Dallas Cowboys: Caraun Reid

Recapping, recounting Kiper, McShay mock

May, 2, 2014
ESPN Insiders Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay held a three-round mock draft on Thursday in which they alternated picks.

You have to be an Insider to see all of the picks. If so, click here.Insider

Here were their rules:
1. We rotate picks: Todd has odds, Mel has evens, and picks are made for each slot through Round 3.
2. These are our picks: Each selection reflects our call, not what we think teams want.
3. It's about the board: The analysis is less a scouting report, and more about why the pick was made.
For the Dallas Cowboys, Kiper took Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round (No. 16 overall). In the second round, McShay took Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (No. 47) and in the third round Kiper took Stanford guard David Yankey (No. 78).

The picks hit on the Cowboys’ needs in the secondary and defensive and offensive lines.

Remember, this is what Kiper or McShay would do; not what they think the Cowboys will do.

In examining their mock, the Cowboys will not be happy with the St. Louis Rams. At No. 13, the Rams took Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin. In the second round (No. 44 overall), they took Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward, and in the third they took LSU guard Trai Turner (No. 75). All three were pre-draft visitors to Valley Ranch.

Let’s take a closer look at the picks:

First round


Who would be the best first-round pick for the Cowboys?


Discuss (Total votes: 11,576)

In Cinton-Dix, the Cowboys get a safety to pair up next to Barry Church. In his reasoning for the selection, Kiper acknowledged he would rather take a defensive lineman here but he doesn’t see the value.

UCLA’s Anthony Barr did not go off the board until No. 30 to the San Francisco 49ers. Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy lasted until No. 37 to the Atlanta Falcons in the second round.

If those two are available – and Martin is gone – I’d go with Barr or Ealy before Clinton-Dix, but I’d really consider Ealy because of his position flexibility.

Second round

In Jernigan, McShay took a player that he twice projected to the Cowboys in the first round. If this scenario played out, then the Cowboys would be OK with it. They view Jernigan as a one-technique, which is not valuable enough to take in the first round. They would be getting a disruptive player in the second round.

But let’s say the Cowboys do not select a defensive lineman in the first round next week. In this mock they have Demarcus Lawrence (No. 54, Philadelphia Eagles), Daquan Jones (No. 61, San Francisco) and Dominique Easley (No. 66, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) available.

I’d go with Lawrence, who would be the best available right defensive end. Easley is intriguing but the knee injuries are troubling, even if the medical re-check went fine for him. To me, No. 47 is a little rich for Jones.

Since I went with Barr in the first, then I think Jernigan would be a good pick here.

Third round

The Cowboys can use a guard, and the third round seems to be a good chance to get one. Yankey had a good career at Stanford. He started 40 games. He is smart. But is he athletic enough? He was slooooow at the combine. Hey, so was Travis Frederick and that worked out for the Cowboys last year.

The Cowboys like Turner, but he’s gone. Brandon Thomas will require a redshirt year with his knee injury, but he was available, going to Cleveland at No. 83. Billy Turner, another Valley Ranch visitor, went No. 92 to the Carolina Panthers. He might be a better fit than Yankey.

There are some receivers available, like Penn State’s Allen Robinson. Princeton defensive tackle Caraun Reid is there, too. There is a safety I like, Minnesota’s Brock Vereen, available. If they don’t take Clinton-Dix, and can’t get Ward, then he would be a decent pickup but perhaps a little rich for him in the third. Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton was also available. I’d consider doubling up at end even with Barr in the first round.

I’d go with Robinson or Rutgers receiver Brandon Coleman, who went a pick later to the Baltimore Ravens.

So that would be Barr, Jernigan and a receiver (Robinson or Coleman) with the first three picks.


Beyond the first round: Defensive tackles

April, 21, 2014
Each day over the next 10 days, we will focus on one position in the NFL draft by highlighting a prospect in Rounds 2-7 who might fit for the Dallas Cowboys. With so much attention placed on the first round in mock drafts, "Beyond the first round" focuses on lesser-publicized options after the first 32 picks. We open the series with defensive tackles.

Second round, Dominique Easley (Florida): If not for health concerns, he would be a first-round pick. He tore both anterior cruciate ligaments in college, and teams will be concerned about his long-term viability. The Cowboys have shown a willingness to take a chance on injured players in the past, and Easley could be the type of disruptive defensive lineman Rod Marinelli craves.

[+] EnlargeDaQuan Jones
Pat Lovell/USA TODAY SportsAt 6-foot-4 and 322 pounds, Penn State's Daquan Jones would fit Dallas' 4-3 scheme.
Third round, Daquan Jones (Penn State): At 6-foot-4, 322 pounds, he is ideally suited to be the one technique in the Cowboys’ 4-3 defense. He is strong and can control the interior against the run. He has strong hands that allow him to dictate the action. He has some pass-rush, skills but his fit here would be as a two-down player as a rookie.

Fourth round, Caraun Reid (Princeton): A Princeton coach in Jason Garrett, drafting a Princeton player. Perfect. Reid, however, has ability and scheme flexibility. He is more of a three-technique with his quickness and ability to work in short areas. He helped himself at the Senior Bowl against better competition to show teams he can make the jump in levels.

Fifth round, Justin Ellis (La. Tech): He is just a massive player at 6-1, 334 pounds. He is the prototype nose tackle, which is OK for a fifth rounder. His ability to hold up in the middle would help the linebackers flow to the plays. He had 48 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss last season. Some off-field concerns, but he would bring size the Cowboys need in the middle.

Sixth round, Kerry Hyder (Texas Tech): He was among the national visitors to Valley Ranch. He is an active player with a nose for the ball. A second-team All Big 12 pick, he had 65 tackles, 11.5 for a loss, two sacks, five hurries, three forced fumbles, two blocked kicks, two hurries and one pass breakup. He started his final 38 games.

Seventh round, Chris Whaley (Texas): He arrived in Austin as a running back, but moved to the defensive line. Maybe he could be another Henry Melton, who did the same with the Longhorns. He missed the final four games last season with a knee injury, but he had four tackles for loss, two sacks an interception and 23 tackles.