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Dallas Cowboys Draft 2015: Eight Guard Prospects For The Cowboys

The Cowboys offensive line is perhaps the best in football. Though it isn't necessarily a need, the Cowboys could find themselves in position to take quality competitors at guard.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have the best offensive line in professional football, in order to remain that way they must have quality depth behind their starters and create competition at all times. In this year's draft, there are quite a bevy of options the Cowboys could use, including guards. The guards in this draft don't stretch as far as many of the other positions, but perhaps the Cowboys will be on the clock when one of the better ones become available.

They also have to take into consideration that one of their starters in Ron Leary has a degenerative knee condition. Though he has been a very good player for them, they never know when his body is going to quit on him and they must have a plan of action. Let's take a look at the guard prospects that could come to Dallas and serve as quality backups, or perhaps even earn a starting role.

A.J. Cann, 6'3 313 lbs, South Carolina

Cann has great bend and plays with superb pad level. He has a thick frame that he uses pin defenders when downhill blocking. Cann is quick and gets off the ball with nice agility. He has shown to ability to latch on to his guys and stay engaged throughout the play. He has great hand placement and is a fluid mover throughout the passing game. Cann knows how to use his length for leverage and can deliver a good push. He does have balance issues and needs to learn how to proportion his weight properly in his stance. He'll also need help improving his second-level attack. Cann is the best prospect in the class and is a second-round pick but could be taken earlier. With a good coach working on his technique and weight, Cann could become a 10 year-starter.

Laken Tomlinson, 6'3 323 lbs, Duke

Tomlinson is a very smart player with great recognition to twists and stunts. Like Cann, he plays with really low pad level and a nice burst off the ball. He's a very solid run blocker who doesn't have a hard time getting to the second level. Laken has shown the ability to anchor really well to protect against the bull-rush. He's a physically and mentally tough player who give extreme effort on every play. He has good power and is able to turn defenders out of the play. He has a nice aggressiveness to his play but lacks the ideal athletic range of his position. He'll need some work on his balance and to not let defenders disengage as quickly. Inconsistencies in his footwork will cause him to struggle early, but nothing that couldn't be coached up. He has tremendous motor and doesn't take short-cuts, he'll be a second-day selection that can push for the starting role right away.

Tre' Jackson, 6'4 330 lbs, Florida State

Jackson has the frame and look of an NFL starting guard. He's athletic and quick off the snap and can handle his own against bull-rush and stunts. He does a phenomenal job and staying flat-footed and balanced in pass protection. He's shown the ability to get to the second-level to take on linebackers. He utilizes his massive frame and big legs to seal off defensive linemen in the running game. There are concerns about his excess weight effecting his footwork, he also has a tendency to lose his feet when sliding. He'll have to work on his consistency to take it to the next level. He has the potential but will need more time conditioning which will keep him around until the late second or third round.

Ali Marpet, 6'4 307 lbs, Hobart

Marpet has good athleticism with the footwork to snatch and hook opponents. Plays very low and excellent quickness out of his stance. Very solid zone-scheme contributor and can finish the defender with his powerful leg drive. He's extremely advanced for a small school prospect. He plays with consistent technique and hand placement and has shown versatility to play multiple positions. He impressed scouts both at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine with his ability to take on bigger school defenders. He'll need to add more thickness to his body and learn to not let average defenders beat him at times, but he would be a great player to have. Marpet is another high-motor guy with the intensity you look for in a lineman. He'll be a solid pick for any team in the late second-early third rounds.

Arie Kouandjio, 6'5 310 lbs, Alabama

Arie has a great build for the position and knows how to use his leverage to limit space. He has great knee-bend and quickness off the snap. Arie possesses the ability to snatch and grab his opponent and steer him out of the way. He's strong and powerful and seeks out someone to hit. He has a good short-pull game that allows him to fire himself into his opponents. He knows how to work in tandem with his fellow blockers. He has great length for the position but shows extreme inconsistencies. He's a bit too stiff and loses his balance often. He also lacks ideal athleticism and will need time to develop. He'll likely get picked in the third round due to name recognition, but I wouldn't take that chance that early. I see him more of a fifth-round guy with potential.

Josue Matias, 6'5 309 lbs, Florida State

Matias is another long-limbed prospect that uses his leverage well to keep the space limited between he and the defender. He's super consistent with his hand placement and great in pass protection. Matias is proficient in cut-blocking and has good initial foot quickness. He knows how to use angles to his advantage with excellent tempo to the second-level of his blocking game. Unlike some on this list, Matias does a nice job at keeping his weight centered and possesses fantastic awareness and play recognition. He'll need more work to harness his power and create better opportunities for himself at the second-level. Matias will also need development in his recovery abilities. Matias is likely to be picked in the late-third to early-fourth rounds.

Mark Glowinski, 6'4 307 lbs, West Virginia

Mark is a versatile athlete that has played both tackle and guard. He's a gym rat who loves to work put and lift weights. He has tremendous power in his upper body and uses it as leverage against opponents. He has good initial quickness with the agility needed for blocking in space. He's also got great hand placement and is a very tough competitor. He has that relentless motor that keeps ticking and uses his power to win and discard defenders with ease. He's very aware and has great play recognition with the footwork of a tackle. He shows a little stiffness and needs to learn to play lower. Glowinski will also need development to not get into hand fighting at times and could improve his knee-bend and foot-slide.

Jeremiah Poutasi, 6'5 335 lbs, Utah

He's an imposing specimen with a good build and improvement throughout his time in college. He has shown improvement in many areas including his footwork. He shows good poise in pass protection and does a great job at staying square. He can flash power and use it to get leverage against his opponent and has great upper body strength. He does a nice job at anchoring but has visible athletic limitations. He will need help with hand placement and needs improvement with finishing his blocks. Overall, he's an improving athlete that will needs some development in key areas. Poutasi is a late-sixth to seventh-round pick.

If the Cowboys find themselves wanting a good guard prospect, they may have to pull the trigger in the first three rounds. None of these prospects have been given a first-round grade, which leads me to picking a tackle that can play guard if possible. In the next part of the series, we'll take a look at the wide receivers. The Cowboys need another return man after losing Dwayne Harris to the New York "Football" Giants. The good news is that there are plenty to choose from in this year's crop.

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