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Drafting Right Kind Of Guys: Offensive Line

Bill Jones, CBS 11 Sports | CBSDFW.COM
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After filling up my big red spiral notebook with three months of draft research, here they are – “the right kind of guys” for the Cowboys to draft this year.

Jason Garrett told me the right kind of guy is “someone who loves to play football, is very passionate about it, willing to work hard at it, willing to be a part of a team, willing to be part of something that is maybe greater than himself.”

Work ethic, smarts, leadership, passion, attitude, toughness, maturity and confidence to go along with playmaking ability and productivity are all things you look for in trying to find the right kind of guy. Plus, does the player fit in the Cowboys offensive and defensive schemes? Does the player have an injury history that may preclude him from contributing during the four years the Cowboys will have him under contract? These are all factors to be considered.

Let’s start with offensive line prospects, a position of great need for Dallas.

2013 Draft: Right Kind of Guys

Offensive Line

D. J. Fluker, RT, Alabama (6-5, 339, 1st Round)

  • Massive behemoth who’s a road grading right tackle
  • Former Cowboys scouting guru Gil Brandt says Fluker would be a perfect fit for Cowboys and believes he will be a great right guard in this league
  • All the intangibles you look for: great leader and teammate with infectious positive attitude who plays with pride, passion and a mean streak
  • Graduated in 3 ½ years
  • If you believe pre-draft rhetoric, Cowboys are not expected to draft Fluker

Chance Warmack, G, Alabama (6-2, 317, 1st round)

  • Makes up for marginal mobility (5.50 forty with 1.90 10-yard split) with great balance and strength
  • Must keep his weight under control as he gets older.
  • Reminds of 6-time Pro Bowler Nate Newton
  • College graduate
  • Won’t be available at 18, but Cowboys will run to podium to turn in pick if he is

Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina (6-2, 311, 1st round)

  • In contrast to Warmack, has great mobility (5.07 forty with 1.72 10-yard split) to go along with great strength (35 bench reps)
  • Durable 4-year starter but had shoulder surgery for chronic inflammation in 2011
  • Occasionally missed assignments
  • Communications degree
  • Probably won’t be there at 18, but again, Cowboys will run to podium if he is

Barrett Jones, C/G, Alabama (6-5, 306, 2nd/3rd round)

  • Perhaps the most decorated offensive lineman in the history of college football who started 4 years (RG, LT, C) for a 3-time national champion
  • Won Outland, Rimington and Campbell (Academic Heisman) Trophies
  • 4.0 GPA who earned Master’s in accounting
  • Allowed no sacks at center as a senior, 3 sacks at left tackle as a junior, and no sacks at right guard as a sophomore; very few missed assignments, grading out at more than 99%
  • Don’t expect Cowboys to draft Jones due to fact he had foot surgery in January, though he is expected to be ready for training camp

Larry Warford, G, Kentucky (6-3, 332, 2nd round)

  • Like Warmack, lacks mobility (5.56 forty) but great strength (28 bench reps)
  • Buried Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson at times in head to head matchup
  • May not be a good fit in zone blocking scheme but an annihilating power blocker

Justin Pugh, G, Syracuse (6-5, 307, 2nd round)

  • 3-time All-Big East tackle who projects to guard or center (32 inch arms)
  • Really good mobility (7.45 cone drill) but needs to get stronger (22 bench reps)
  • Very bright; finance degree
  • Projects as early 2nd round pick; may not be around when Cowboys pick at 47

Terron Armstead, T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-5, 306, 2nd round)

  • Very athletic talent who ran an incredible 4.71 forty with 31 bench reps
  • small school project who’s not ready to start as a rookie but could eventually be special
  • Could be a late 1st round pick if there’s an expected early run on tackles

Khaled Holmes, C/G, USC (6-3, 302, 3rd Round)

  • Really like this player – smart, agile on tape (gets to 2nd level) and played really well against Utah NT Star Lotulelei in his head to head matchup
  • Captain; 1st ream All Pac 12 who started two years at center after starting at right guard as a sophomore
  • Well spoken, 2nd team Academic All-American who has earned his Master’s in communication management
  • Brother-in-law of Steelers safety Troy Polomalu

Brian Schwenke, C, California (6-3, 314, 3rd round)

  • 1st team All Pac 12 center who is strong (31 bench reps) and very mobile (4.94 forty with very quick 7.31 cone drill)
  • Reminds of Ravens guard Marshall Yanda, who was a 3rd round pick out of Iowa in 2007 and has developed into an All Pro player

Travis Frederick, C/G, Wisconsin (6-4, 312, 3rd round)

  • 1st team All-Big Ten center who is a totally different prospect than Schwenke
  • Power blocker who lacks mobility (5.58 forty) with just 21 bench reps
  • Very smart, well spoken player who started at both center and guard and was the first true freshman ever to start on the offensive line at Wisconsin

Brian Winters, G, Kent State (6-4, 320, 3rd round)

  • 50 career starts at tackle; projects to guard (32 ½ inch arms)
  • Good athleticism (31 ½ vertical and 2.81 20 yard split at 320 pounds)

David Quessenberry, T, San Jose State (4th round)

  • Former walk-on who started 3 years at left tackle
  • Needs to get stronger but has good athleticism with potential to be an eventual starter at a premium position

Alvin Bailey, G, Arkansas (6-3, 312, 4th round)

  • Good quickness and strength (4.95 forty, 1.72 split, 27 bench reps)

Dallas Thomas, G, 6-6, 306, Tennessee (5th round)

  • 3 year starter at tackle and guard whose stock fell after shoulder surgery to repair torn labrum
  • Cowboys know everything they need to know about this player since Derek Dooley was his head coach at Tennessee

Jordan Mills, RT, Louisiana Tech (5th round)

  • Somewhat intriguing right tackle prospect who has some nastiness

Brennan Williams, RT, North Carolina, (6-6, 318, 5th Round)

  • Son of former NFL player Brent Williams who’s coming off shoulder and knee injuries
  • Late blooming bright player who might have some potential

Sam Schwartzstein, C, Stanford (6-3, 302, 7th round)

  • Very cerebral and fundamentally sound player who was the vocal leader of one of the best offensive lines in college football the past two years
  • 2nd team All-Pac 12 who won Stanford’s Al Masters Leadership Award

Vinston Painter, RT/G, Virginia Tech (6-4, 306, 7th round)

  • Raw, unpolished right tackle who has some tools and may be best suited to play guard
  • Caught my eye when he handled Clemson DE Malliciah Goodman
  • Strong (32 bench reps) with good quickness (4.95 forty and 4.56 shuttle)
  • College graduate

2013 Draft: Wrong Kind of Guys

Kyle Long, G/T, Oregon (6-6, 313)

  • Son of Hall of Famer Howie Long has great athletic ability but very limited experience (4 career starts) and past off the field issues

Menelik Watson, T, Florida State (6-5, 310)

  • Former Marist University basketball player from Manchester, England who’s too much of a project – “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Joe Madsen, C, West Virginia (6-3, 310)

  • Suspended for 2012 Pinstripe Bowl for academics

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