I pass the mic to Jay Redd, who provides thoughtful and reasoned analysis for why the Dallas Cowboys drafted who they drafted after the jump.
The Cowboys have been very active in the free agent market, but aside from Brandon Carr, who provides a much more dependable cover corner than they’ve had in several years, and maybe Dan Connor, who provides some interior depth in the front seven, none of the free agents they signed could be regarded as impact players. Thus, their needs on draft day haven’t been drastically affected. They still need to continue rebuilding the offensive line, they still need to bolster the front seven to take pressure off DeMarcus Ware, and their secondary still has holes that can only be patched up for so long.
It seems pretty obvious that David DeCastro will be very high on the Cowboys’ wish list, but with him off the board, the value at their spot gets a little shaky with regards to need. No DB or interior offensive lineman on the board is worth the 14th pick; however, while the option to trade down into the late-teens/early twenties (where the value at both DB and OL is more fruitful) seems like the obvious one, they will have a tough time finding takers (as I have painfully learned) with no highly coveted impact players on the board.
Therefore, if the Cowboys are indeed forced to remain at 14, I would choose to address their most underrated, yet arguably their most pressing need: defensive line. Jay Ratliff is perhaps the best penetrating NT in football, but the DE spots on either side of him consisted of a hodge-podge of Kenyon Coleman, Marcus Spears, and other no-names to form a collective pile of suckety suck-suck-suck. The line has long-needed an infusion of youth, talent, and versatility, and the crop of answers here are too good to pass on, especially after seeing what J.J Watt did for the Texans in 2011. Thus, with the 14th pick, I choose to select:
Fletcher Cox (DE/DT--Mississippi State).
Versatile, light-footed, plus size and strength, and high effort are some of the adjectives being used to describe Cox. He is still growing into his body, leaving him room for improvement. While he could stand to improve his pass-rushing repertoire, as well as his leverage against the run, his size and strength would be a nice complement to the speedier, more athletic Ratliff, and his versatility might allow Rob Ryan to tinker with different looks along the 3-man front. Michael Brockers is a popular name being thrown around at this position, and Melvin Ingram off the edge is VERY tempting. I just don’t know if OLB is worth drafting here over comparable talent at a position of greater need. And if it came down to a choice between Cox and Brockers, I choose to go with the one with the higher motor and greater upside.
I have no love for Dallas, but I have to admit I love this pick. Your thoughts, BRB?
The Philadelphia Eagles, via splanket, are now on the clock. We're getting this up a bit after 10 a.m., so let's say his pick is due to MDC and I by 12:30 p.m. CDT.
How it's gone so far:
1. Indianapolis Colts--Andrew Luck (QB--Stanford)
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis)--Robert Griffin III (QB--Baylor)
3. Minnesota Vikings--Matt Kalil (OT--USC)
4. Cleveland Browns--Trent Richardson (RB--Alabama)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers--Dontari Poe (DT--Memphis)
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)--Justin Blackmon (WR--Oklahoma State)
7. Jacksonville Jaguars--Morris Claiborne (CB--LSU)
8. Miami Dolphins--Ryan Tannehill (QB--Texas A&M)
9. Carolina Panthers--Quenton Coples (DE--North Carolina)
10. Buffalo Bills--Luke Kuechly (LB--Boston College)
11. Kansas City Chiefs--David DeCastro (OG--Stanford)
12. Seattle Seahawks--Courtney Upshaw (LB--Alabama)
13. Arizona Cardinals--Michael Floyd (WR--Notre Dame)
14. Dallas Cowboys--Fletcher Cox (DE/DT--Mississippi State)
15. Philadelphia Eagles--splanket
16. New York Jets--rexthejet
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)--Deaconbrodie
18. San Diego Chargers-- YohannDookeyBlue
19. Chicago Bears--Fuzion
20. Tennessee Titans--Daniel Knick
21. Cincinnati Bengals--Deaconbrodie
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta)--WreckNTexan
23. Detroit Lions--Mellowcheese
24. Pittsburgh Steelers--texanphil
25. Denver Broncos--Riott, La Voz
26. Houston Texans--BRB Staff
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans)--NoSafetiesNeeded
28. Green Bay Packers--HabitualHoustonFan
29. Baltimore Ravens--MD.Texan
30. San Francisco 49ers--TexansDC
31. New England Patriots--NoSafetiesNeeded
32. New York Giants--DaGoaT