The 2013 NFL Combine is almost upon us; the Dallas Cowboys scouts and front office are preparing to update their draft boards. Starting on February 20th, players from all across the nation will compete at the Combine.Many will have their stock explode and others will see their value go down; all of the changes will be based on numbers that have little to do with football. I will also do a mock draft next week to show the changes in a prospects’ stock based on just one week. This is probably the fairest draft in terms of pure talent, but next weeks’ will likely be the most accurate barring draft-day buzz (a la Tyson Jackson).
1st Round: Sheldon Richardson, DE Missouri:
This is different from my first two mock drafts which had the Cowboys going with guard. This pick is influenced by Walterfootball, who said that the “Cowboys are expected to draft Sharrif Floyd or Sheldon Richardson if one of them is available at No. 18 overall.” I live by Walterfootball, and with Chance Warmack quickly rising out of the 18th pick and Jonathan Cooper possibly headed that way too, the Cowboys may have to go three-technique in the first round.
2nd Round: Dallas Thomas, G Tennessee:
Though he played tackle in college, his 32 inch arms likely means he will have to move inside when gets to the NFL. Still, he started 25 games at left tackle, so in a pinch he could maybe play right, though that would be a stretch. If Doug Free either gets cut (which is basically impossible due to cap reasons) or injured, Thomas could be a backup to whoever replaces him. He is best at pass blocking, but game 17 showed that the team could use both in abundance.
3rd Round: Larry Warford, G Kentucky:
In my first mock draft, I valued run blocking over pass blocking, likely because I overreacted to the piss-poor run blocking of the season and completely ignored the equally atrocious pass blocking. While a poor run blocker will never be featured on one of my mock drafts, I decided I should make more of an effort to include primary pass-blockers. Dallas Thomas is one, and Larry Warford (who believe I included in my last draft) is another. Warford dominated the senior bowl, and could very well be drafted ahead of the Cowboys’ third round pick. He, at 333 pounds, would also add some size to the unit as a whole.
4th Round: Brandan Bishop, S NC State:
Bishop has production to go along with legitimate skills. Since Barry Church is no sure thing, getting a mid-round safety would be an important backup to avert potential disaster. One scouting report I found indicated that he was good in zone coverage and run stopping, but struggled to diagnose ahead of time, instead being a “read and react” player (in their words.) Still, players who can play zone and hit have a place in a Tampa 2 system.
5th Round: Marcus Lattimore, RB South Carolina:
Every draft I’ve had has had Lattimore and a justification at either 5th or 7th, but for anyone who hasn’t read them, here’s the quick summary. Basically, he is an all-pro talent coming off of an injury, and in the fifth round taking a chance, especially one that can be such a success, makes too much not to.
6th Round: Josh Boyce, WR TCU:
Boyce would provide a nice speed option out of either the 4th or 5th receiver spot, and could also return kicks, which he excelled at in college.
*Seventh round pick deleted because of the Ryan Cook trade. The Dolphins get the pick instead.