Dallas Cowboys

May 7, 2014

Mock draft: Cowboys could do the unexpected and take … a WR?

The Cowboys sit in no man’s land when it comes to defensive linemen, which likely will force them to trade out of the spot.

This has the makings of the most unpredictable draft in recent memory. No one seems to know what the Houston Texans are going to do with the first pick or where Johnny Manziel will end up. We know the Dallas Cowboys want a defensive lineman, but they are in no man’s land for one, so they likely will try to move up or down. Put on your seat belt and get ready for a wild ride:

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina. The Texans want to trade down, and if they do, the choice could be Blake Bortles or Khalil Mack.

2. St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M. The Rams, if they can’t trade down, will take the offensive tackle with whom Jeff Fisher is most familiar.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M. He makes too much sense for the Jaguars, who need something to sell to their fan base.

4. Cleveland Browns: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo. Browns coach Mike Pettine was confirmed to attend only one Pro Day, and that was Mack’s.

5. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. The Raiders need playmakers in the worst way, and Watkins instantly improves an offense ranked 23rd last season.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn. The Falcons allowed 44 sacks last season, with LT Sam Baker playing in only four games because of a left knee injury.

7. Tampa Bay Bucs: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M. The Bucs need a WR opposite Vincent Jackson, who is 31.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh. Mike Zimmer gets the Geno Atkins for his Vikings’ defense.

9. Buffalo Bills: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan. The Bills love Watkins and might attempt a move up, and Eric Ebron would give E.J. Manuel a big receiving weapon, but the Bills allowed 48 sacks last season.

10. Detroit Lions: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA. The Lions love Watkins and Mack and could move up, but Barr fits new coordinator Teryl Austin’s defense.

11. Tennessee Titans: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State. The Titans could trade back for Derek Carr or C.J. Mosley, but the top defensive player on the board likely is their choice.

12. N.Y. Giants: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame. They used a first-round pick on RT Justin Pugh last year, but because they gave up 40 sacks last season, it remains a need.

13. St. Louis Rams: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State. Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson are the only CBs on the Rams’ roster with any real NFL experience.

14. Chicago Bears: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama. The Bears could draft DT Timmy Jernigan, but FS Chris Conte had off-season shoulder surgery and SS Major Wright is gone.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech. The Steelers could trade back if Dennard and Gilbert are gone, but Ike Taylor needs to be replaced one way or the other.

16. Dallas Cowboys: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU. The Cowboys either will trade up (Barr or Anthony) or trade down (Ryan Shazier, Kony Ealy or Demarcus Lawrence), so don’t get too excited. But they do like Beckham, and they do need a WR.

17. Baltimore Ravens: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina. They could use S help, but the Ravens need to improve an offense that ranked 29th, and they love Ebron.

18. N.Y. Jets: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State. The Jets could take Calvin Pryor, but they still are looking for a No. 1 receiver after releasing Santonio Holmes.

19. Miami Dolphins: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia. The Dolphins could look to trade up (Martin) or trade down (Cyrus Kouandjio, Ja’Wuan James or Moses), but they will end up with an OT.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida. C.J. Mosley or Calvin Pryor are possibilities, but Bortles could groom under Carson Palmer.

21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, S, Pittsburgh. Their safeties didn’t intercept a single pass last season, and one starter, MD Jennings, left for Chicago.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State. The Eagles can afford to go with the best player available, but OLB and WR appear to be their two most pressing needs.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR, USC. The Chiefs’ failed pursuit of Emmanuel Sanders shows where they think they need help.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama. The Bengals will listen to trade offers, but if they can’t move, the best defensive player left on the board — whoever that is — could be the choice.

25. San Diego Chargers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State. The Chargers could take Louis Nix III or move back, but wherever they pick, they have to help a defense that ranked 23rd last season.

26. Cleveland Browns: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville. The Browns could wait until the second round to get their developmental QB, but Bridgewater will do well learning from Brian Hoyer.

27. New Orleans Saints: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU. The Saints’ top needs are WR, CB and a pass-rusher, so the highest-rated player at one of those positions should be the choice.

28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State. The Panthers lost Steve Smith and three other wideouts in free agency, and even with three free agent complementary WRs signed, they still need help.

29. New England Patriots: Stephon Tuitt, DL, Notre Dame. The Patriots’ DL has four key players over the age of 30, so youth is needed.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana. The 49ers could trade up for a CB, their biggest need, but if they stay put, they go WR with Michael Crabtree in a contract year and Anquan Boldin growing old.

31. Denver Broncos: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri. The Broncos could go OG, a need, but John Elway has used first-round picks on a defensive player in the pat three drafts and might go that way again to aid a unit that ranked 19th last season.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State. DT Ra’Shede Hageman could be the choice, but a pass-rusher makes sense with Chris Clemons gone and Bruce Irvin’s position unsettled.

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