More Cowboys Mock Drafts
Round 1: Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC
With Kenny Vaccaro still on the board, I think the Cowboys will realize the safety position is so deep that drafting Vaccaro won’t maximize overall value. If that’s the case, Williams might be a major consideration. From my Williams scouting report:
“Williams is a big, powerful defensive tackle who nonetheless can move with speed. He’s extremely quick off of the ball—consistently the first person off of the snap at UNC—despite his 6-3, 313-pound frame. Like Purdue’s Kawann Short, Williams is one of the few defensive tackles in this draft that I see being scheme versatile. He’s strong enough to hold up at the point, but he’s fast enough to penetrate as a one-gap defensive tackle. He was used as the latter sort of defensive tackle at UNC.
As a pass rusher, Williams parlays his quickness and strength into an excellent bull rush. When he gets a jump on the ball, he can quickly drive interior linemen into the backfield. He combines his bull rush with an outstanding swim move—probably the best in this draft class. Williams also has great play recognition; I saw about a half-dozen screens thrown against him and he wasn’t fooled by one.”
Williams can play both defensive tackle positions and would eventually take over for one of the Cowboys’ two aging interior defensive linemen.
Round 2: Justin Pugh, G, Syracuse
I’m not very high on Pugh, but a lot of teams think he has guard/tackle versatility. The Cowboys have visited with Pugh.
“Pugh is one of those “what if?” players, but we probably won’t get to uncover the answer to the question “what if Pugh stayed at offensive tackle in the NFL?” The reason is that, although he has 6-5 height, Pugh’s arms measure only 32 inches. That’s a death sentence for an offensive tackle in the NFL; arm length is strongly correlated with success because tackles need to be able to fend off tall defensive ends.
You can already see signs of Pugh’s potential struggles when you watch tape of him at Syracuse. While he generally did an admirable job in pass protection, he can be neutralized if a longer defender gets his hands into Pugh’s chest. At the next level, Pugh will face the best of the best—defensive ends and linebackers who all know how to use their length to control offensive tackles with short arms. On top of that, Pugh struggled at the Senior Bowl when he lined up outside.”
Pugh would be a starting guard right off the bat.
Check out the whole mock at NBC.
I also published my final 32-pick mock draft at Dallas News.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The only other legitimate option here is Eric Fisher, but Joeckel has been the favorite for a couple months. The Chiefs’ GM reportedly prefers Joeckel, so that’s the direction I’m leaning.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
I have to say that I’ve had Geno Smith in this spot for weeks and I just took him out at the last minute because of all the evidence pointing to Jacksonville taking a safer player. I really think it could all be a smokescreen, however, with Smith being their guy all along.
3. Oakland Raiders: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Raiders could easily take Sharrif Floyd at No. 3, but there are lots of reports that they’re going to move this pick, possibly to Cleveland. Jordan could be in play for Oakland, but either way, I think he’s the most likely player to come off of the board at this spot.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
I originally had Fisher here, but the more I think about it, the more I believe Chip Kelly will prefer Johnson—one of the most athletic linemen to come out of the draft in years—no matter which linemen are on the board.
5. Detroit Lions: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
With the top three offensive tackles off of the board, Detroit’s pick becomes a very interesting one. They could surprise everyone with one of the elite guards, but it seems more likely that they’ll look to upgrade their pass rush.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Despite reports that Milliner could be out until August with a shoulder injury, the Browns have reportedly shown a lot of interest in the draft’s consensus top cornerback.
7. Arizona Cardinals: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
This is where things get interesting. The Cardinals would love to see one of the top three offensive tackles fall to them, but I don’t see it happening. There have been rumors that they like Fluker, which would be a monumental reach at this point.
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
I originally had E.J. Manuel here, but it appears as though the Bills favor Nassib.
9. New York Jets: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Oakland is the key to Floyd’s draft spot. If they pass on him, there’s a good chance that he’ll drop. I can’t see him falling out of the top 10, however, because it seems as though enough teams like him that someone will be willing to trade up. The Jets reportedly still want to move back, so I’ll place Floyd here—whether he goes to the Jets or not.
10. Tennessee Titans: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Another value pick, Ansah fills a need for Tennessee. Chance Warmack and Xavier Rhodes are also options here.
11. San Diego Chargers: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
I actually think most teams will have Jonathan Cooper rated higher than Warmack, but the latter is a better fit with San Diego.