With pick number 18 in the draft, the Dallas Cowboys could see both kinds of prospects playing a part in their decision on draft day, as well as in later rounds. There are no guarantees in the draft. All you can do is minimize risk. Both fallers and risers have risk associated with them. So if you are faced with one or the other, which way do you go?
The answer actually should already be in place before draft day. The real way this should play out is in how the team's board looks. Decisions are going to be made starting this week on how much weight to put on an unexpectedly good or bad performance.
I'm not going to try and predict how the Cowboys will build their board. I'm just going to point out some names that may be of interest to Dallas that have made some moves, one way or another, at the Combine. It may be a bit premature, since there is still a full day to go - but the positions I think are of most interest for the Cowboys have some numbers up. I looked over what was posted on the Combine Tracker at NFL.com, and a few names stood out for me.
Damontre Moore DE Texas A&M At one point, Moore was considered a sure-fire top-five prospect. Some projections put him as high as the second choice. Then he threw up a puny 12 reps on the bench press before tweaking his hamstring during the 40 yards, and suddenly people are scratching their heads.
Could he suddenly be in play for the Cowboys at 18? While the bench press had everyone reacting negatively, he still had some other decent numbers. He was one of the top performers in both the vertical and broad jumps, which indicates a lot of power in his lower body. There is no indication of what went wrong with the lifting, but he is likely to slide. If he is there at eighteen, does his body of work and possible improvements at the A&M pro day make him worth picking?
Barkevious Mingo DE LSU Mingo did not lift at the combine, but so far he has been tearing everything else up. A top performer among rushmen in the 40, vertical jump and broad jump, he had been projected as a reach for the Cowboys in the first round. Could his performance be enough to push him into range at 18?
Dion Jordan DE Oregon