Post-National Championship Mock

I know that this is extremely early to be looking at a mock draft and the rankings of the prospects and what rounds they might be selected in will drastically change between now and April depending on All-Star bowls, the Combine, Pro Days, Interviews, etc... but to me the Draft is like a-whole-nother season and can be just as exciting as the season itself (personal feeling).

In order to get a sense of where players will be drafted as of now, I am using Drafttek's rankings because they are some of the best and because they differentiate between 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DEs as well as look at different types of WR and RBs. Since things are bound to change and preferences by teams do not conform to each other's boards I am allowing myself to pick players who fall within 10 spots before the Cowboys pick except in the 1st round where I gave myself a 5 spot buffer.

1st Round - Barrett Jones/Chance Warmack - OC/OG (Drafttek 17/16)

For now, I would take Jones over Warmack (assuming that he is healthy) because of the flexibility that Jones has in playing either OC or OG. This flexibility is extremely important to me because of the Front Office thinks that Costa is the solution at OC, then Jones can battle Bernardeau for the RG spot and if the Front Office wants to move Bernardeau to OC, then Jones can fill in the RG slot. However, I would have no problem with the Cowboys drafting Warmack instead and plugging him in at RG and letting Bernardeau and Costa and Kowalski all battle for the OC and backup interior spots. Another player that I would look at here is Jonathan Cooper; however, Drafttek has him at #14 and rated higher than Warmack for now and I do not think that both of them will be on the Board at 18, but 1 of these 3 interior lineman would be great.

2nd Round (48) - Sheldon Richardson - DT (Drafttek 44)

With the decline of Jay Ratliff and the loss of Josh Brent, DT is extreme need for the Cowboys assuming that the defense continues to predominately identify as a 3-4 Defense. With a move to a 4-3, this would not be a huge need as Hatcher, Lissemore, Coleman, etc... would move inside. Richardson may be slightly undersized at 6'3 290 like Ratliff but is an extremely talented player. It is unlikely that he is still on the board at this point as some other mock drafts have him as a late 1st round pick, but I am sticking with the Drafttek board.

Alternative 2nd Round pick - Chase Thomas - OLB (Drafttek 59)

Thomas did not have an amazing statistical year but that is more attributable to Stanford's dominant defense that spread the wealth for sacks, leading the nation with 57, than to a decline in ability. If the Cowboys do not keep Anthony Spencer, Chase Thomas would be a great replacement. He is a very instinctual player who has adept at getting into the backfield for sacks and TFL.

3rd Round (80) - Phillip Thomas - S (Drafttek 74)

Safety is another need for the Cowboys while Barry Church will be back Sensabaugh certainly struggled this year and having a 3rd safety that can play will help a lot. I know that the Cowboys have Matt Johnson but since I have not seen anything from him, I cannot attest to his abilities. Thomas had an outstanding year at Fresno State with 8 interceptions while also leading the team in tackles. He also returned 3 of the INTs for TDs and was a finalist for the Thorpe Award. This area of Drafttek's Board is full of other safeties that I would not mind the Cowboys looking at as well - Tony Jefferson, Baccaro Rambo and Robert Lester.

Alternative 3rd Round Pick - Stepfan Taylor - Rb (Drafttek 68) - technically outside my buffer but RBs usually drop

Taylor is perhaps my favorite prospect in this year's draft. I am an avid Stanford fan and love watching him play. The first thing that should stick out to anyone that watches Taylor is that his legs never stop moving. He is constantly churning in order to gain extra yards and rarely seems to be stopped for a loss. Some credit has to be given to Stanford's mauling O-Line but Taylor has great vision and hands that allow him to contribute in multiple ways. One of the biggest things that Taylor will bring to a team is that he is a true 3 down back who is able to run, catch and pass protect. With Felix most likely gone and Demarco's injury history, Taylor would be a great add.

4th Round (112) - Logan Thomas - QB (Drafttek 118)

Here is a possible QB for the future, Thomas has not officially declared yet and if he is looking at a 4th Round pick may return to school, but if he does declare and is available I think he would be a great add for the Cowboys. He does have some issues, accuracy being one of them, but we are not looking for him to start Day 1. Thomas is a developmental project who could start a few years down the line and who has the size and speed to be successful in the NFL like a poor man's Cam Newton.

Alternative Picks - RBs

If the Cowboys have not taken a RB yet, there should be some good players still on the board like Joseph Randle, Christine Michael or injured RBs like Knile Davis or Lattimore

5th Round (144) - Michael Mauti - ILB (Drafttek 140)

Mauti was injured at the end of the year but he is an extremely high character player who comes from a great LB program at Penn State. He would be a solid depth find here that can compete with Albright behind Lee and Carter. I think the Cowboys will release Connor because of his salary.

Alternative 5th Round Pick - WR Marquezz Wilson

Going into the season Wilson was a possible 1st Round pick and fell because of attitude problems and him leaving Washington State because of problems with Mike Leach, even going so far to accuse of him of abuse, something that has been alleged before. Wilson is extremely talented and could pay off for the Cowboys. To me, any pick outside the top 3 rounds should look at either solid depth or career backup players who will be good ST players and spot fill ins or high upside players such as Wilson. With the health problems of Miles Austin and Harris' emergence as a slot WR, the Cowboys may need another outside WR threat and Wilson can be that

6th Round (176) - Seantreal Henderson - OT (Drafttek 175)

He has had some trouble with the law and has missed playing time in College because of it. However, a few years ago he was the number 1 rated player coming out of High School by some recruiting services. He is a massive OT at 6'8 340 who can be a great late round steal or a player who doesn't pan out. This is another high upside high risk pick.

Some UDFAs that I like as of now

Drew Terrell - Stanford WR - reminds me of Doug Baldwin another Stanford WR, Terrell is good at finding holes in zones and has extremely good hands. He is also a very good punt returner even though Harris seems to be filling that role.

Terrence Stephens - Stanford DT - good run plugging 3-4 DT.

James Vandenberg - QB Iowa

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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