Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown (34) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford (70) and linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 38-33. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Timmy Jernigan or Ra’Shede Hageman for the Dallas Cowboys?

Sep 21, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Ra

This week I mocked the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. It was Monday morning before free agency began so it is quickly becoming outdated. But one pick that’s not entirely outdated is the Dallas Cowboys first pick: Timmy Jernigan

I received an email and some comments questioning the pick of Jernigan at #16. I discussed it with them and figured I’d open the discussion up to everyone. Let’s address it today in our mailbag.

Albert asks,

Why is everyone saying that Jernigan is the Cowboys pick has it not been found by the people in the know that he’s not a 3 but 1 and only a 1 technique DT… why not Hageman, in a trade down scenario where we pick up a pick & get a chance to replace a Hatcher.

Alex also asked about Hageman,

Now I understand Hageman is said to have motor issues but I haven’t seen anything negative on him other than that. 6’6/300+ and athletic. They say he can play end in some packages as well which with the release of Ware would seem like the preferable of the 2 versatile players.

In my ideal world, Aaron Donald would slip past the Bears, and the Cowboys could take a crack at him. But drafts rarely work out ideally as was the case in this mock.

Nov 23, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (8) during a play in the first half against the Idaho Vandals at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

In this draft Donald was gone so I have the Cowboys picking Jernigan. I mention trade possibilities in my mock drafts but I don’t mock trade.

I hear what you are saying about Jernigan being a 1-tech. By looking at his physical stature I agree he is best suited for a 1, but after watching a couple games and his workout, I feel he could be a game-changing 3 tech also. He has quickness and power. He can take on extra blockers like a 1 or shoot a gap like a 3. He doesn’t fit the mold but I think he could possibly break the mold. He offers position versatility at both spots (and the Cowboys happen to need help at both spots) so even if it doesn’t work out at the 3, he could easily play the 1. I’m not exactly sure what other mock drafters are basing it on but that’s what I’m looking at.

I don’t officially project trades but I did discuss the idea of it. Unless the right guy falls, I expect the Cowboys to trade back again. I don’t like Hageman at #16 but I’d be happy to move back, collect an extra 3rd, and get him a little later. If Ealy, Hageman, Clinton-Dix are all available at #16, it might be a good move to go back because you can feel better about the possibility of one of them falling to you. I predict another run on OTs this year and Dallas may be sitting at a critical spot and able to get great value for the pick.

Hageman is an exciting talent and someone Cowboy Nation has fully embraced. I mean – he has a hell of a cult following! It seems everyone loves him or Aaron Donald at this point. He has as high of a ceiling as anyone not named Clowney and could turn out to be the steal of the first round. But DTs are notorious for being lazy and subsequently becoming underachievers in the NFL. Bust rates are high for DTs (I’ll be doing articles about bust rates soon). For that reason I ding Hageman considerably for his lack of effort.

Albert pointed out that Jernigan is a born 1 technique tackle. He’s right. I’m the one making the leap casting him as a possible 3. But I think he can do it and actually be a guy that could do both, thus causing headaches for opposing offenses.

Hageman could theoretically play DE but not as the blindside rusher. He would fit better in the old Spencer role rather than the Ware role. Everything I see about his personality (speculation on my part) says he is not disciplined enough for that. I only see Hageman as a 3 tech. Which is fine but it’s just not as realistically versatile.

Besides, the Cowboys have two Spencer replacements in George Selvie and Tyrone Crawford already. What they need is a speed rusher to replace Ware’s side.

In Jernigan’s assignments he was usually asked to take on multiple blockers. He was to receive rather than give. When I watched him play I looked for what I thought were his assignments on a given play. It’s speculation and I could have been wrong but I saw him play passively, but effectively as a 1, taking on multiple blockers and still making tackles. I also saw him flip a switch and burst quickly at other times. I believe he was executing assignments rather than picking and choosing when to play. Hageman was always supposed to make plays so I always knew when he was coasting and when he was trying.

It just seems riskier to me to pick Hageman than Jernigan. I would be thrilled to trade back, pick up a 3rd rounder (maybe get safeties Ed Reynolds or Jimmie Ward) and get Hageman later in the first. I just don’t see it yet at #16. I haven’t watched every game so I suppose that stance could change but that’s where I’m at now.

For the record, the prospect of drafting Hageman excites me more than Jernigan or Louis Nix III, but I want an extra pick with the added risk so I can hedge my bets. Much like Dallas did when they traded back last year and hedged their bet by adding a third (Terrence Williams).

Sound off, everyone. Who do you like at #16 for the Cowboys? Should they trade back or sit tight? BPA or target someone they need. Is O-line more pressing or is it Safety (I’ll be profiling both groups shortly)? Let’s hear it!


Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Ra'Shede Hageman Timmy Jernigan

  • SmartThinking

    You can pick up a player like Jernigan, as good a DT as he is, in every draft, and there are usually several. Hageman is an altogether different situation. A DE with his size, weight and speed makes him the perfect replacement for Ware. Plus, he has a mean streak. Plus, plus, he can also sub as a DT in some packages. The issues it’s suggested he has will be quickly remedied once Marinelli gets his hands on him.

    I like Hageman a lot. I think he’ll make a very productive addition to the Dallas defense. As for moving back in Round 1 to get him and a 3 for instance, that usually isn’t decided until the draft is underway or just before. I’ve no problem with it if the players fall as expected. However, if Dallas comes across one of the top 3 OG’s in this draft wherever they fall in Round 1 or 2, they must take one of them, too.

    Problem is, I think big Jones has his sights set on Manziel.

    • Reid Hanson

      Hard to argue with any of that. Although you may have to talk me off a cliff if Jones picks Manziel at 16.

      • SmartThinking

        No. Go ahead and jump. A few of us will be right behind you.

  • Alex Darden

    Hey Reid, great article! Since our last conversation I’ve found a website to play around with some mocks of my own which has only made the situation we have @ #16 more interesting for me. Thought I’d shoot a couple ideas out there just for convefsations sake (I know like we need any help this time of year)
    1. I was thinking about the motor issues with Hageman and the more I thought about it the more he feels like the DT version of clowney. Granted he never posted the numbers to back his physical traits the way clowney did his soph yr. But it seems like even with the work ethic scares everybody talks about with clowney he is still worth spending a top 5 pick on because we all know he will be challenged more and the potential is crazy. Marinelli is the obvious answer but part of me sees a player that his whole life has just been so much bigger and stronger and faster than his competition that he never focused on the technique side of the game. Makes me think that he is the type to get hungry after realizing the size and talent he will be facing sunday after sunday. I’ve heard his past is comparable to Dez’s and that is somewhat the career trajectory with strong coaching I could see him following.
    2. I know were attempting to get away from injury prone players but Easley is intriguing to me. If we cant get one of those top 4 DT in the 1st (because of a trade back more than likely) What do you all think about Easley in the 3rd or 4th?

    • Scott.

      If easily is there in 3rd or 4th I’d be shocked.

      • Alex Darden

        I agree he should be gone but from everything I’ve read his injuries are pushing him down the draft boards.

    • Reid Hanson

      You’re probably right about Hageman. I already like the guy so it’s not like I need much convincing! Marinelli is a game-changer in this situation and I can’t recall hearing about ANYONE underachieving under Marinelli. Hageman is probably less risky on the Cowboys than on another team. It would be up to Marinelli exclusively though, because the veteran presence on the DL is really nonexistent.
      I love the idea of getting injured players on the cheap but the Cowboys always end up relying on them down the stretch and even extending their contracts. They extended Lee before he proved he could ever stay healthy, They are discussing resigning Murray, even though he is also injury-prone.
      It comes down to – Do you want an awesome player for 12 games a season or a really good player for 16 games? There’s no right or wrong answer just preference. I think the best idea is to have a mix. Take a shots on a potential homerun but make sure you have enough safe picks to keep everything stable when the inevitable happens.
      Thanks Alex!

  • Old Frog

    I’d rather have Zack Martin at 16 but if they skip him and pick up Su’a-Filo, Jackson, Richardson, or Yankey later I’ll be OK with it. My dream draft would have Martin and Su’a-Filo 1 and 2 then concentrate on the defense with the rest of the picks.

    • Chad

      I like the 2-3 round OT prospects at this point. Doug disappears down the stretch, and having a year to season a guy like Kouandjio, Richardson, Moses, Mewhort, or Henderson is the way I would go. For guard…. Chris Watt and Gave Ikard ( who also has C experience ) are guards that could start with little work.

      • Alex Darden

        I’ve heard Billy Turner’s name a couple time as a good prospect that will be there later in the draft rounds, 4-5.

    • Alex Darden

      Just out of curiosity if your perfect scenario played out who do you see us picking up for defense in rounds 3-4?

      • Old Frog

        Borland (ILB) or Bucanon (SS) 3rd; Reynolds (FS), Clarke (DE), or Skov (ILB) 4th – after that defensive BPA. I have a lot of faith that Marinelli and McClay will find above average D lineman like Selvie on the scrap heap. I’m also betting that Crawford and Bass turn into something.

        • Reid Hanson

          I really like Reynolds and would be thrilled if he fell to us in the third. He had a rough year last year but he looked like a star in 2012. He understands zone and man safety coverage and should be able to contribute right away. Love it!

    • Reid Hanson

      I also really like Martin. I personally have a tough time projecting position changes on OL prospects so I always differ to what scouts say. And many say Martin could play OG in addition to OT. Using him for a year at OG and then replacing Free in 2015 sounds like a talent upgrade and a good business decision

  • Alfredo Martinez

    We need DE or DT 3 tech in the first and second round: Dee Ford, Anthony Farr (he is fall in some mocks), Aaron Donald ( elite 3 tech), Hageman ( in a trade down), .., Jerdigan ( he dont lik3s me), andmin the eecond round i could be happy with Chrichton, Ken Van Noy…

    • Reid Hanson

      I LOVE Barr but I don’t think we will get a chance at him. Donald is also a favorite but I think he’ll be gone too. Hageman and Ford I like a couple spots back but I would be happy with either. Great input Alfredo, Thanks!

  • Albert Smith

    Another good one Reid, keep it btw you’ll find I’ve followed you on twitter.