ESPN's NFC East blogger Dan Graziano has been one of the most vocal proponents of the Cowboys drafting an offensive lineman with their first pick. And he remains staunchly adamant that one of the top five offensive linemen (Tackles Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson as well as guards Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper) will be available for the Cowboys at #18:
"There are five offensive linemen -- three tackles and two guards -- in the top 10 on Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest Big Board. Only once in the past 15 years -- 2008 -- have five offensive linemen been taken in the first 17 picks. One of these guys will fall to 18, or far enough that the Cowboys can move up a spot or two without sacrificing their second-round pick this time."
Today, our sister site on SB Nation, Mocking The Draft, unveiled a mock in which the unthinkable - at least in Graziano's projection - happened: The top five offensive linemen are long gone by the time the Cowboys get ready to make their choice. And not just by one or two spots either: The last of the top five to go was Lane Johnson, and he was picked in the eleventh spot by the Chargers. So much for that.
This of course leaves Cowboys fans in a conundrum: Who do you pick if the top five offensive linemen are gone when the Cowboys are on the clock?
Dan Kadar of MTD suggests that pick should be Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson:
The Cowboys would be fortunate to land a gap-splitting defensive tackle like Richardson with this pick. He's by far the best player available, though his attitude may rub some teams the wrong way. Moving to a 4-3 defense, Richardson is the exact kind of three-technique the Cowboys need.
It's hard to fault that choice when you look at which prospects were left on MTD's latest mock.Some choices could have been:
19 (Giants): Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
21 (Bengals): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
22 (Rams): Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
24 (Colts): Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
25 (Seahawks): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
3ß (Falcons): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
31 (49ers): D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
Another interesting point about this mock is that there are a number of players moving up into the first round who had until recently been thought of a second- or even third round prospects like Carradine, Cyprien and even Swearinger.
Given the choices laid out above, who would have been your pick?