2014 Mock Draft Tracker: Defensive Line Or Bust?

Kevin C. Cox

Friday is mock draft day here on BTB and we have 20 of the freshest and juiciest mocks handpicked for your mock draft pleasure.

The world of mock drafts is like an oriental bazaar, with draftniks peddling their mock drafts from tightly packed stalls, one more garish than the other.

It's a treacherous place, full of dimly lit back rooms where supposed insider information is handed out under the table. Where mocks way past their sell-by date are given a new paint job and sold for a fee. Where fake or improperly assembled mocks are being offered to you by click-junkies who'll claim they are the real thing.

We have braved that lawless frontier to bring you only the good stuff: a wide selection of the freshest (published since last Friday) mock drafts out there. So here it is, all the mock draft goodness to satisfy your mock draft needs as we review 20 brand new mock drafts.

Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
CBSSports (Kirwan) Apr 25 Comment: "The Cowboys are desperate for quality players in the defensive line and many believe Jernigan is the next best after Donald. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli could fool all of us with a different person in this spot, but for now all I can tell Jernigan is that he better be in great shape for his new coach."
NFL.com (Baldinger) Apr 24 Comment: "The Cowboys need to strengthen the trenches. Jernigan has violent hands and can help plug holes to free up the linebackers behind him. "
CBSSports (Rang), Apr 22 Comment: " Jernigan, athletic, powerful and just scratching the surface of his potential would give Dallas the interior duo needed for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's scheme to be successful."
SI.com (Banks), Apr 22 Comment: "The Cowboys have looked locked in on first-round defensive tackles for obvious reasons, but with Aaron Donald long gone, you wonder if the presence of Michigan's Taylor Lewan or Notre Dame's Zack Martin could prompt Dallas to address its weakness at right offensive tackle. The Cowboys love to move around in the first round, but for now, we're sticking with Jernigan at No. 16 given the need for bodies on the defensive line. The addition of ex-Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton didn't solve all the problems up front."
Zack Martin, OT/OG, Notre Dame
Drafttek.com,
Apr 23
Comment: " Zack Martin can learn the NFL game inside at OG in 2014 and become a potential replacement for Doug Free (who is a Free Agent in 2015) at ROT. Not your typical "Notre Dame OL"; footwork is extremely good, keeps his feet under him, plays with his butt low to accentuate his power on blocking technique."
Yahoosports (Edholm), Apr 22 Comment: "It has to kill Jerry Jones not to be able to draft an impact defender or even pull the trigger on, say, Johnny Manziel. This is a draft loaded with intriguing upside players, and yet we’re projecting them a very safe, sound pick. Why? It’s a need, with Martin able to start Day 1 at guard and kick out to right tackle next year when the team has to consider cutting Doug Free."
CBSSports (Brugler), Apr 21 Comment: "Defensive line or bust here, right? If the Cowboys top targets (namely Aaron Donald) are gone here and they are unable to trade back, Martin would be an excellent consolation prize and give the offensive line some stability."
Rotoworld (Silva), Apr 18 Comment: "Martin's short arms (32 7/8") will likely kick him inside after he made 52 starts at tackle for the Irish, but Dallas' biggest offensive line need just so happens to be guard. The Cowboys will be one of football's pass-happiest teams under new OC Scott Linehan, who runs a spread-style offense. Martin could afford to get stronger, but will be a sturdy pass protector from day one."
Anthony Barr, OLB/DE, UCLA
The Big Lead (McIntyre), Apr 25 Comment: "Jerry Jones channels his inner Al Davis and goes for an athletic freak who isn’t technically-sound, but has a ton of upside. In a draft thin on edge pass rushers, I like Barr a lot, but Peter King hears Barr is "cold.""
NFP (Gabriel), Apr 22 Comment: "This pick may look a little off the wall, but Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli needs an edge rusher for his scheme to work. They signed Henry Melton in free agency to play the three-technique and Barr will provide the outside pass rush. He needs to add a little bulk and increase his upper body strength, but the traits are there for him to become a dominant edge rusher for years to come."
NFL.com (Davis), Apr 21 Comment: "One of the top pass rushers in the draft and a bargain pick for the Cowboys, who might make him a full-time DE."
Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Foxsports (Klatt), Apr 22 Comment: "Finishing 30th in the NFL in any defensive category is not good, but when it'€™s pass defense you are not going to be an elite team. Dallas needs help in several areas, but they need it most in the secondary and Pryor is a terrific player with a well-rounded game. He is physical and downhill in the run game and can hold his own in coverage deep or in the slot. His versatility is exactly what the Cowboys need."
DraftAce (McCrystal),
Apr 18
Comment: "It’s a tough call to not place a defensive lineman in this slot, but the entire defensive line class is vastly overrated and I’m expected some guys to fall. The Cowboys can get better value and still fill a glaring hole with Calvin Pryor. He’s a versatile safety who could probably player either position, but should fit nicely at free safety in Dallas."
Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
DraftReport (Easterling), Apr 25 Comment: "Jerry’s Boys obviously need to replace DeMarcus Ware, and though I’m skeptical of Ealy’s ability to be a consistent force as an edge rusher, his versatility in being able to slide inside on passing downs and create pressure from the 3-technique spot could make him the pick here."
Draft Countdown (Wright), Apr 21 Comment: "A rangy athlete with a large frame who moves very well, Ealy excels at getting after the quarterback by utilizing both speed and power. While not yet a great run defender Ealy possesses all of the tools to eventually be a terrific two-way player and offers plenty of upside."
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
NESN (Kyed), Apr 24 Comment: "Clinton-Dix might not last this long, but with the Cowboys’ need at safety, they would jump if he’s available. Clinton-Dix is a complete safety prospect."
CBSSports (Prisco),
Apr 23
Comment: "He has a chance to be nice, rangy free safety, which they need."
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Ourlads, Apr. 25 Comment: "Aaron Donald is a scheme specific 4-3 under-tackle who explodes off the ball and is a slippery leverage player. Long arms to bat down passes. Works hard every play from snap to whistle. Always puts in a good day’s work. Good flexibility to dip and bend. Won the defensive player of the year sweepstakes collecting the Bednarik, Lombardi, Outland Trophy, and Nagurski Awards. Was unanimous All-America plus ACC Defensive Player of the Year."
Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
ECSports News (Fronczak), Apr 23 Comment: "The Cowboys are targeting two prospects in the first round for their pick and DT Donald has already come off the board...Shazier is said to be a personal favorite of owner Jerry Jones."
Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
SI.com (Burke & Farrar), Apr 25 Comment: "Yes, the Cowboys need defensive end help as well, but let’s take a break from the Jerry Jones philosophy and not reach for need here. Actually, there is a need here as well, with Jason Hatcher departing to Washington. Hatcher was that rare player who could consistently get quarterback pressure from inside and outside, and Hageman, though still learning the ropes, has that same potential."
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