Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: Post Combine Edition
Dallas Cowboys 2014 NFL Mock Draft
The coin flip was needed because both teams ended the season with 8-8 records, had the same strength of schedule marks and their 2013 opponent’s winning ratio was .484.
This year the Cowboys are having former Dallas Desperados head coach, and current director of player personnel, Will McClay build their draft board. It’s important to know because McClay has been involved with bringing in key free agent acquisitions and because he will be heavily involved in determining which way the franchise is headed come draft time.
Last week, McClay was a guest on KRLD-FM where he gave some insight as to what his plans are heading into the Draft. During the 11-minute interview McClay talked about the team needing to improve their depth along the defensive front if the Cowboys are to make a successful transition to the 4-3 defense.
While he didn’t go into details about the Cowboys plans for the draft, he made mention to one characteristic that the Cowboys will be placing a high value on come draft day.
“As you build the team, in this day and age, this game is played in space, so you need speed,” McClay said. “One of the first things we look at is speed. You’ve got to be a good football player and the character has to fit into what we do, and in our environment, but we’re looking for speed. We want to build the team speed and the depth with good football players.”
Speed is an essential part of the Tampa Cover 2, and it is something that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli places a high emphasis on. McClay may not have given much information on the Cowboys draft plans, but one thing is certain; at least they are trying to give this team an identity, something that in my opinion, has lacked for far too long.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the Cowboys’ post-combine mock draft.
Rd 1: (16th overall) Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
After posting some very impressive numbers at the Combine, I think that Aaron Donald has solidified himself as a first round pick.
He’s undersized for a defensive tackle, but he offers the Cowboys a unique blend of speed, quickness, agility, decisiveness, strength and character that I think would be great assets for a defense in desperate need of interior defensive line help.
There are other guys that the Cowboys could target here, but based on their defensive scheme and the fact that Donald is the best 3-technique defensive tackle available, I think this pick is a no-brainer.
Rd 2: (47th overall) Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
A highly versatile player in college, Scott Crichton is one of a record 98 underclassmen that declared for the Draft.
Crichton was used all over the defensive front in college, but was most effective at defensive end. In 2013, he finished the season with 47 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles; however, he is far more disruptive than his numbers suggest.
Crichton is a guy who gets off the snap quickly and violently, and has a non-stop motor, which he consistently used to beat offensive linemen in getting to the ball carrier. He uses his hands well, and has shown the strength to hold up well in the running game.
Rd 3: (78th overall) Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina
At one point considered the nation’s No. 9 defensive tackle prospect by Rivals.com, Kelcy Quarles has the size and speed to excel as an interior defensive lineman at the next level.
Quarles finished the 2013 season with 39 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks. He is light on his feet and has a good burst when firing off the line, but could benefit from getting in better shape and improving his stamina.
Rd 4: (115th overall) Billy Turner, OT/OG, North Dakota State
As a two-star recruit out of high school, Billy Turner didn’t receive any FBS scholarship offers, and decided to enroll at North Dakota State where started 56 of 57 career games.
Despite being very athletic for a big man, Turner would have to increase his core strength and work on his pass blocking ability to be truly successful at the next level; he is by no means a finished product.
However, at 6-5, 315-pounds, and sporting a 34-inch reach, Turner certainly has all the makings of an NFL offensive lineman, and with some coaching could easily be the Cowboys successor at guard.
Rd 5: (146th overall) Dion Bailey, FS, USC
After a pretty pedestrian showing at the NFL Combine, Dion Bailey’s draft stock took a sizeable hit, and is now being projected as a possible fourth-to-fifth round pick.
I honestly think that Bailey’s combine numbers were more of a fluke than an actual representation of the type of player that he is because on tape, I see a very fluid defender who has good instincts, and is a lot quicker than his combine numbers might indicate.
The only downside that I see to Bailey’s game is that he is still learning to play the safety position after playing at linebacker for most of his collegiate career.
Rd 7: (206th overall) Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
After posting some insane combine numbers, Jerick McKinnon could join fellow Georgia Southern grad J.J. Wilcox as a member of the Cowboys.
As evident by his 4.41 40-time, McKinnon has excellent burst and acceleration. Watching him perform at the combine you saw a fluid athlete who can change direction on a dime, but who can also lower the boom against defenders.
The knock on McKinnon is that he rarely ran the ball between the tackles and an overall lack of experience as a true running back, however it's very hard to ignore his stats and Combine numbers.
Rd 7: (208th overall) Larry Webster, DE, Bloomsburg
Another player who benefited greatly from the NFL Combine is defensive end Larry Webster whose 4.58 40-time was second only to Jadeveon Clowney's 4.53.
Webster is dual sport athlete that is relatively new to playing defensive end, but judging from his collegiate stats, he can certainly play the position. He finished the season with a team-best 15 tackles for a loss and 13.5 sacks.
Rd 7: (215th overall) Casey Pachall, QB, TCU
After struggling with substance abuse in the past, Casey Pachall hasn’t received the attention that he might have gotten otherwise.
Despite his past, Pachall’s size, exceptionally quick release and arms strength cannot be overlooked. He certainly has the size and arm strength to succeed at the next level. With some strong coaching, this kid could really be a diamond in the rough.
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