Draft season is officially underway. We are only one month away from the NFL Combine so I believe it's time for a new mock.
I believe this is really good draft to have a lot of 2nd and 3 round picks, so I brewed up a trade for us. GM of the Balitmore Ravens Ozzie Newsome calls about the #18 selection after winning the Super Bowl to select Manti Te'o to replace HOFer Ray Lewis. Dallas receives #32 and #62. This will give us enough firepower to fill multiple positional needs. Let's get to it.
#32- C - Barrett Jones - Alabama
I truly believe the lack of an elite Center is holding the entire Dallas Cowboys team hostage. We saw against Baltimore when Phil Costa was somewhat healthy what this team's potential could be. Barrett Jones is the best Center in the class and he fills a massive hole on the offensive line. Jones was award winner at 3 different positions in college and offers flexibility for Dallas.
#47- DE - Dion Jordan - Oregon
Personally, I do not believe Anthony Spencer will re-sign here because there are many teams that are in dire need of Spencer's skill set. Don't be surprised if Phildelphia makes a run at Spencer in FA with them moving to a 3-4. And with Garrett mentioning the idea of Crawford as a DT, DE becomes a need. Jordan struggled with injuries late in the year, but he has everything you look for in a pass rusher.
#62- DT Datone Jones - UCLA
Datone Jones carries the classic "tweener" label and at 6'4, 280 lbs, where does he fit in a 4-3? My answer? Every where. I saw him during the Senior Bowl week beat Central Michigan's Eric Fisher on a consistent basis who will be a Top 10 selection come April. Jones has a variety of pass-rushing moves and is a bull inside. Sometimes you just have to throw the measurable out the window because Jones will be a very productive player in this league. I want him on my team. I like the D-line rotation of Ratliff, Hatcher, Crawford, Jones, Lissemore and Spears.
#80 - QB E.J. Manuel - Florida St.
Hear me out about E.J. before you dismiss this pick. Is E.J. Manuel inconsistent? Absolutely. Was E.J. Manuel a stud in college? No. But I believe a lot of things that make Manuel inconsistent are fixable with good coaching and being placed in a good situation. If a team drafts him expecting him to help right away like a Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson they will be extremely disappointed. Manuel has all the talent you could ask for in a project QB and would have time here to sit behind Tony and learn for a few years. It should be noted that there is a good chance a team over-drafts him and he fails. But if I was the GM of this team, I might take a chance on him here.
#111 - T/G Terron Armstead - Arknsas Pine-Bluff
Easily the best offensive lineman at the East-West Shrine game, Armstead got the call up to the Senior Bowl and performed well at LT. I believe his best position is inside, but he offers versatility as a 3rd tackle and the potential to start inside in 2013. I anticipate Free not coming back in 2013 and the selection of Armstead here would make a lot of sense.
#144 - DB Tyrann Mathieu - LSU
Is the "Honey Badger" a Garrett kind of guy? No, he most certainly is not. But this defense is in desperate need of play-makers as Dallas only took the ball away 16 times all year. This might be a pick that Jerry Jones "bangs on the table" for because he is such a talent and the cost is relatively low. Mathieu could play multiple position in Kiffin's 4-3.
#175 - WR/RB/KR Denard Robinson - Michigan
Well, well. Robinson struggled at the Senior Bowl and is new to the wide receiver position. Robinson is rail thin and has a tendency to get nicked up, but I still love this kid. Denard is a competitor who can help as a WR, RB, KR, PR, emergency QB and CB. I love players who can help out in multiple areas, not to mention he is a player who is dangerous in space. He is a great teammate, tough as nails and is a Garrett type of guy. Robinson is just a football player, plain and simple.