NFC East: 2014 Mel Kiper mock 3.0 preview

Kiper's Mock 3.0: Cowboys

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
10:30
AM ET
The Dallas Cowboys need defense when it comes to the draft.

That was the case before they decided to part ways with DeMarcus Ware on Tuesday. That remains the case whether they re-sign defensive tackle Jason Hatcher.

In his first two mock drafts, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had the Cowboys selecting Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. That would represent a fit because the Cowboys need help at safety as well, according to many folks.

But at the NFL scouting combine, owner and general manager Jerry Jones expressed optimism in J.J. Wilcox, a third-round pick last year. Wilcox’s season was slowed by the death of his mother, which took him away from training camp for a long spell, and a knee injury, which took him out of three games. When he did return he was unable to unseat Jeff Heath from the starter’s role.

But if you’re looking at what new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has done in his career, it has always been about the defensive line. The Cowboys have added two pieces in free agency in Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain, but they are hardly cornerstone pieces.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay had the Cowboys selecting Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan in his most recent mock. Pitt’s Aaron Donald has been the player most linked to the Cowboys since the process began, but he might not make it to No. 16 in the first round.

Mel Kiper's latest mock draft .

Kiper's Mock 3.0: Eagles

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
10:30
AM ET
Perhaps it was an expected need a while back, when there was a chance Jeremy Maclin wouldn’t return. Or Riley Cooper wouldn’t come back. There’s also an energetic, offensive-minded head coach in place.

So, naturally, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. figured the Eagles would be in the market for a receiver when it came time for the draft.

That, of course, bypassed other more pressing needs (most of which still exist). The Eagles solved part of their problem at safety (they hope) by signing Malcolm Jenkins. But they still need Earl Wolff to develop. They also still need more pass-rushing help and a cornerback. Their pressing needs all involve defense.

But Kiper’s 1.0 mock draft made some sense because it would have given the Eagles another weapon in 6-foot-4 receiver Kelvin Benjamin, the raw but talented receiver from Florida State. He would have been a perfect red-zone target, assuming he had polished up his route running.

Then, in his 2.0 mock, Kiper stayed away from Benjamin but stuck at receiver. This time, he projected Louisiana State’s Odell Beckham, writing about him, “Beckham could be a good fit in Philly not just because he's a good receiver for a team that could use help in that department, but because he's versatile, and can work in the slot or on the edge.”

However, with Cooper and Maclin back in Philadelphia, taking a receiver just might have to wait until after the first round. The Eagles still need depth here, so anything’s possible when Kiper releases his Mock 3.0Insider.

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