Mock Draft 4.0: Implementing More Trades and Making a Dominating Defense
This is (obviously) my fourth mock draft, and I am now using more of a trade up strategy. In this mock draft, I also incorporate player trades, in addition to picks. Before any trades, these are the Cowboys current picks in the 2013 NFL Draft:
The Cowboys now have the following picks:
1) The Cowboys trade their third round pick (47) to the Giants for their 49th pick, and 177th pick.
2) The Cowboys trade picks 49 and 77 to the Falcons for the 30th overall pick.
Currently the Cowboys own:
3) The Cowboys now make a big trade, trading away their last four picks (111, 144, 175, 177) to the Houston Texans for pick 89.
Heading into the Draft, this is what the Cowboys picks will look like:
And now, here are the picks:
18. Sheldon Richardson DT: The Cowboys needed a defensive tackle even before the Ratliff Trade. Now, with Ratliff out of the picture, the defensive line, especially the interior, would be extremely weak. Sheldon Richardson not only replaces Ratliff, but greatly upgrades the position. I really like Ratliff, and think he can still be a star on this team. However, with the opportunity to get Richardson, I have to be real and understand that Ratliff’s days are past him and Richardson can be much better, run stuffing and penetrating the pocket. With his talent, the Cowboys will be able to disrupt the opponent’s offense a lot more.
30. Kawaan Short DT: That’s right; the second pick in the first round will also be used on a DT. I know double dipping so early here is not a good idea here, especially since the Cowboys have needs at OL, S, and have now opened up a big hole at wide receiver as well. However, I would rather have potentially the best duo of defensive tackles in the league than a better offensive line, if these picks are available. Short is also extremely disruptive and a playmaker on the defensive line. Both Richardson and Short can move the pocket, collapse it, make the QB uncomfortable, and wreak havoc along the line. If one can do it alone, what are the possibilities if you have two? The Cowboys defensive line could dominate, and if
Spencer is resigned, the Cowboys could have the best pass rushing front in the NFL with Ware, Spencer, Short, and Richardson. Just imagine this as having two Geno Atkins on your line.
80. Alvin Bailey G: The Cowboys need interior offensive line help, and Bailey will be the draft pick dedicated to it. Bailey is raw and lacks good technique, but is the athlete that can anchor the line. He may not be a massive upgrade in 2013 immediately, but with some coaching a refining, he could be the next step towards rebuilding this offensive line.
89. Marquise Goodwin, WR: After trading Austin, the Cowboys open up a huge hole at WR. Assuming Dwayne Harris takes the second wide receiver role, the Cowboys don’t have a sure thing to play the slot. Enter, Marquise Goodwin. Goodwin is a very talented receiver that would immediately lock up the slot position. Goodwin possesses something the Cowboys offense doesn’t have a lot of: speed. Goodwin can burn any defensive back in a footrace and will be a playmaker for this offense. Playing from the slot, he can make mismatches and be a huge asset to this offense. With Bryant being the No.1, Goodwin could be the next biggest receiving threat from the slot. It would give the Cowboys offense a whole new dimension, while making things very difficult for opposing defenses, as Romo would have the big man that can make the spectacular catch in Dez, the solid and reliable Dwayne Harris, and the speedster that can take it in anytime in Marquise Goodwin.
105: D.J. Swearinger S: Swearinger fills another need for Dallas at safety. Swearinger is a very underrated safety prospect that could immediately start for Dallas in the backfield. He is an aggressive player who hits hard, can play well in zone and man, and is versatile enough to start at cornerback is asked. He takes away a liability and will be a key part of the defense.
Obviously, the above draft leaves some to be desired, such as RB and OL. But the defense will be hugely improved. I also expect the Cowboys to restructure contracts of Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware and Bradnon Carr, while also extending Tony Romo to free up in enough cap to resign Anthony Spencer, If they are able to do that, it just make the Kawaan Short and Sheldon Richardson draft choices look even better. Together, that defensive line could blow up the pocket put the QB on his back, and force him into bad throws, while also suffocating the run. If Dallas can make all those moves happen, this is what the Cowboys starting depth chart would look like:
QB: Tony Romo
RB: DeMarco Murray
TE: Jason Witten
TE2: James Hanna
WR1: Dez Bryant
WR2: Dwayne Harris
WR3: Marquise Goodwin
LT: Tyron Smith
LG: Nate Livings
C: Phil Costa
RG: Alvin Bailey
RT: Jeremy Parnell
The offensive line still pretty bad, but some of my notes are on the fact the Bailey will help the interior of the offensive line. Ronald Leary could also fight for some time as the LG. Nate Livings wasn’t good, but I think he can get the job done. Other than that, this offense would look pretty scary. Harris would struggle a bit on the outside, but I think Dez and Goodwin would be the two main receivers, because Goodwin has the size and speed to be a headache for the defenses from the inside.
DE: DeMarcus Ware
DT: Sheldon Richardson
DT: Kawaan Short
DE: Anthony Spencer
OLB: Bruce Carter
MLB: Sean Lee
OLB: Alex Albright
CB: Morris Claiborne
S: D.J. Swearinger
CB: Brandon Carr
This defense would look pretty good as well. Albright and Sensabaugh don’t really live up to what the rest of the defenses talent will be, but those two will be carried by the talent around them. If Dallas can make these picks and have the roster, I thnk both units, mainly the defense, can lead this team to the postseason again.