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On the eve of the unofficial start of NFL Free Agency (teams can start talking with player agents tomorrow), here’s a very early Cowboys Mock Draft:
1st Round – #18 – D. J. FLUKER – OT – ALABAMA
6-5, 339 pound road grader solves the Cowboys’ big problem at right tackle and, instantly, improves what was the worst running game in the 53-year history of Dallas Cowboys Football….more to come on Fluker after Alabama’s Pro Day next week.
2nd Round – #47 – BARRETT JONES – C/OG – ALABAMA
6-4, 305 pound Rimington Award winner at center in 2012, Outland Award winner at left tackle in 2011, two year starter at right guard in 2009-10, Campbell Award (Academic Heisman) winner (4.0 cumulative GPA), 50 career starts on three national championship teams, this is your starting center or right guard for the next decade.
3rd Round – #80 – T. J. McDONALD – FS – USC
6-2 1/2, 219 pound leader of Monte Kiffin’s USC defense, son of 6-time Pro Bowl safety Tim McDonald, answered any questions about his athleticism at the combine with an outstanding performance, running two 40′s in the 4.5s with a 40-inch vertical, nearly 11 foot long jump, 6.89 cone drill and 19 bench reps. A secondary of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr at the corners, and Barry Church and T.J. McDonald at the safeties will have Monte Kiffin wanting to coach until he’s 83.
4th Round – REX BURKHEAD – RB – NEBRASKA
5-11, 214 pounder who’s my absolute favorite player in the draft, 2-time team captain, top 5 all-time rusher in Nebraska history, 2-time 1st team Academic All-American (graduated in 3 ½ years), 2-time Nebraska Lifter of the Year, 2012 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, another high character “right kind of guy” who had the best performance of any running back at the combine with a 39-inch vertical, 10-5 broad jump, 4.09 shuttle, 6.85 cone drill, and 21 bench reps. His only combine negative was a 4.73 40 which he made up for with two runs in the 4.5s at his Pro Day this week. I would be very tempted to take Burkhead as early as the third round. I think Belichick will be all over him. He’s a do-everything back who’s the perfect complement to DeMarco Murray.
5th Round – JAKE KNOTT – OLB – IOWA STATE
6-2, 243 pound playmaker, 2-time team captain, 2-time 1st team All-Big 12, should be available in mid-rounds due to the fact he’s coming off shoulder surgery, 8 career interceptions, 347 career tackles, 18 tackles for loss, another high character leader who has terrific instincts, perfect fit as Sam linebacker alongside MLB Sean Lee and WLB Bruce Carter in Kiffin’s defense.
6th Round – DAMION SQUARE – DT – ALABAMA
6-2 ½, 293 pounder who made 33 starts for two-time national champs, captain, voted “most inspiring player” on team, 18 career tackles for loss, 7 ½ sacks, product of Houston Yates became vocal leader of nation’s best defense, will be interested to see how he tests at Alabama’s Pro Day next week. Another option in 6th round could be Alabama tight end Michael Williams, who, like Square, was not invited to the Scouting Combine. I guess you can’t invite every Alabama player to the combine, but a team would be wise to draft as many of them as it can.
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