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NFL Mock Drafts 2013: Re-Mocking Cowboys Drafts With

Draftek published their latest consensus mock draft today. We propose an alternative re-mock based on their mock and ask Drafttek's Long Ball to critique our efforts.

Chris Chambers

A few days ago, Drafttek published their updated, post-Combine big board, and today they followed it up with a brand new seven-round mock draft. The thing I really like about an extended mock like Drafttek's is that it doesn't exist in a vacuum like single-team mocks do, where you can just pick and choose the prospects for your team irrespective of where they are slotted and what other teams would do.

Instead, because the Drafttek mock has every team making a pick, it limits the number of available candidates for your team. What I like to do when I browse through the Drafttek mock is to look at which player I would have chosen for the Cowboys instead of the player proposed in the original mock. And as we've done a couple of times over the last few weeks, that's exactly what I'll do again today as I attempt a re-mock of Drafttek's consensus mock draft and see if I can come up with an equally enticing alternative mock.

There's just one simple rule: the player I choose instead of the pick proposed by Drafttek must be ranked lower in their mock draft than where the Cowboys are picking.

Drafttek's Long Ball has once again kindly agreed to provide some perspective on the re-mock, and you'll find his musings below our two mock drafts:

RD Drafttek’s picks Players I’d pick instead (in this mock)
1 Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina - 6'2", 311
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri - 6'2", 294
Ol' Long Ball has just about had it! I'm tired of Cuzzin Jerruh "going for the sizzle, not the steak", so I'll show you "Where's the Beef?" with this simulation . . . it's time to re-load both lines! Dallas re-signed Phil Costa for 2 years (for a lower amount in 2013 than his RFA tender would have been), so he and "Killer" Kowalski will most likely battle for the starting Center position, relegating Ryan Cook to back-up status. Whaddaya say we do the same for either Mackenzy Bernadeau or Nate Livings? The Cowboys are weak in the interior of their OL, evidenced by the pressure Romo faced coming straight up the middle and the inability of the team to consistently gain yardage rushing the ball (with the exception of Murray bouncing a play outside). Jonathan Cooper, a potential 3-position prospect (OC/OG), may be the most athletic OG in this year's draft, consistently getting to the 2nd level , which will allow Jason Garrett to pull more blockers to lead running plays . . . but he also packs a punch with an Explosion Factor (read Pat Kirwan's "Take Your Eyes Off The Ball") approaching 72 (Combine results: 35 bench reps, 27 vertical, 9'4" broad). I would have loved to take Jonathan Cooper here, but Long Ball has dibs on Cooper, so I go with the best player available here, and that to me is Richardson. With the presumed starters Ratliff and Hatcher both already over 30 years of age, the Cowboys could use an infusion of young, premier talent along the interior DL. Richardson is probably a top ten talent, who gets pushed down pretty far in this mock, and the Cowboys gobble him up. Richardson exceeded the athletic markers in all four events he participated in at the Combine. He is one of the most explosive players in this year's draft and has a solid record of production in college. The Cowboys get a top-tier, gap-penetrating defensive tackle for Monte Kiffin’s new 4-3 defense. Richardson is the type of explosive 3-technique that will solidify a defensive line for years, and he'll be the central piece to Kiffin's "Tampa-2", where the 3-technique DT, or undertackle, is the motor of the entire defense. Also, Richardson has the the kind of attitude and swagger that will have Jason Garrett swooning over him.
2 Kawann Short, DT Purdue - 6'3", 299
Tank Carradine, DT, Florida State - 6'4", 276

The Cowboys recorded a franchise-low number of sacks in 2012, accumulating only 34.0 for the season . . . and 26.5 of those came from the LB positions (somewhere, Bob Lilly, Randy White, Too-Tall Jones and the ghost of Harvey Martin are singing the old Beatle tune "Yesterday"). That will just not cut it for the new 4-3 "Tampa-2" defense that new DC Monte Kiffin will be installing . . . and the defensive philosophy is built upon pressure from the defensive line, most notably the 3-technique DT disrupting the interior (does anyone remember Warren Sapp?) Dallas has potential candidates on the roster for the position, but pass-rushers are always at a premium. Kawann Short, despite being slowed by an ankle injury during the middle of the season, was productive in 2012, recording 43 tackles, 15.5 for a loss, 7.0 sacks, 4 passes broken up, 4 blocked kicks and a forced fumble. He was unable to run at the Combine due to an injury, but I have no doubt his Pro Day will be outstanding. But don't take my word for it . . . watch him in action as two of his sacks came against #1 Notre Dame. Carradine has been screaming up the draft boards despite not taking part in the Combine. But news that Carradine would work out at his Pro Day, despite still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in November, has rocketed Carradine into first-round contention on some boards. Mind you, pre-injury Carradine was already a strong contender for a first round spot. Carradine displayed first round talent and production in his senior season (12 games, 80 tackles, 13 TFL, 11 sacks) and has a career production ratio of 1.50. And in addition to his pass rushing skills (16.5 sacks in two seasons) Carradine is an even better run stopper, which fits the profile of what the Cowboys want in a strongside DE perfectly. The Cowboys have a great track record of drafting injured players on the second day, and if their medical staff greenlights Carradine, the Cowboys will get a steal with one of the most talented pass-rushers in this year's draft - and at 6'4", 276 pounds. Carradine is the prototypical DE.
3 Menelik Watson, ROT, Florida State - 6'-5", 310
Brian Schwenke, OG/OC, California - 6'3", 314
There’s something about destiny . . . I had grabs on Kyle Long, Brennan Williams and my pet cat this year, Menelik Watson. His combine numbers don’t take away from this fact: the best illustration of just how valuable Watson was to FSU in 2012 is how the team performed without him. Watson didn't start against N.C. State or Wake Forrest, as he dealt with an ankle injury. In those two games, FSU allowed 7 sacks. Although the former boxer and Division I basketball player for Marist College didn't start playing football until his sophomore season at Saddleback College (CA), there is no mistaking his footwork and athleticism . . . something sorely needed on the right side of the Cowboys’ OL. Schwenke put up outstanding measurables at the Combine, exceeding the targets for a lineman in five of seven drills. He beat Jonathan Cooper in the 40, the 10-yard split, the short shuttle and the 3-cone, matched him in the broad jump, and got beat by half an inch in the vertical and four reps on the bench press. Schwenke looked really good at the Senior Bowl where he played canter, but he can play guard just as well: he started games at three different positions during his college career, making 16 starts at left guard, 12 at center and eight at right guard. He's very explosive off his snap, gets his hands on his target very quickly, and with a 4.99 40-time has the speed to be an effective blocker in the zone scheme the Cowboys are likely to favor.
4 Cornelius Washington, DE, Georgia - 6'4", 265
Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, 6'5", 306

News flash: Cowboys franchise Anthony Spencer once again! Now that doesn’t mean he won’t be traded, but whether he is on the roster in 2013 or not, I believe there are candidates on the Cowboys roster to play strong-side DE (Jason Hatcher perhaps, Tyrone Crawford, Ben Bass, hell even Jarvis Moss) but we need to develop another speed rusher on the weak side to spell DeMarcus Ware (if not to plan for a defensive future without him). How about a clone of him physically? 4th round can be a developmental position . . . allow me to introduce Cornelius Washington – 6’4", 265 lbs, 34" arms, 9.5" hands, 4.55 forty, 36 reps, 39" vertical, 10’8" broad (explosion = 86). Armstead is already scheduled for a pre-draft visit with the Cowboys. Up close, they'll get to see an outstanding athlete for the position who dominated the Combine. Ultra-fast for his size and athletic on the move, he is the prototype of what offensive tackles will should look like in the future. He's already shown a knack for getting to the second level and cut off linebackers, which leads me to believe he can be an immediate impact player for the Cowboys, though maybe not as a tackle: Armstead will be a terrific blocking tight end (or extra tackle, whatever you want to call it) and I'd use him in that role right away while preparing him to take over the tackle spot in a year or two. Even at 306 pounds, Armstead would have been the seventh fastest tight end at the Combine, and linebackers across the league would think twice about going up against a charging Armstead.
5 Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia - 6'0", 216
Zaviar Gooden, OLB, Missouri - 6'1", 234

So long Gerald Sensabaugh . . . I had a grab on D.J. Swearinger but he was selected earlier by Detroit in the same round, so I opted for a big CB to play Safety. Sanders Commings is 6’0", 216 lbs, clocked a 4.41 forty, 34.5" vertical and 9’9" broad. And if we’re truly looking for a "center-fielder" type FS, Commings played CF in baseball as well, drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008. In 2012, he recorded 55 tackles, 4 for loss, 12 passes defended, 1 interception, 1 forced and recovered fumble in all 14 games as a starter. Commings shifted back into safety in some formations for Georgia so the transition should be an easy one. Gooden outperformed all linebackers at the Combine, recording the fastest 40-time, short shuttle, 3-cone and long shuttle, and placing among the best in all other drills. He's an extremely fast and fluid linebacker with an aggressive attitude who projects as a Will linebacker and a special teams demon. You can do a lot worse in the fifth round.
6 Michael Williams, TE, Alabama - 6'6", 270
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State - 6'1", 230

You say you want a blocking TE to get that running game around the corner??? I want the same thing, so let’s get the Tide Bulldozer (6’6", 270 lbs, 32-3/4" arms, 10-1/8" hands) for our power attack. I like former DL prospects who convert to the OL side . . . they have a "nastiness" about the way they finish their blocks. Williams didn't produce overwhelming statistics for a three-year starter, but he was often asked to stay home and block. The Tide's offensive line has been the best in college football the past few years and Williams is a large part of that as the unsung glue of the Alabama offense. He won't wow athletically or with speed, but his blocking ability makes him an attractive option for the Cowboys’ 2 (or even 3) TE package. I've heard enough about the "Jitterbug" or "change-of-pace-back" the Cowboys should pick. What the Cowboys need is a back who can replace DeMarco Murray if Murray has to sit out with an injury - as has been the case every season so far. Pound-for-pound, Bell is the second fastest runner in this year's draft class, with a speed score of 110.2. Murray, at 6’0" and 213 lbs had a speed score of 112.6, and Bell could be a runner who can come in and handle 20+ carries for a few games the next time Murray misses a month, without the Cowboys offense missing a beat. This is a guy who compares favorably to LaGarette Blount in terms of size and power and pure "ground and pound" ability. He' also a solid pass catcher and has the size (the skills he'll need to learn) to be a good pass protector.

In this mock, I originally wanted to go OL-high, and was quite disappointed to see both Cooper and Warmack gone. And as I scanned the available players in the first and second round I quickly realized that there wasn't a single lineman left that I'd consider the best player available for my top two picks. But with my top two guys I've put my house in order along the defensive line for the next decade, and that's a definite plus.

I then chose two offensive linemen in succession, and believe I scored a win with both of them, but Terron Armstead in the fourth could be the steal of the draft, and I find the idea of initially using him in a blocking TE role highly intriguing.

Bell and Gooden round out my mock draft in which I've chosen players with elite athleticism in every single round, and most of those prospects have a track record of production to go along with their athleticism. Of course, Cooper and Short would have been two great picks as well in the top rounds, but I'm just as comfortable with the alternative selections here.

Here are Long Ball's thoughts on the re-mock:

I was sick and tired of being "politically correct" and since we’re getting ever closer to "the real draft" and I’ll have to put myself inside the collective heads of the Dallas braintrust for what I think they will really do (yeah, like I know), I decided to GO BIG in this simulation: OL/DL/OL/DL before addressing the safety position and then big again, back to a blocking TE.

I can’t say anything real negative about OCC’s selections; however, when I look at the Cowboys’ existing roster and analyze players for the DL versus the OL, I can put a pretty good starting foursome on the field (LDE Spencer or Hatcher, LDT Lissemore, RDT Ratliff, RDE Ware) and go 2-deep (LDE Crawford, RDT Bass or Price) at 2 positions. On the OL, I can only go 1-deep at LOT and the rest are either back-ups or off the roster . . . so why would I invest both my 1st and 2nd round selections on the DL?

Cooper is a Day One starter . . . I just doubled the quality of the Dallas OL, Short plays the 3-technique, allowing Ratliff to start at LDT and now I have 2-deep at 3 of the 4 DL positions. Watson and Parnell allow Jones to take a hard-line stance with Free on a reduced contract, freeing up cap space, Washington becomes Ware’s back-up (now we’re 2-deep at every DL position so we can platoon), Commings is insurance in case Matt Johnson’s hamstrings are made of the same stuff as Miles Austin’s and Michael Williams will make everyone forget Marty B.

I have 2 centers . . . one is 6’3" . . . hey, the other one is 6’3" . . . one weighs 313 . . . the other weighs 314 . . . one has 32" arms . . . hey, the other one has 32" arms. Now, to make it easy for you, I’ll give you the names: one is Brian Schwenke . . . the other is Phil Costa. I like Armstead and think he has potential; however, OCC jinxed him by taking him in the 4th round. Name another small school OT Dallas selected in the 4th round . . . (I’ll give you a hint, his salary needs to be reduced!)

Gooden is a player and fast . . . Commings is faster . . . so which position is higher on the "Cowboy Need Meter", FS or OLB? Bell is good value in the 6th and I considered him but I think the Cowboys may go the F/A route for RB this year . . . the position has become somewhat of a commodity and I think there are deals to be done.

Now that I’m through picking on OCC, I can say I would be happy with either result or combination thereof . . . but we’re using logic here and although it would be nice to dream, we all have to prepare ourselves for Jerry trading up in the 1st round for glitz and glamour.

So there you have it. Drafttek vs. BTB. Which mock do you prefer, and what would you do differently?