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Latest Don Banks Mock Has OLB Courtney Upshaw To The Cowboys

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Could Courtney Upshaw (#41) be the Cowboys long term solution as the strongside outside linebacker?
Could Courtney Upshaw (#41) be the Cowboys long term solution as the strongside outside linebacker?

Don Banks from SI.com released his latest mock draft, version 4.0 today, and he has the Cowboys selecting Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw with the 14th pick. Here's his rationale:

DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama, 6-2, 265

The Cowboys have to like their position, because they're going to be in line to fill a need no matter which direction they go. Safety Mark Barron or guard David DeCastro would be solid picks, but in Upshaw they get another edge pass-rush talent to plug into their 3-4 defense.

As we found out yesterday, Upshaw is one of the 30 national prospects that the Cowboys have invited for a pre-draft visit, which gives the idea that the Cowboys may draft him a little more merit.

But what is perhaps even more interesting is to look at which prospects Banks has the Cowboys passing on - specifically on those prospects that also received an invitation to visit the Cowboys. You may want to check out the full mock draft by following this link, as we are going to reference it in more detail after the break.

The interesting about Don Banks' Mock Draft v. 4.0 is that only one of the prospects the Cowboys invited for a pre-draft visit this week is off the board by the time the Cowboys are on the clock:

Georgia OT/OG Cordy Glenn is taken by the Cardinals with the 13th pick, according to Banks. The Cowboys then select Courtney Upshaw, which leaves at least four prospects on the board that the Cowboys are visiting with this week. In sequence, these are:

  • #15 DT Fletcher Cox to the Eagles
  • #16 SS Mark Barron to the Jets
  • #17 OG David DeCastro to the Bengals
  • #21 CB Dre Kirkpatrick to the Bengals

OLB Whitney Mercilus (#18 to the Chargers) and CB Stephon Gilmore (#20 to the Titans) have been linked to potential visits with the Cowboys, but we don't have any confirmation yet. Follow this link for the latest Pre-Draft Visit Tracker.

Upshaw hasn't really had much of a lobby among Cowboys fans, and this is one of the first times we've seen him mocked this high. But along with Melvin Ingram and Whitney Mercilus, he's one of three rush linebackers expected to go in the first round.

The question is though, should the Cowboys pick him over Fletcher Cox, Mark Barron, David DeCastro or Dre Kirkpatrick?