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Mock-It-Yourself: The Cowboys 3.0

Thanks to one of the writers at dallascowboys.com, I found a nifty site that allows you to select an NFL team and do a mock draft for them.

http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/

This is the third mock draft I've blogged about. The first one was done a few weeks ago, which is an eternity in pre-draft coverage, so let's just pretend it never happened. The second one is solid, but I did waste a pick on a punter so it should really be disqualified on that basis alone. Hence, round three.

The basic site doesn't allow you to trade picks, which is a problem for the 'Boys since they likely won't have any obvious targets at 16 and have about 87 seventh round picks at the moment. I figure since I have to know at least as much as Jerry Jones about football (low bar to clear, but still), it's a worthy exercise. This time I did two mocks, one using Fanspeak's big board and one using Walter Football's, and actually came away with almost identical classes, thereby guaranteeing the actual Cowboys draft will look nothing like the following:

Round 1 (16): Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama (both mocks)
I don't like taking a safety this early. The Cowboys certainly don't like taking a safety this early. But with all my preferred front seven picks off the board (Aaron Donald and Anthony Barr) and even consolation prize Ryan Shazier gone, I had to take somebody. Of the projected first round safeties though, Clinton-Dix is the best fit for the Dallas D and a starting role alongside Barry Church.

Round 2 (47): Kareem Martin, DE, UNC (both mocks)
I really don't have a good sense of where Martin will go in the actual draft, but any projected Day 2 guys with legit pass rush skills tend to go higher than many experts think, so while this is a reach according to the generic big boards Fanspeak uses it might also be wishful thinking to hope he's still around at 47. Martin's rough around the edges and will never be mistaken for Demarcus Ware, but under Rod Marinelli's tutelage he could potentially turn into a very good player.

Round 3 (78): Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State / Daquan Jones, DT, Penn State
This is where the mocks start getting weird, in that while the names change they're still effectively the same pick. It's not like I went into this pick thinking "need a DT, stat!", but in both mocks these were the guys that seemed like the best match of BPA and team need. (Tennessee OT Antonio Richardson was still on the board in one of the two mocks, which is the only other player I really thought about). Jones is the more physically imposing player, but Sutton likely has more upside and was thought to be a potential first rounder before he bulked up with a lot of bad weight in his final year of college. Both are very capable of being dangerous one-technique DTs in the Cowboys 4-3 though.

Round 4 (119): Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington / Terrance West, RB, Towson
I swear, I looked at players at other positions, but there just wasn't anyone that screamed "pick me!" the way the available RBs did. This might be a non-need selection, perhaps, but take a look at the Cowboys' depth chart. Injury-prone DeMarco Murray at the top, injury-prone and unproven Lance Dunbar second, slow-as-molasses Joseph Randle third. This club badly needs a player capable of really stepping in for Murray if/when he goes down again and even pushing Murray out the door entirely once his rookie contract is up. Sankey's more highly touted but I personally like West better since I think he offers a little more fire. Both have that squat, powerful Emmitt Smith-like build that could get Jerry Jones dreaming though.

Round 5 (158): Cornelius Lucas, OT, Kansas State (both mocks)
In looking past the top-rated tackles, Lucas kept standing out as an intriguing pick and not just because he's ginormous (six-foot-eight, with a wingspan measured at 88-plus inches prior to the combine). He's very raw, and didn't show what he could do at the combine due to a stress fracture in his foot (a worrisome sign for a guy his size), but despite criticisms of his strength he popped 26 reps on the bench press on his pro day and appeared to be fully recovered from the injury six weeks later. The Cowboys need some quick healers, frankly. Maybe it'll rub off on the rest of the locker room. While this might be a bit of a reach in the fifth round Dallas doesn't have a sixth round pick and I don't believe Lucas will fall to the seventh, nor is there anybody left on the board at tackle with anything close to his upside, so it's take him now or wave goodbye.

Round 7 (229): Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State / Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
I didn't technically take both these guys at 229, but figured I'd match the seventh rounders up by position. Lawson ran a 4.48 at the combine but needs work, while Colvin would have gone higher but is recovering from a torn ACL. Either of them should be a decent depth CB/special teams guy as a rookie, and both have the potential to grow into bigger roles.

Round 7 (231): Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA (both mocks)
Marsh isn't the most physically gifted guy at DE but his motor runs hot (sometimes too hot) and he's got NFL bloodlines. If Marinelli can instill some discipline in him, he'll be a contributor.

Round 7 (238): Zach Fulton, G, Tennessee / Kadeem Edwards, G, Tennessee State
Fulton has good size and an SEC pedigree but needs someone to light a fire under him to ever take full advantage of his assets. Edwards has better size and athletic ability but is very, very raw. As a seventh round dart at a position where the Cowboys need some depth, I'll take either one.

Round 7 (248): Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State (both mocks)
He's got the physical tools to be a solid blocker and as a former basketball player he should have the vertical skills to be effective in the red zone. I stand by thinking Gavin Escobar will be a huge bust, neither useful as a blocker nor reliable in the passing game, and nabbing Jensen will give them a bit of insurance behind Jason Witten.

Round 7 (251): Quincy Enunwa, WR, Nebraska (both mocks)
I may be a little enamored with the idea of taking Enunwa in the seventh round. He's got prototypical Cowboy size at WR (six-foot-two, 225), ran a 4.45 at the combine, is considered to have great character and despite being a senior is still only 21. So why isn't he a first rounder? Well, his actual receiving skills (route running, catching with his hands etc) may be somewhat lacking, and by 'somewhat' I mean 'are you kidding me?'. Skills can be taught though, especially if the maturing Dez Bryant takes the kid under his wing. I'll roll those dice.

Round 7 (254): James Morris, ILB, Iowa (both mocks)
Smart, good motor, dedicated to the game, has experience as a strong-side LB in the 4-3... and ran a 4.80 at the combine. Whoops. Probably just a special teams guy, but he could surprise.

So there you have it, my last mock before the real thing starts tonight. I'll be curious to see if I managed to name anybody at all who ends up wearing a start on their helmet...

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