monte Kiffin's new 4-3 alignment. "
Draft Ace (Ryan McCrystal)
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
January 23
Comment: "The Cowboys will be transitioning to 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin in 2013. While they actually have the personnel to pull off a fairly smooth transition, they will need to fill a few holes and add some depth. Jay Ratliff can still play but he’s 32 years old and isn’t nearly the player he was three years ago. Adding another nose tackle like Williams will shore up their run defense and give them some much needed depth on the defensive line."
Foxsports (Peter Schrager) Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama January 23
Comment: "Though you won’t read this many places, Tony Romo had his best year as a pro in 2012. He did so playing behind a terrible offensive line. Doug Free hasn’t been the player the Cowboys thought he’d be when they rewarded him with a big contract and Tyron Smith seemed to be called for a false start on every other play from scrimmage this season. Injuries stung, but there needs to be more good, young linemen protecting Romo. Warmack can play guard or center and he can play them in the big leagues right now. Not as sexy as some of Jerry’s usual picks, but a solid one."
Draft Season (Will Lomas) Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina January 23
Comment: "The players on the interior offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys have been pitiful this year, and though I am not a believer in Tony Romo, his poor play this year hasn’t been entirely his fault. If Dallas adds a blue-chip interior presence and they still can’t get it going offensively, I don’t know what else they can do."
Sports Agent Blog (Brandon Thorn) Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas January 22
Comment: "The Cowboys have done a nice job of shoring up their secondary, particularly at the cornerback position. The safety position on the other hand remains a bit of a crapshoot. Not since Roy Williams has the team had any playmaker at the position. Vaccaro was the leader of the secondary at Texas and can do it all – run, tackle, and cover. At 6’1" 218, Vaccaro had 100 tackles this past season and was named 1st team All-American by Pro Football Weekly. With Vaccaro, the team wouldn’t have to put CB Brandon Carr back at safety anymore. Vaccaro’s presence on the back end would go a long way to shore up the Cowboys 19th ranked pass defense."
CBSSportss (Rob Rang) John Jenkins, DT, Georgia January 21
Comment: "After a long run with the 3-4 defense, the Cowboys are making the switch to the 4-3 alignment with new coordinator Monte Kiffin. The 6-3, 358-pound Jenkins is hardly the classic three-technique that Kiffin's scheme requires, but his size and strength inside could open up possibilities for others to take full advantage.
CBSSports (Dane Brugler) Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida January 21
Comment: "With Warmack off the board, there is a good chance the Cowboys switch gears to their needs on the defensive line, especially as they transition their defensive schemes. Floyd, who has experience both inside and outside on the line, would be able to fill a big need for Dallas' new-look defensive front."
NEPatriotsdraft (James Christensen) Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma January 21
Comment: "Adding the physical Johnson to Tyron Smith would be a good start to rebuilding the Cowboys’ offensive line. He has really improved his game this year and is ready to contribute as a rookie."
NFL Draft Geek John Jenkins, DT, Georgia January 20
Comment: "Dallas has two main areas of need, both happen to deal with the lines. They'd love to be able to get an offensive lineman like Chance Warmack, but that likely won't happen without trading up. Barrett Jones could be an option too, but he's not available in this scenario either. Instead, the Cowboys will have to address the defensive side of the line, and bring in some young talent. Dallas is moving to a 4-3 defense with Monte Kiffin as the new DC, and will need to add some pieces to fit the new scheme. John Jenkins would be a great pick. He has the size and strength to anchor the middle, but is still a good athlete and can make plays in the backfield. Jenkins could effectively play nose tackle in the 4-3 next to a more athletic Jay Ratliff, similar to what the Giants do."
Scouting The Seahawks (Derek Stephens) Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida January 20
Comment: "The Cowboys will be moving to a 4-3 now with Monte Kiffin coming on as the new defensive coordinator, and they’ll need another talented defensive tackle to put alongside Jay Ratliff. You’ll see Floyd rise up boards as the draft nears, and as scouts begin to study tape more thoroughly. Two things are evident immediately when you zero in on Floyd – he’s quick, and he’s powerful. I project him to be able to line up at either of the inside positions, and even flip out to the 5-technique on run plays."
Draft Countdown (Scott Wright) Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida January 18
Comment: "Dallas already had a need along their defensive line due to the unfortunate Josh Brent situation but with Dallas now transitioning to a 4-3 front it will be even more important that they bring in a difference-maker on the interior. Sharrif Floyd of Florida excelled at both tackle and end in college due to his impressive blend of athleticism and strength. A terrific all-around player who offers considerable positional and schematic versatility, Floyd would be a fine compliment (sic) to Jay Ratliff."

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