The Cowboys did as everyone expected and addressed the offensive line in the first round by selecting USC’s Tyron Smith. My initial reactions are all positive, and I can tell you now I will give the selection an “A” in my post-draft grades. But who should the ‘Boys be targeting in the second round tomorrow night? Well, here are the top players left from my personal Big Board, along with their original rankings. . .
You can see there are plenty of talented players left on the board. Ijalana, Harris, Austin, Williams and Moore all play positions of major need for Dallas (I’m thinking of Ijalana at guard). Here are a few things to watch tomorrow night with the Cowboys’ 40th overall selection:
- If Ijalana is still on the board, will the team’s first-round selection of Tyron Smith force them to pass on Ijalana? Even though the Villanova lineman could potentially kick inside to guard, the ‘Boys probably want to address defense next.
- Will the Cowboys select a player at a position that is not immediate need simply because of value? Justin Houston, Martez Wilson, Akeem Ayers and Brooks Reed are all unlikely, but still names to watch.
- Will the Cowboys view either Marvin Austin or Stephen Paea as potential 3-4 nose tackles? I still think the defense could benefit from acquiring a true nose tackle, so their assessment of those players could be interesting. I think Austin is capable of playing the nose, but I think Paea’s skill set makes him a better fit as a three-technique. Also don’t rule out Kenrick Ellis.
- There are no top five-technique players left on the board, unless you view Drake Nevis as a candidate to move to defensive end in a 3-4. I think he is a three-technique, but Dallas might jump on him if they disagree.
- Will DaQuan Bowers’ potential value at No. 40 intrigue Dallas? Even without the medical concerns, I think Bowers is a poor fit in Dallas, so let’s hope they don’t fall for the trap.
- It is looking likely that either Aaron Williams or Rahim Moore will be on the board for the ‘Boys. Both would upgrade the safety position, but will the team wait on possibly signing a veteran in free agency?
- Before the draft, I gave you names to watch for the Cowboys in each round. In the second, I listed Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward, Alabama OT James Carpenter, Baylor G Danny Watkins, UCLA FS Rahim Moore, Kenrick Ellis, NT, Hampton, TCU QB Andy Dalton. The first three players are off the board, but all three of the latter players are still possible. You should all be praying Dalton gets selected before the Cowboys are on the clock.
Personally, I think the Cowboys should give a long, hard look at both Brandon Harris and Marvin Austin. Both represent great value and the depth at cornerback and defensive tackle is weak. There are solid players like free safety Marcus Gilchrist and tackle/guard William Rackley who could still be available for Dallas in the third, so I don’t think they need to reach on a safety if defensive end if they don’t have one rated highly. If I had to guess the likelihood of some of the top prospects to get selected by Dallas in the second round, it would be as follows:
- Brandon Harris: 6 percent
- Marvin Austin: 10 percent
- Ben Ijalana: 4 percent
- Aaron Williams: 8 percent
- Rahim Moore: 35 percent
- DaQuan Bowers: 1 percent
- Kenrick Ellis: 12 percent
- Other: 24 percent (yes, EXACTLY 24 percent!!)