Mel Kiper, Jr. of ESPN has his latest mock draft up for the 2015 NFL Draft. This one is a little different in that it's a three-round mock, and he acts as the general manager for each team, so instead of projecting picks he's working in the best interest of each team. At least best interest of the team according to Kiper. But in this case, I'm actually in agreement with Kiper as he works the Cowboys draft for three rounds. In fact, I was really surprised and would be very happy if it shook out this way.
Here's his Cowboys draft section:
Round 1 (27) CB Byron Jones, UConn
Round 2 (60) DT Michael Bennett, Ohio St.
Round 3 (91) RB Jeremy Langford, Michigan St.
Analysis: There's already a need at cornerback -- you can't have enough if you expect to play with some leads -- and that's before we have a resolution on Brandon Carr's contract situation. Jones is one of the biggest sleepers in the draft, a cornerback with the ability to handle safety, an extraordinary athlete with very good instincts. He's also a great kid. While I want to address the defensive line, I just don't want to pass on Jones at this point. In Round 2, we get Bennett, a player with the ability to beat blockers inside and be a disruptor, and I really like the value at that point. I think Bennett has been surpassed by high-upside defensive tackles, but few players have as much quality tape as he has going back through his sophomore and junior seasons. The Cowboys have a need at running back, but what they don't need to do spend early on a running back because it's going to be hard for a competent runner not to succeed behind the Dallas offensive line. Langford is sneaky-explosive (he's played WR and CB) and has sub-4.4 speed. While he's not a bruiser, you do need to square him up, and I think in Dallas he'll see creases and be able to break off some big runs.
That parallels exactly how I would approach the draft by position group for the Cowboys. When doing this, you obviously can't discount somebody falling that would make you change it up. For instance, if a stud pass-rusher fell, or maybe if Todd Gurley fell, then you may have to pounce. Outside of that, I like this draft.
Cornerback is definitely one of the biggest needs on the team, and that is without knowing Carr's contract resolution. Byron Jones has definitely been discussed on BTB a few times, including just a couple of days ago. With Kevin Johnson, Marcus Peters already taken at #22 and #26 (and Trae Wynes much earlier), Jones is a solid choice. In many drafts Michael Bennett doesn't make it to pick #60, but if he did the Cowboys should definitely consider it, although Grady Jarrett would be a worthy alternative. I'm happy with the trio of Greg Hardy, Jeremy Mincey and DeMarcus Lawrence at defensive end for 2015, but Tyrone Crawford could use some help on the inside. Defensive tackle is a weak spot for Dallas. Bennett fits Rod Marinelli's style of defender.
Of course, to take a corner and a defensive linemen in the first couple of rounds means you wait on running back. But in this year's draft, the quality is so deep I believe you can wait and get away with it, meaning still get away with a quality running back. In this case, Kiper takes Langford, but I believe the Cowboys would take T.J. Yeldon in this situation. Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Tevin Coleman, Jay Ajayi, Ameer Abdullah, and Duke Johnson had all been picked. Dallas would probably take Yeldon here.
Your analysis of this draft?