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2013 BTB's Writers Mock Draft: The Dallas Cowboys Select...

The Front Pagers are knee deep in a mock draft exercise that has brought us to picks 18-32; coincidentally kicking off with the Cowboys selection.

When we last left this exercise, the Cowboys were on the clock with a little bit of a dilemna depending on your point of view. If you were in the camp that Dallas needs to walk away with an offensive lineman with Pick 18, you might have been crushed to watch Jonathan Cooper, the last of the Elite 5 go to the Rams at pick 16. If you wanted one of the three stud defensive tackles, then your dreams were dashed when Carolina plucked Sheldon Richardson at 14 after the Star and The Sharrif were off the board already.

Eyeing that safety? Too bad. Not only was Kenny Vaccaro taken, but so was Jonathan Cyprien. To a lot of people, this draft ended up being a worst case scenario.

But all is not lost. We ran a poll to see which direction you all would like O.C.C. to go with the selection. There was a tight race, but Alabama RT DJ Fluker came out on top vote getter amongst prospects. He barely edged out Florida State DE Bjorn Werner, 265 votes to 247. They both were defeated however, but the option of trying to trade down to gain more picks.

So how exactly did O.C.C. navigate the pick? How did the rest of the first round shake out? Take a look.

BTB Writer's Mock Draft: Selections 18-32

Pick Player GM
18. Dallas Cowboys Bjorn Werner, DE, Florida State OCC
Bjoern Werner is a great run stopper and exceptional pass rusher who’ll help kick-start the Cowboys’ new 4-3 defense. Werner is the best pure 4-3 defensive end in this draft, is athletic enough to get around to the QB yet is strong enough to play the run. Before the Combine, Werner was widely touted as the top defensive player in the draft. A lackluster Combine showing has seen his stock fall in some quarters, but his film does not lie, and neither does his performance: Over the last two years, his track record track record against premier college competition is one of the best in the country. In 27 games, Werner collected 20 sacks and 29 TFLs for a production ratio of 1.81. DL-coach Rod Marinelli breaks out in an impromptu dance routine in the war room when the pick is announced.
19. NY Giants DJ Fluker, OT Alabama Rabble
This pick came down to three players: Fluker, Georgia LB Alec Ogletree and Florida St. DE Tank Carradine. Although well aware that this wouldn't be the way Giants GM Jerry Reece would operate, I went with Fluker because the other guys are riskier prospects and, with the Giants line aging and fading, Fluker represents the greatest area of present need. He'll allow the Giants to kick David Diehl back inside to OG, thus improving two OL positions.
20.Chicago Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State Tom
With cornerback one of the top needs for the Bears, they are thrilled to see Rhodes, who they had at 16 on their board, still available. He is big at 6'1" and 210 lbs, and most importantly is ready, willing and able to play press coverage, something not many college corners bring to the table. He has some things to work on, but he should be a big help for the Chicago defense.
21. Cincinnati Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State Joey
Last year, rookie Vontaze Burfict had a great rookie campaign playing on the weakside, but the rest of the Bengals LB's were a different story, Arthur Brown is a 3 down LB who while slightly undersized has been extremely productive at Kansas State. Mike Zimmer is ecstatic to have Brown to put with Burfict to continue the revamping of the LB corp. This pair will give Zimmer choices as to who plays Mike and Will and give him another playmaker who can really run to the ball and make a ton of tackles.
22. St. Louis Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia Archie
This shall be known as the RG3 pick and I wanted to make a splash here. Even before Danny Amendola left, the Rams needed to add more firepower to their offense. I have Austin rated as the most explosive player in this draft and he could be Percy Harvin without the drama. Austin can be used in a similar role and line up all over the field, but he also allows Chris Givens and Brian Quick to play the outside.
23.Green Bay Datone Jones, DE, UCLA Rabble
TRADE NOTE: GB gives 26+122+159+193 MIN gives 23 + 155
Wanting to bolster their sagging three-man defensive front with the top 3-4 DE in the draft, the Packers know they have to jump the Colts, who also have a huge need at the position. Green Bay gives up fourth and sixth rounders and swaps fifth rounders in order to secure the services of Jones, a big, explosive player who offers a solid anchor and a good pass rush from the 5-tech."
24. Indianapolis Keenan Allen, WR, California Coty
Reggie Wayne is getting old, and the Colts will be looking for a star receiver to grow with Andrew Luck. Desmond Trufant wasn't as appealing, and Datone Jones was snatched from their grasp the pick before. Still, the Colts feel that offense wins both games and championships, and would prefer to load up on that side of the ball.
25. Miami Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M Tom
With the team needs, players available, and the shape their board was in, it came down to pretty much a tossup between Moore or TE Tyler Effert of Notre Dame - and a pass rusher trumps a TE every time. The Dolphins are not scared off by the low reps on lifts for Moore (although they are sending him directions and a 24 hour pass to the team weight room), but are impressed by his game tape and experience in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. Now, the 'phins can sit back and contemplate what they will do with three mid-second round picks.
26. Minnesota DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson Joey
After maknig the splash trade of the draft so far to move up and select DT Star Lotulelei, Minnesota turns their attention to the offensive side of the ball, and looks to give QB Christian Ponder another weapon. The signing of Greg Jennings helped, & with this pick the VIkings now have options on the outside to take pressure off of Adrian Peterson and open up room inside for TE Kyle Rudolph. Hopkins was the Vikings target at the 23rd pick before shuffling back a few spots, and they are excited to see him available at 26.
27. Houston Kawann Short, DT, Purdue OCC
The Texans plugged the hole in their secondary by signing Ed Reed, and now plug the hole in the middle of their defensive line with Kawann Short. It used to be that teams would put their most athletic linemen at the tackle position, but they may have to rethink that when they play the Texans: With Short and J.J. Watt, the Texans have a duo that will unleash a holy terror against vastly overmatched interior offensive linemen. Short’s Production Ratio over his junior and senior seasons is 1.79. That's J.J. Watt territory (1.85) - and Purdue and Wisconsin play in the same conference, so those numbers are as comparable as it gets. Short has been a wrecking ball for offensive lines almost his entire college career, and he could be the final piece that makes the Texans defense a top five unit in the NFL.
28. Denver Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina Coty
The Broncos needed a Defensive Tackle, and they picked a guy in Sylvester Williams who looks the part. He has a reputation for his work ethic, although he didn't always show up on the field. He has a body that's pretty close to NFL-ready with decent production at a good school, and that's all the Broncos can ask for at the bottom of the first round.
29. New England Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Archie
TRADE NOTE: MIN gives 25, 52, & 83 MIA gives 12 & 108
The Patriots managed to bring back both Aqib Talib and Kyle Arrington so that was why I decided to pass on Desmond Trufant. Tom Brady needs a wide receiver who can play on the outside and go up and get the football. Wide receiver is a serious need for the Pats and Hunter has the talent, size and athleticism that makes sense for them. Hunter needs to work on some of his technical issues, but he can come in and immediately upgrade the receiver position.
30. Atlanta Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State KD
Rise Up, indeed. The Falcons started targeting Carradine as soon as the other DEs were slow to come off the board and are estatic he lasted until their pick. The FSU rush end had the skills to be a top 5 pick before his knee injury. I can't tell you how many draftniks watch film of this guy and immediately tweet about how impressed they are in his pass rushing skills. The Falcons biggest need, if they do sign an end as rumored, their biggest weakness could become a strength in the blink of an eye with Carradine on board.
31. San Francisco Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame KD
Tyler Eifert and Vernon Davis makes this an unstoppable offense. San Fran doesn't need much help along the offensive line, but Kaepernick could definitely use some help with the addition of better targets. While there was much thought given to taking one of the wideouts, when Hopkins went off the board a few picks ago, the decision was best tight end over fifth best receiver. Eifert reminds many of Heath Miller, great hands, great in traffic. In addition, SF redshirted a WR last year and might not be ready to write of AJ Jenkins. With a gluttony of picks, they can look for value at the receiver position later.
32. Baltimore Kevin Minter, LB, LSU Coty
The Ravens are looking to replace Ray Lewis, but not completely. They hope Joe Flacco will become the new face and voice of the franchise, and have apparently accommodated that (Ed Reed, who infamously criticized Flacco's mental toughness, is now gone). They still need a body on the field in the middle of their defense, however, and Minter fills that role. If he becomes more than that, this will be viewed as a very successful pick.
Prior Picks Selections 1-17 Review
1 Kansas City Luke Joeckel 2 Jacksonville Geno Smith 3 Oakland Dion Jordan 4 Philadelphia Eric Fisher 5 Detroit Dee Milliner 6 Cleveland Jarvis Jones 7 Arizona Lane Johnson 8 Buffalo Barkevious Mingo 9 NY Jets Kenny Vacarro 10 Tennessee Chance Warmack 11 San Diego Sharrif Floyd 12 Minnesota Star Lotulelei 13 Tampa Ezekiel Ansah 14 Carolina Sheldon Richardson 15 New Orleans Jonathan Cyprien 16 St. Louis Jonathan Cooper 17 Pittsburgh Cordarelle Patterson

Here's an in-depth look back at the first half of the first round. So what do you think BTB? What's your assessment of our first round?

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