John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
The Cowboys have many needs in the upcoming draft, with the offensive and defensive lines heading the lists of most observers. But could safety sneak into their first-round draft plans?
For a while now, safety Kenny Vaccaro out of the University of Texas has been the top-rated safety on most boards. It just so happens that safety is a position of need for the Dallas Cowboys. Vaccaro revealed at the combine that the Cowboys have invited him for a visit to Valley Ranch.
Vacccaro is generally rated to be a first-round talent, meaning that if the Cowboys really want him, they would almost certainly have use their 18th pick in the first round to get him if he's still available. While many think that defensive line is the position of need on defense, Stephen Jones had a different idea.
"If there is a need on defense to me the biggest need is going to be safety," Jones said. "You got Church coming off an Achilles and obviously we really like everything we saw in Matt Johnson other than he couldn't get healthy."
Vaccaro has received some high praise from the scouts, including Mike Mayock.
Vaccaro is the one that more tape I watched, the more I liked him. They played him closer to the line of scrimmage this year. He covered a bunch of slots this year. Watching (him) cover Tavon Austin at West Virginia, that's rare. In today's world, that's rare and it's important.
And I think his coverage ability is quick feet. He's tough as nails. He tackles. He looks to me, I've never met him, but it looks on tape like he loves the game. I have trouble thinking he's going to get past 15 or 20 even though safeties don't go that high. I think he'll be gone in the first 15 picks.
The Cowboys have an unsettled mix at safety. Barry Church is returning from his Achilles injury and no one is quite certain how well he be able to play, it sometimes takes a while for a player to reach top form after that kind of injury. The Cowboys have also let it be known that they'd like Church to work more in the box in Monte Kiffin's 4-3 scheme and would like a playmaker on the back end.
Gerald Sensabaugh is under contract and could possibly fill that role, but there's plenty of speculation that he could be a cap-casualty because of his $3 million price tag. Draftee Matt Johnson was injured all year in 2012, so the Cowboys have no idea exactly what they have in him.
Could Kenny Vaccaro be their answer? Would you be happy with that choice?