NEED: Defensive line would be very high on anyone’s list at this point.
In the 2nd round, I expect the Cowboys to address the defense and look for them to draft either a defensive end or defensive tackle. With the signing of free agent DT Henry Melton, I would rank DE as a slightly larger need now than DT.
DEs Available: Ones who fit the Cowboys 4-3 defense
Kony Ealy– Ealy would be considered a good 2nd round value pick if he is still on the board when Dallas picks at 47. Excellent quickness inside the box and capable of providing a much needed pass rush off the edge. Good character and athlete with lots of upside potential.
Kareem Martin– In my mock draft, I had Dallas selecting Martin in the 2nd round and I still think that could happen.
Great size for playing DE in a 4-3. A capable pass rusher and very good run defender. Picking up Martin would solidify the DE position in the absence of Ware and getting him in the 2nd round would be a solid pick. A team captain and very productive the last half of the season last year at UNC. Possesses all the natural tools and With Marinelli coaching Martin, he could become a very good pro.
DTs Available: Ones who fit their 4-3 defense
Timmy Jernigan– I think Jernigan is one of the best players still on the board for any position. In fact, I considered him a first round talent and a good option For Dallas in the first if they didn’t get Donald, however news of a failed drug test at the combine made it’s way to the media just prior to the draft, which no doubt is causing his tumble. As far as his talent goes, Jernigan would impact the Cowboys run defense immediately. Mostly thought of as the often under valued one technique, Jernigan would be a nice compliment to Melton in the defensive line.
Ra’Shede Hageman- Hageman must be considered a great value if Dallas is able to pick him in the 2nd round. He has excellent size 6-6, 310 similar to the departed Hatcher, and can play the one or three techniques in their 4-3 defense. While not appearing to go all out every play, Hageman can be pretty much unblockable when he decides to bring it. His potential basically has no ceiling.
2nd Round Tonight
These defensive line prospects should all go off the board pretty quickly next round but Dallas will likely be able to pick one of them up and give the defense a much needed boost.