Thursday night the NFL draft will be in prime time TV for the second time. Last year provided plenty of drama as Jerry Jones suddenly traded up to draft CB Morris Claiborne at number 6. That kind of maneuver is difficult to predict and makes for an exiting draft.
Based on position needs combined with prospect availability, I’m providing a list of the first round prospects that are on the Cowboys radar. As a fan, these will be the ones to watch as the prospects move off the board Thursday night.
Check each of them off the list as they become unavailable, and it should offer an indication of who Dallas will pick at #18.
Cowboys First Round Prospects and overall ranking according to CBS Sports prospects:
Guard- Chance Warmack Rank-8
Guard- Jonathan Cooper Rank-12
Safety- Kenny Vaccaro Rank-21
OT- D.J. FLuker Rank-22
I expect Dallas to address the offensive line in the first round or take care of getting a safety for their Tampa 2 defense being implemented in 2013. In my MOCK DRAFT, I came to the conclusion they would likely pick Vaccaro in the first round.
Wildcard: Speedy WR Tavon Austin (rank: 13) is expected to go before #18 but if he should slide down to the Cowboys, I think they would have to consider a change of plans and take him.
Defensive Line Picks: Since Dallas is keeping DE Anthony Spencer and DT Jay Ratliff, I speculate they will not use a first round pick on a defensive lineman but may draft them on the 2nd day. First round defensive linemen that could be drafted by Dallas include:
DT Sheldon Richardson Rank-17
DT Sylvester Williams Rank-18
DE Bjeorn Werner Rank-20
My Take: Buckle up and expect a fast pace ride Thursday night during the draft. I don’t look for Jerry to trade up again but trading down to add picks, is a possibility. I think Dallas has their eyes on the top two guards in the draft (Warmack and Cooper) but if they are gone, then they will get a much needed safety in Vaccaro.
If Vaccaro is gone too, then OT DJ Fluker represents a good pick to help the Cowboys part ways with right tackle Doug Free. Picking a defensive lineman is not as high of a priority and depth is available there later. However, drafting a DE or DT in the first round is still a possibility.
WR Tavon Austin will be an interesting prospect to watch. I think there are teams that may be willing to trade up to get him if he moves down a bit.
Enjoy the show!