This isnít a projection of the top 10 players in 2014. This is just 10 players Iíve noticed over the past few seasons that I would love to see the Cowboys add next year. Out of my 10 guys from last year, three were 1st round picks, one was a 2nd rounder, one 3rd rounder, two 4th round picks, a 5th rounder, one Undrafted Free Agent, and one was hurt and redshirted(and is on the list again). You guys know I think Draft all year round but I like to wait until a few weeks after the draft each year to see what positions we addressed and which players are about to be free agents. This year the focus is on Pass Rushers and Offensive Line, mixed in with a few players I really like at other positions. Three Tackles made the list. Iím not thrilled with the 2014 Guards and did not include a Center since we added Frederick in the 1st round this year. Sorry about the heavy Pac-12 homering. I get to go to practices for USC, UCLA, and now Arizona State, plus I usually watch more Pac-12 games.
10. Nick Perry S 6-1/212 Alabama
He is the least heralded of the Crimson Tideís talented quartet of Safeties, (including Vinnie Sunseri, Ha Ha Clnton Dix, and Landon Collins) and playing behind guys like Mark Barron and Robert Lester didnít allow him a ton of playing time. What I like about him is that when he did get in, he made plays. The Alabama coaching staff is considering moving Sunseri to linebacker to get Perry more snaps. Could be a Day Three steal.
9. Devon Kennard DE/LB 6-3/260 USC
Itís rare for me to have a player return on my wish list but Devon suffered a pec injury last summer and had to redshirt in 2013. The son for former Cowboy center, Derek, Iíve been keeping track of Devon since his Phoenix high school days. Since he arrived at USC he has started at or played MLB, SLB, and both DE spots. Now with the Trojans converting to a 3-4 scheme, he will play OLB. I see him as a Day Three type who could add pass-rushing and versatility to the Cowboys D.
8. Jackson Jeffcoat DE 6-5/245 Texas
Another legacy kid as well as another player returning from a pectoral injury. He had 14.5 career sacks at Texas and thatís counting minimal playing time as a freshman and missing seven games as a junior. I see him having a huge senior season and being drafted in the 1st or 2nd round.
7. Marquis Flowers OLB 6-3/229 Arizona
I remember watching him and thinking what a great 4-3 linebacker heíd be, too bad we run a 3-4. If either 6th round pick Devonte Holloman or UDFA Brandon Magee work out, Flowers would be a luxury pick. Still, he would fit in well with Sean Lee and Bruce Carter and the Cowboysí new defensive scheme. He started at Free Safety in 2011 and moved to Linebacker in 2012. Last year, he had 100 tackles, 13 TFLís, forced 3 fumbles, and had 3 interceptions
6. Taylor Lewan T 6-8/308 Michigan
He went back and forth last year on entering the draft and would have made it 7 offensive linemen in the top 11 players drafted. A long tackle with good feet and a mean streak, he would go a long way in improving the Cowboys line situation. Could Jerry bring himself to draft a BIG10 offensive lineman in the 1st round two years in a row?
5. Larry Webster Jr. DE 6-7/240 Bloomsburg
A small-school guy and a project, how can Jerry resist? The son of former Dolphin and Raven Larry Webster, he played basketball for four years before returning to football. A poster from dallascowboysuniverse.com actually turned me onto him last year. He was supposed to be draft eligible this year but I talked to Bloomsburg's defensive line coach and he confirmed that Larry is returning for the 2013 season.
4. Damarious Randall DB/PR 6-0/185 Arizona State
Damarious is a personal favorite of mine since I know him and got to watch him up close last season. A bit of an unknown, he played baseball his first year out of high school and then no sports at all his (academic) sophomore year. The kid is electric and a fearless punt returner. He was a 1st team Junior College All-American and his conferenceís Defensive Player of the Year. He committed to ASU early and then got offered by Oklahoma and a few SEC schools before he decided to stick with the Sun Devils. He'll play Free Safety this year but he expects to man-up big time receivers like Marqise Lee.
3. Jake Matthews T 6-5/305 Texas A&M
You can probably tell Iím a bloodlines guy since this is my fourth son of a NFL player. Jake is moving to the left side this year to protect Johhny Footballís blind side and improve his NFL stock. I think his best position is Right Tackle which is where the Cowboys would need him.
2. Will Sutton DT 6-1/288 Arizona State
Whatís going on to where I have more Sun Devils on my list than my beloved Trojans (itís called Lane Kiffin actually). Sutton, despite appearing undersized, was the most dominant defensive player in the Pac-12 and was named the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year. He had 23.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. As much as I loved him last year, I couldnít envision a spot for him in the Cowboys 3-4 but with the switch this year, he is perfect for the RDT spot. I could see him going late 1st round due to his size which might be again, perfect for us.
1. Cyrus Kouandjio T 6-6/310 Alabama
As you can see Iím not letting go of my wish to fix the Offensive Line. A lot of talk will be about Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews but I think Kouandjio will be the top Tackle in the 2014 draft, which means things went horribly wrong if we are in a position to draft him. IMO heís a more polished, stronger Tyron Smith as a junior. Teaming him with Tyron would give us two athletic, long-armed tackles that could neutralize any teamís two best pass rushers.