The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft is over and the Dallas Cowboys have a new right guard/tackle in Zack Martin. That means America’s Team absolutely must address its glaring needs on the defensive line on the second day of the draft and their primary target with the 47th overall pick should be Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence.
With the departure of DeMarcus Ware this offseason, the Cowboys desperately need competition for the starting defensive ends spots and depth for those positions as well, despite Anthony Spencer re-signing on a one-year deal.
No one knows if Spencer will be the same after missing virtually all of last season after knee surgery and Dallas can’t bank on him and George Selvie as the surefire starters moving forward with Tyrone Crawford and Kyle Wilber as the only serviceable backups on the depth chart.
Lawrence fills all of those needs as an underrated prospect who would have undoubtedly been a first-round pick had he taken one of his offers from Clemson, Oklahoma, South Carolina or Tennessee instead of Boise State. He has ideal size for a 4-3 defensive end at 6-foot-3 and 251 pounds (almost identical measurables to Ware as a 2005 draft prospect) and the athleticism to do everything for Dallas.
Lawrence recorded 20 sacks in two seasons as a starter at Boise State to go along with 34 tackles for loss, 120 total tackles, two passes defended, seven forced fumbles, three blocked kicks and a fumble returned for a touchdown. His improvement from his junior to senior year was off the charts and he still has room to grow, which makes him a very appealing prospect.
The Cowboys absolutely have to take a defensive lineman with the No. 15 pick in the second round and Lawrence is an ideal prospect for Rod Marinelli to turn into a star.