Mel Kiper mock 2.0: Cowboys pick Alabama S Mark Barron

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
12:26
PM ET
In version 2.0 of his mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper projects the Cowboys to select Alabama safety Mark Barron with 14th overall pick.

Kiper’s comment:
Dallas got shredded far too often with the passing game in 2011, and while Barron might be a very slight reach here in terms of his current grade, he's a perfect fit for the Cowboys. I have "defensive back" on my sheet as a big need in Big D, meaning they can't go wrong with either the top safety or the top cornerback here, and Barron offers the most value. Better in run support right now than he is in coverage, Barron could get better against the pass, but he's an upgrade for the Cowboys.

There’s no question that safety is a glaring need for the Cowboys – and has been since Darren Woodson retired after the 2003 season. However, it’d be surprising to see the Cowboys pick a safety in the first round. There isn’t a lot of buzz about Barron coming from Valley Ranch right now, and he’s the only safety considered first-round material in this draft crop.

Kiper projects Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick to go to the Bengals at No. 17 and Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro to go to the Bengals at No. 21. It’s difficult to envision the Cowboys passing on both of those players, who would also fill huge holes in Dallas, to pick Barron.

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