As the draft nears, I have compiled scouting reports on players who fit the bill for the Dallas Cowboys. You can view all of them here. Obviously, the Cowboys are in need of help all across the defense. On top of the defensive woes, the Cowboys may need to upgrade their right guard position and the receiver position through the draft. Without a lot of money to spend, the Cowboys need to hit on this draft. Most likely, the Cowboys will not get every pick correct. But, it is important they get some key contributors right away. Without further ado, let’s take a look at my first mock draft for the Cowboys.
Round 1: Kony Ealy, Defensive End, Missouri
Kony Ealy has been projected by the Cowboys in multiple mock drafts all across the web. After scouting him, I did not really like Ealy. But after taking a second look at Ealy and his potential, it is clear why many scouts like this kid. Right now, the Cowboys are a 4-3 team. But they could move back to a 3-4, if their defense produces like it did in 2013. Ealy has the versatility to play in each defensive scheme. He has unbelievable length and extremely good speed. With DeMarcus Ware being a shell of his old-self, Ealy will be able to come in and produce as a pass rusher for third down situations. Ealy will be on the Cowboys’ radar come May 8th.
NFL player comparison: Aldon Smith
Round 2: Will Sutton, Defensive Tackle, Arizona State
Once again, I have the Cowboys selecting a player on the defensive line. That’s just how bad this defensive line was in 2013. Outside of Jason Hatcher & George Selvie, there was no consistent production. Jason Hatcher may flee in free agency, this opens up a hole at the defensive tackle position. If Hatcher leaves, the Cowboys will only have Ben Bass & Nick Hayden as their starters. Bass was lost for the season in preseason, but he has a ton of potential that Rod Marinelli loves. On the other hand, Hayden is terrible. It is clear that the Cowboys need a guy who can take on double teams. Sutton is a bit undersized, but his tenacity makes up for it. Sutton has a chance to make the Pro Bowl one day. I wanted the Cowboys to draft Sheldon Richardson last year, but he was taken a few picks before by the Jets. Richardson went on to have a stellar year in New York. Like Richardson, Sutton has an amazing burst off the ball. If he can slide to the second round, I do not see him getting past Dallas’ selection.
NFL player comparison: Sheldon Richardson
Round 3: Jimmy Garoppolo, Quarterback, Eastern Illinois
Tony Romo is aging fast. At 34, there are concerns over Romo and his back problems. Remember, Romo sat out all of OTA’s because he had surgery to remove a cyst. In week 16′s victory against Washington, Romo suffered a herniated disc in his back. Romo is a warrior, and he even tried to play in week 17 against Philadelphia. For more info on Romo’s back surgery, click here. Garoppolo perhaps increased his draft status the most out of any player to play in the Shrine Bowl. Garoppolo is an Eastern Illinois-alum, just like Romo. He has an accurate arm and he has an extremely quick release, also like Tony Romo. Garoppolo has the frame scouts love in a quarterback. At 6’2″, Garoppolo can see over offensive linemen to get the ball to his receivers. By sitting behind Romo, he can learn how to deal with the spotlight that comes with being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.
NFL player comparison: Tony Romo/Joe Flacco
Round 4: Brandon Coleman, Wide Receiver, Rutgers
The Cowboys have clear needs all across the defense. But, they do have a few holes on offense as well. One of those holes is the receiver position. Dez Bryant is one of the best receivers in the NFL. But with the uncertainty of Miles Austin’s future in Dallas, there could be a need opposite of Bryant. Terrance Williams surpassed all of his expectations as a rookie for the Cowboys. Williams’ biggest flaw is how he body-catches passes thrown to him. If he is unable to progress into a reliable second option, the Cowboys will be looking at Dwayne Harris & Cole Beasley as players who would have a much bigger role in the offense. Harris and Beasley are fan-favorites. But, their role is not suited to be a #2 in this offense. This is where Brandon Coleman can come into play. At 6’6″, Coleman has excellent hands and a wide catch-radius. Coleman did not have the best college career, but he has the frame to become a great receiver in the NFL. If you have a tandem of Dez Bryant & Brandon Coleman, it will be ridiculously to stop the goal-line fade route in the red-zone.
NFL player comparison: Malcolm Floyd
Round 5: Terrence Brooks, Free Safety, Florida State
The Cowboys have an excellent strong safety in Barry Church. But, he is just that. This secondary misses a center-fielder, who could make plays on the ball all across the field. Brooks is fast. Because of this, he is a rangy safety who could run all across the field. Florida State was one of the best defenses in all of college football. Brooks was a large reason because of that. J.J. Wilcox lost his job to Jeff Heath. It is vividly clear that an upgrade at the safety position is needed. Brooks could be that upgrade.
NFL player comparison: Eric Reid
Round 7a: Jonathan Brown, Outside Linebacker, Illinois
With Sean Lee & Bruce Carter, both are liable to injuries on any given Sunday. The Cowboys drafted DeVonte Holloman last year. It is clear they have something special in the speedy linebacker from South Carolina. Holloman should start at the WILL linebacker position as early as this upcoming season. Drafting Brown would provide the Cowboys a linebacker that could play each linebacker position. Brown would be a glorified backup for the Cowboys.
NFL player comparison: Bobby Wagner
Round 7b: Chaz Sutton, Defensive End, South Carolina
At the beginning of the 2013 season, Sutton was highly-regarded as a second day pick. But, Sutton looked lost at times for the Gamecocks. Sutton’s best skill is how he can play multiple positions across the defensive line. Sutton will be better-suited for the defensive end position. He would play the 5-technique for the Cowboys in their 4-3.
NFL player comparison: Glenn Dorsey
Round 7c: Austin Wentworth, Offensive Tackle/Offensive Guard, Fresno State
With his performance at the East-West Shrine Game, Wentworth boosted his stock. Wentworth was clearly the best guard in the Shrine Bowl. Wentworth is a big and physical road-grader as a guard. With Doug Free’s erratic play, no one knows how he will play in 2014. Getting a player like Wentworth would give the Cowboys much-needed insurance across the offensive line.
NFL player comparison: Marcus Gilbert