Atonio Mafi, OG, UCLA
Mafi has been picking up major steam in Cowboys draft talk as of late because he provides tremendous Day 3 value. Mafi, OG16 on Brugler’s list, isn’t a clean fit like the other two but he’s an intriguing prospect nonetheless.
Mafi, 6-foot-2, 329 pounds, is a powerful, albeit reckless, prospect who’s new to the offensive line. A converted DT, Mafi has only played guard for two seasons and still has a way to go in his development.
He has an active motor and a thirst for contact which can lead to highlights both good and bad. But he’s shown he has the physical ability and just needs coaching so he can hone technique. It’s tough to see Mafi as a starter in year 1 (although some swear by him) but much like Matt Farniok (on the Cowboys roster) he has good tools to work with.
The path less traveled
Players like O’Cyrus Torrence, OG1 on most draft boards, and Steve Avila, OG2, could command first round picks. While this would fill the immediate need it could be over-drafting players simply for position need.
Brugler has Torrence 37 and Avila 40 on his big board while PFF has them 36 and 47, respectively. The value just may not be there for Dallas and handling the position the untraditional way would free up the valuable picks to be used elsewhere.
The Dallas Cowboys have a need to left guard but they don’t have to draft a guard in the first round to fill it. It may be wiser (much wiser) to handle the position differently.