One week, everybody. Just one more week. Soon, mock drafts will be just a memory and we'll have the real thing to talk about. But, not yet. The interminable wait for the 2014 NFL draft rolls on and mock drafts keep on coming. Today, we get a combo draft where Mel Kiper and Todd McShay alternate picks for three rounds. It's also not a draft where they try to project what teams might do, but instead they choose who they think is the best pick for each team. This relies heavily on their own draft boards of prospects as opposed to trying to get in the head of NFL GMs.
Here's how the Cowboys did in this mock.
16. Kiper's pick: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Analysis: Adding help on the defensive line is a big priority, but I just don't see the value here with Donald off the board. Adding a big addition in coverage at a position of need makes sense.
It seems that the ESPN duo is determined to give the Cowboys a safety, either HaHa Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor. Even though the team didn't bring in either of them on an official visit. Now, I'm not saying this couldn't happen, but with Anthony Barr still on the board (goes #30 to the 49ers), I just don't believe it. Neither does Bill Polian.
Shortly after Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both had the Cowboys picking a safety in their latest mock drafts, former NFL general manager Bill Polian handed out a little football 101 to the two draftniks:
"Defensive line. Pass rush. In the Tampa-2, which is what Dallas plays, you have to rush the front four," Polian said. "Take Barr from UCLA. He'll be fine. He's got all the right numbers as a seven or nine technique, which is where he'll play. His lack of physicality against the run won't be a liability. He's a much better pick than the safety."
Amen. Although if Aaron Donald, Anthony Barr and Zack Martin are off the board, and the Cowboys can't find a suitable trade back partner, I'm not opposed to drafting Clinton-Dix.
On to the second round:
47. McShay's pick: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Analysis: This is a steal. Jernigan is a top-25 prospect who fills a need and is a great fit for our defense -- and we're getting him at No. 47 overall. Between Kiper's pick of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 16 and Jernigan here, the Cowboys are getting two very good defensive players.
Can't argue with the value here. If Jernigan actually did fall this far and the Cowboys didn't draft Aaron Donald in the first round, they'd be all over this pick.
78. Kiper's pick: David Yankey, G, Stanford
Analysis: I like my situation at tackle with Tyron Smith now a star and Doug Free coming off a solid season, and Travis Frederick is the answer at center. But a guard addition is a necessity, and Yankey not only provides an upgrade, but can also fill in at tackle in case of injury.
Yankey's ratings are all over the board. I've seen guys have him on the cusp of the first round or early second. Others have him deep in the fourth round. At one time he was a highly thought of prospect but his stock seems to have dropped.
All in all, I wouldn't be disappointed with this draft. In fact, I think it's pretty good. But I still would not pass on Anthony Barr in the first round, and I think Kiper and McShay are putting too much emphasis on safety.
Your thoughts, BTB?