Yes, the Cowboys take a defensive tackle in the latest Todd McShay draft. Unfortunately, the thing that many feared would happen is starting to happen - Aaron Donald may no longer be a possibility for the Cowboys at #16. At one point, Donald was actually considered a target for the Cowboys, but there was some thought that it may be in the second round! Now, after a sterling Senior Bowl and Combine performance, Donald has launched himself all the way up to #14 to the Chicago Bears. Of course the Bears defense is very similar to the Cowboys, so a disruptive 3-tech defensive tackle would be just what they're looking for, too.
So instead of Aaron Donald, McShay gives the Cowboys Timmy Jernigan.
Timmy Jernigan Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
COLLEGE: Florida State AGE: 21 HT: 6-1 WT: 299 POS: DT
Analysis: Donald is a great fit here if he drops, but Jernigan brings a lot of value as a 3-technique defensive tackle in this system as well. He is very strong and quick versus the run, and I love his motor and awareness -- he just isn't as fast or smooth as Donald. The Cowboys need help all along their defensive line and in their secondary, and Jernigan could come in and make an impact.
In Mike Mayock's latest position rankings, Donald has moved to the top of the defensive tackles. But holding steady at #2 for Mayock is Jernigan.
OCC broke down the Combine numbers for defensive tackles, you can review that here.
Here's what Jernigan had to say after the Combine:
Mayock's Post-Combine Top 5 Players Per Position
Mike Mayock released an updated, post-Combine version of his top five players per position. We look at the top front seven prospects as we review how Mayock's rankings have changed since his pre-Combine version from mid-February.
Jernigan, who was dominant during his final season at Florida State, ran a 5.06 in the 40-yard dash.
While that number isn't all that important for linemen, Jernigan's 10-yard split on his two 40-yard dash attempts were unofficially clocked at 1.72 and 1.75 respectively.
"I definitely wanted to just come out here and just show my ability to move," Jernigan said during an on-field interview with the NFL Network. "Playing at Florida State we were in a basic three-man front. We did a lot of two-gapping, reading and reacting. So I never really had a chance to just come off the ball and show how athletic I was.
"At the end of the day, I just wanted to come out there and be able to show my athleticism."
Jernigan, who draft analysts consider a first-round talent, also showed off his power and versatility during the on-field drills.
"I can handle anywhere along the defensive line," Jernigan said. "I feel like I'm probably the most complete defensive lineman in this draft. There's great (defensive) ends out here, great (nose tackles) out here, but at the end of the day, I feel like I've got the better edge of just playing anywhere along the front, in any type of scheme."
Enjoy some Timmy Jernigan highlights.