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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Analyzing Kiper Mock 4.0: Cowboys

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- So far Mel Kiper Jr. has followed the Dallas Cowboys' draft needs in his mock drafts.

In his first two mocks, he offered up Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round. In his third, he went with Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. In his Grade A mock, he went with Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

In Kiper's Mock draft 4.0 , he has gone away from the defensive side of the ball.

Kiper has the Cowboys selecting Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin in the first round. Martin was among the Cowboys’ top-30 national visitors, which is always a sign of the team’s true interest since the only top picks not to have made it to Valley Ranch before the draft have been DeMarcus Ware and Morris Claiborne.

Martin also offers up position flexibility. While he was a top tackle at Notre Dame, some believe his best position in the NFL could be at guard. The Cowboys could use Martin at guard as a rookie and move him to right tackle in 2015 with Doug Free entering the final year of his contract.

It would continue something of a trend for Jerry Jones as well. He did not select an offensive lineman in the first round of any draft until 2011 when the Cowboys took Tyron Smith at No. 9 overall. In 2013, the Cowboys took center Travis Frederick at No. 31.

In the second round, Kiper makes a surprising pick in Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. He is the protypical “box” safety and would not appear to be the best of fits in the Cowboys’ defense with Barry Church already in that role. Bucannon had a career-high six interceptions as a senior at Washington State, but he is known more for his hitting and play against the run.