Sports

Cowboys should be able to take best available at No. 14 pick

It isn't a secret the Dallas Cowboys need help in the draft. It also isn't a big secret where the Cowboys need help.

They could use a safety, a cornerback, a defensive end, an outside linebacker, an inside linebacker and interior offensive linemen. With the 14th overall pick, Dallas should be able to take the best player available.

Here are 10 players they could be watching closely at the Scouting Combine, which is under way in Indianapolis:

Mark Barron, SS, Alabama -- The 6-foot-2, 218-pounder will not participate in drills at the combine after having double hernia surgery. Barron is the only safety worthy of first-round consideration. He made first-team All-SEC honors three consecutive years with career stats of 12 interceptions, 235 tackles and 34 passes defensed.

Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina -- The 6-6, 281-pounder was first-team All-ACC after making 7.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss, while playing inside much of the time. He had 24 career sacks and leaves the Tar Heels with 144 career tackles, five forced fumbles and 22 quarterback hurries.

David DeCastro, OG, Stanford -- The 6-5, 312-pounder is the top prospect among interior offensive linemen. The Cardinal right guard rarely got beat in pass blocking in earning first-team all-Pac-12 honors the past two seasons.

Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska -- He had injuries the past three seasons that kept him out of a total of six games. He also has to prove his performance at the Senior Bowl was merely a bad week. The 5-10, 203-pounder had four interceptions and 21 pass breakups last season in earning All-Big Ten honors.

Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina -- Ingram is one of the best pass-rushing prospects. The 6-2, 276-pounder earned All-SEC honors with 10 sacks to go with 48 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, six quarterback hurries, two pass breakups, a fumble recovery and two interceptions. He also scored three touchdowns.

Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama -- The 5-10, 191-pounder is a risk because of his off-the-field problems that got him kicked out of Florida. He is an outstanding talent, though. Jenkins had a 21.7-yard punt return average and two interceptions last season.

Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin -- The 6-5, 315-pounder is a three-year starter from a school that has produced several standout linemen in recent seasons. Durability is a concern as he missed games -- seven total -- in each of his three seasons.

Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College -- The 6-2, 237-pounder has outstanding football instincts. He is always around the ball. Kuechly led the nation in tackles with 191, including 102 solos and became the most decorated defensive player in school history in winning the Butkus, Lombardi, Lott IMPACT and Nagurski awards.

Devon Still, DE, Penn State -- The Big Ten defensive player of the year played defensive tackle in college. The 6-4, 310-pounder led the team with 17 tackles for loss while recording 4.5 sacks last season.

Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama -- The 6-2, 273-pounder was a finalist for the Lombardi and Butkus awards. He had 9.5 sacks, an interception, 17 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hurries.

Charean Williams

817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments