Last year in my 2012 mock draft I had Dallas selecting TE James Hanna in the draft and they actually did select him. If you were to check back on the “experts” mocks, you will find that they didn’t even get one pick correct. Perhaps I have earned a little credibility in my Cowboys mock for 2013.
TE James Hanna proved to be a solid player for Dallas as the season progressed. In my 2012 mock I pointed out that Hanna’s speed would cause trouble for defenders and in 2013, I expect to see him play a larger role in the Cowboys passing offense.
2013 MOCK DRAFT
First Round: Safety Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
The Cowboys have had Vaccaro in for a workout so I know that he is at least on their radar screen. Gerald Sensabaugh is no longer with Dallas so they are going to need help at this position. Next season in the 4-3 defense, it’s going to be all about creating turnovers and on film, Vaccaro intercepted passes and caused fumbles.
Vaccaro looks like an ideal fit for Kiffin’s Tampa 2 defense that will ask a safety to cover half the field, provide run support, and occasionally blitz. On video, Vaccaro demonstrated he can deliver a pop in tackling and he has the speed to cover in the slot.
It seems Dallas has needed a real safety for years now. I think in this year’s draft they finally take care of this spot. Kenny Vaccaro can immediately improve the Cowboys run and pass defense. Also will help special teams too as an excellent open field tackler. If he is there at #18, I don’t see how Jerry can pass on the top rated safety in the draft.
2nd Round: Guard Larry Warford, Kentucky
Many mocks have Dallas drafting a guard in the first round in either Jonathon Cooper or Chance Warmack. While I think either pick would be outstanding for Dallas, I just don’t think these two guards will make it down to #18 where Dallas picks. So I think Dallas gets that much needed guard in the second round and in Warford, they will be getting a mighty good one.
Warford allowed 0 sacks at Kentucky last year and he brings a nasty attitude that the Cowboys offensive line has not displayed in a long time. He is a physical run blocker which Dallas desperately needs to revamp their sluggish running game.
Drafting Warford in the second, would immediately improve both the Cowboys running game and help protect Romo in the middle of the line. He could replace Bernadeau (who is having surgery on his right shoulder before the season) and start at right guard immediately.
The Cowboys play in the Hall of Fame game this year where former guard Larry Allen will be inducted, and it would be nice to have big nasty guard like Warford on the field to remind us of how Allen played the game. Warford could lock down one guard spot for years to come.
3rd Round: OT/OG David Quessenberry, San Jose State
Since his appearance in the senior bowl, David has been moving up the prospect rank boards. He is a 6-5″, 302 lb. former TE that moves his feet very well. I don’t view David as a day one starter but he can provide depth at tackle, guard, and has even been considered as center which is valuable, and his upside potential is excellent. Needs to become stronger and adding some weight wouldn’t hurt either. But he is very athletic and demonstrated nice feet at the combine finishing in the top 5 among OTs in the cone and shuttle drills.
I think in a short time, David could become a starter at guard to replace Livings or at RT to replace Doug Free. Or even center to replace Costa. Dallas could use help in all three places. At this point, it appears Free will remain at RT for Dallas but David gives us hope that things could improve there.
David Quessenberry was a team captain at San Jose State which coach Jason Garrett has shown a tendency to want to draft. He is the right kind of guy if you will. He compares to converted TE and current left tackle for the Patriots, Nate Solder. Similar size, build and good feet. David could be used effectively as a tackle eligible too.
4th Round:Running Back LeVeon Bell, Michigan State
RB Felix Jones has not been resigned, so far, and it’s clear that Jason would like to have a durable RB in the mix considering his starter DeMarco Murray has missed games with injuries in both of his seasons.
Bell has good size (6-2″, 230) and power that would make him a solid option for the Cowboys. He catches the ball well out of the back field and picks up would be blitzers well too. Last season at Mich. St. Bell rushed for 1,793 yards (led the Big 10) and 12 TDs. This pick allows Dallas to move on from the not so healthy Felix Jones. Bell has visited Valley Ranch so he is on the Cowboys radar screen. Perhaps Bell can help add a spark to the Cowboys struggling run game.
5th Round: Defensive Tackle Everett Dawkins, Florida State
The Cowboys are converting to a 4-3 defense so it makes sense to add youth to the defensive line that can be a good fit for that scheme. Dawkins will thrive in a 4-3 as a DT that can pressure the QB. Dawkins ran a 5.0/40 and has the athletic ability to play at both DT and DE in a 4-3. His role could be to fit into the rotation on the line and can get after the QB with fresh legs at times.
Drafting an athletic DT here in the draft makes good sense for the Cowboys.
6th Round: DE David Bass, Missouri Western State
Bass (6-4, 262 lbs) was very productive at the division II level with 39.5 sacks and 56 tackles for a loss. That was against lesser competition no doubt but he did hold his own in the Shrine Bowl. Has excellent quickness and athletic ability to rush the passer at DE. Bass had the 4th best time in the shuttle of all DE prospects. Bass can provide depth at DE in the new 4-3 defense and develop into a pass rusher of the future.
Bass is described as a player with high character and it’s the type of guy that Jason likes to draft. I think they could count on him to work hard to develop his pass rushing skills and contribute in the near future.
These are six prospects that could help the Cowboys get over that 8-8 hump they are stuck on. Three offensive players and three defensive players to address the areas that need improving on both sides of the ball.
Here are the main points of my mock:
1. They must get one of the top three guards in the draft in order to improve their running game and give Romo protection in the middle.
2. They must come up with a safety that can provide good pass coverage.
3. They need depth on the defensive line and fortunately this draft is deep there so they can find help in later rounds.
4. It would be nice to get an OT that can replace Doug Free but it will be challenging to do while addressing other draft needs too.
5. It would be a good move to draft a RB that can replace Felix Jones and back up the often injured DeMarco Murray.