By Jesus Flores @DFWSportsFlo on April 28, 2014
For this 2014 NFL Mock Draft, I sat down with two of my good pals in Keith Mullins (@KeithDeuces) and Patrick Conn (@PatSportsGuy) for a little something called #Mock1v2 on Twitter.
#Mock1v2 is a collaborative mock draft in which writers from all over the place come together and well, you guessed it, have a mock draft. So, without further ado, I present to you our 2014 NFL Mock Draft for the Dallas Cowboys.
Stuck in no-man’s land, and with the top three defensive prospects on our board gone, we went with the best player available in Zack Martin. I think that Martin is an NFL-ready prospect that can come in and contribute immediately. He has good velocity off the snap to get into position and does a good job sustaining and controlling his blocks.
I was actually shocked that Crichton was still obtainable at pick No. 47 because I have him graded as a possible late first, early second-round prospect. While Crichton’s not going to ‘wow’ you with amazing athleticism, he does possess surprising quickness and power that when paired with his relentless motor could go a long way in Rod Marinelli’s defensive scheme.
Will Sutton is not the biggest guy and has relatively short arms for the position, but he’s a true technician, who uses his quickness to attack gaps and create havoc in the backfield. He struggled with his weight in 2013, which many believe was the reason for his statistics being lower than his breakout 2012, however, if Sutton can get back into the 290s, I expect him to be a force in the heart of the Cowboys defensive line.
I consider this pick a steal here because I gave Carl Bradford a second round grade on my big board. By height and weight standards, Bradford is considered a tweener, but that hasn’t and didn’t stop him from tearing it up, on the field. He plays the game fast, and very rarely hesitates when attacking the ball. He’s a fiery leader and gives 100 percent on every down.
We felt that we needed to add some running back depth here, and Charles Sims was the best fit. Sims is a decisive runner, who doesn’t spend much time dancing around; he makes his cut and is north/south quickly. I specifically like that he is a great pass catcher out of the backfield, something that Scott Linehan loves in his running backs.
At this point, we selected Brandon Linder for depth purposes. Linder is a versatile offensive lineman, who has seen game snaps at center, guard and tackle. He’s aggressive in his blocking, but far too often loses his balance when engaged with the defender. One thing that can be said about Linder is that he doesn’t take plays off. I think he can become a solid backup, and if the Cowboys got anything more from him, I’d consider this pick a win.
We took George Uko here with the purpose of adding more depth to the defensive tackle spot. Uko is a guy I like, he’s raw in terms of technique, but certainly has the tools to develop into a good rotational defensive tackle. We think that Rod Marinelli can get the most out of his untapped potential.
We decided to take Mike Davis here to add depth to the receiving corps. Davis is a very good athlete with long arms and big hands and isn’t afraid to run block. Unfortunately, he isn’t a very polished route runner and sometimes struggles to shake the opposing defender, which is probably why he was still available this late in the Draft.
After personally watching Ethan Westbrooks harass Texas A&M University-Commerce, over and over the last two years, I can personally tell you that this kid can get to the quarterback. He has a very quick first step and violently attacks blockers to get into the backfield. Westbrooks is a raw talent and will need time to fully adjust to the NFL, but he certainly has the potential to become a legitimate pass rushing threat at the next level.
Alden Darby is a guy that we like here as a possible special teams contributor. He isn’t a big guy by any means, but that doesn't keep him from aggressively attacking the ball carrier. He also has a knack for finding the ball and has soft hands. His lack of size makes him a liability against bigger running backs and wide receivers in the running game and his lack of elite speed will make him a liability against speedsters.
In 2013, Kirby Van Der Kamp had 17 punts of 50 or more yards with 27 landing inside the 20-yard line. He’s very accurate in his ball placement and can drill the coffin corner. If you’ve ever watched football, you know how important it is to pin the opponents near their own goal line, and Van Der Kamp can do just that.
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