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Leading up to Thursday’s NFL Draft, we’re detailing the different draft strategies the Cowboys might be pondering. In previous mock drafts, we’ve explored the possibilities of the Cowboys drafting a safety, or a defensive lineman, or even a trade down in the first round.
This mock draft shows you what the Cowboys selections could look like if they choose to select an offensive lineman in the first round.
1st Round – #14 – DAVID DECASTRO – OG – Stanford
Widely considered one of the safest options in the first round, some experts compare DeCastro (6-5, 316) to 7-time Pro Bowler Steve Hutchinson… a 3-year starter at right guard who could also play center in the NFL…quick feet, balanced body, non stop work ethic.
2nd Round – #45 – RONNELL LEWIS – OLB – Oklahoma
Nicknamed “The Hammer” for the hard hits he delivers on a regular basis, Lewis (6-2, 253) has the potential to become a dynamic pass rusher… had some academic issues in college which resulted in him missing some games…played 8-man football in high school and some believe he simply wasn’t prepared to take on the course load required in college…figures to be a 3rd down pass rush specialist and special teams demon early and whether he becomes a 3-down starter could depend on how he adapts to the mental demands of the pro game.
3rd Round – #81 – CASEY HAYWARD – CB – Vanderbilt
The Cowboys will feel fortunate if Hayward (5-11, 192) is available midway of the 3rd round…2nd team All American who matched up well against top SEC receivers like A. J. Green, Julio Jones, and Alshon Jeffery… 13 interceptions the last two seasons… not elite long speed (4.53) but flashed exceptional quickness (3.90 shuttle) at the combine.
4th Round – #113 – KHEESTON RANDALL – DE – Texas
The top dozen or so defensive linemen will be gone by the 4th round but Randall would be a solid, though not flashy, mid-round selection…prototype size for a 5-technique (6-5, 293)…a run plugger in the mold of Kenyon Coleman who can collapse the pocket but won’t post many sacks… high character, model citizen, great work ethic.
4th Round – #135 – DEVON WYLIE – WR – Fresno State
A mid-round slot receiver option who ranks right there with Ryan Broyles, T. Y. Hilton, and Joe Adams among the top tier slots in this draft… really good speed (4.39) and athleticism (39 inch vertical), Wylie (5-9, 187) brings added value as a punt returner and gunner on special teams.
5th Round – #152 – TANK CARDER – LB – TCU
Highly productive team leader on the Rose Bowl champion Horned Frogs, Carder (6-2, 236) has done nothing but improve his stock throughout the draft process… showed impressive speed at the combine (4.60 forty with a 1.59 ten yard split).
6th Round – #186 – JOE LOONEY – OG – Wake Forest
This could be a real value pick on a 21-year old 4-year starter who was unable to improve his draft stock after sustaining a torn ligament in his foot during Senior Bowl workouts in January… the injury should not affect his availability for training camp.
7th Round – #222 – LIONEL SMITH – CB – Texas A&M
One of four Texas A&M defensive backs who are draft eligible…Smith’s height (nearly 6-foot tall) and speed (4.44) make him a late round possibility for a team that is looking far and wide for secondary help.
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