We are now up to pick No. 18 in the 2013 Niners Nation NFL mock draft. Once again, this is a reminder that I will be attempting to post three picks every day until we get through round two. This will likely take us into the week of the 2013 NFL Draft, so feel free to consider this a sort of countdown.
Explanation: After researching and talking to Cowboy fans about what they wanted, the top two choices were to either move up in the draft and get Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, or Kenny Vaccaro. If all three were taken before the Cowboys could move up, the fans wanted to trade back for more picks in this draft or next years draft. Considering neither is an option I would have to choose D.J. Fluker for the Cowboys as the best pick for them at this time.
While the Cowboys do not have the worst offensive line out there, the contract extension offered to Tony Romo shows the importance of improving his protection so he may survive the duration of his contract. The Cowboys offense gave up 36 sacks and 19 interceptions in the 2012 season. Although the offensive line is not entirely to blame, many miscues can be attributed to Romo being forced to scramble quickly due to pressure given up by the O-line. D.J. is powerful and has very little flab in his mid section. Weight is distributed evenly throughout his entire frame and he has the size to move to guard later in his career.
The Cowboys have the needed weapons on offense for Romo now with the right help to protect him they could possibly win the division or at least make the playoffs.
Trevor Woods: The Cowboys shelled out big bucks to Tony Romo last month, so it would be wise to find a tackle to protect him. With Romo getting older, he will not be able to scramble and avoid mayhem like he has been able to do in his career; The offensive line must be upgraded. Fluker was dominant in his Alabama career, looking like a man amongst boys. This pick makes sense and is one that could happen in the real round one.
Nick Chiamardas: I agree with albert.55 that the Cowboys would love to grab Warmack, Cooper, or Vaccaro. The biggest needs appear to be offensive line and defensive line, given the Cowboys move to a 4-3 front. There are still some solid defensive ends on the board: Datone Jones and Bjoern Werner would be nice strong side compliments to DeMarcus Ware, while Tank Carradine would add another pass rusher opposite of Ware. Fluker isn't a sexy pick by any means (something the Cowboys are known for making) but he's a smart choice. As albert.55 pointed out, the Cowboys struggled to protect turnover-prone Tony Romo in 2012. Doug Free currently lines up at right tackle but is capable of playing on the left side. Fluker is almost exclusively a right tackle and reminds me a bit of the 49ers Anthony Davis.
Niners Nation Mock Draft, Round 1
- Kansas City Chiefs -- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah [Explanation]
- Jacksonville Jaguars -- Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia [Explanation]
- Oakland Raiders -- Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon [Explanation]
- Philadelphia Eagles -- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M [Explanation]
- Detroit Lions -- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan [Explanation]
- Cleveland Browns -- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama [Explanation]
- Arizona Cardinals -- Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas [Explanation]
- Buffalo Bills -- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU [Explanation]
- New York Jets -- Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama [Explanation]
- Tennessee Titans -- Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida [Explanation]
- San Diego Chargers -- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma [Explanation]
- Miami Dolphins -- Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina [Explanation]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State [Explanation]
- Carolina Panthers -- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee [Explanation]
- New Orleans Saints -- Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU [Explanation]
- St. Louis Rams -- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri [Explanation]
- Pittsburgh Steelers -- Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia [Explanation]
- Dallas Cowboys -- D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama