With the 27th pick in the 2015 Arrowhead Pride mock draft, Dallas Cowboys GM TheSpruceGoose selects...
When you grow up in Dallas, the moaning and gnashing of teeth of Cowboys fans becomes background noise. You grow so used to the constant anti-Jerry talk that Cowboys draft discontent becomes something of a Texas spring tradition, along with the bluebonnet flowers and Spurs playoff runs.
However, things have changed around here since last spring. Jerry didn't draft Manziel, even though I was begging him to for my own entertainment's sake. He drafted a guard, had himself a 12-4 season, and won an NFL Executive of the Year award. To the consternation of all around here, the Cowboys have been making good personnel decisions. Whether you want to give that credit to Jerry, or to his son Stephen and assistant director of player personnel Will McClay, these are not the Cowboys who traded a first for Roy Williams.
With that in mind, the Cowboys select:
Kentucky OLB Alvin "Bud" Dupree
Justin Houston had 22 sacks by himself last season. Dallas had 28 between 13 different players, led by defensive lineman Jeremy Mincey, who only managed six.
After DeMarcus Ware was released, an already shaky pass rush took a nose dive. They attempted to fix this by drafting another DeMarcus, DeMarcus Lawrence, from Boise State in the second round last spring. Unfortunately, a foot injury in training camp prevented him from playing most of the year. A few weeks ago, they signed the controversial Greg Hardy, who was promptly handed a suspension that will probably end up lasting 8 games when all is said and done. So even though they've tried their darnedest to fix the pass rush, it remains a need going into Thursday night.
From what I've seen and heard about Bud Dupree, he reminds me of what I heard about Ziggy Ansah before his draft. What makes him attractive to NFL teams is not necessarily his college production, but his immense physical talent. He has passable football strength, but is relying more on agility and speed to beat blockers at this point. Once he gets locked up, he doesn't have much chance of breaking free. He's also capable in space, so he isn't lost if you ask him to cover someone. Despite being one of the best defenders in the SEC, he's been a relatively under-the-radar player over the past year. Kentucky gave him many responsibilities in their defense last season, so he wasn't able to garner much national attention laboring in a below average defense in the SEC.
None of this matters to Dallas, who are ecstatic to find Dupree waiting on them this low in the first round. Pairing him with DeMarcus Lawrence gives them a young set of pass rushers to rebuild a talent-needy defense around. It also gives them a playmaker to hold down the fort until Greg Hardy is ready to come in from his suspension, which gives them three effective pass rushers for the late season and playoffs. This is a no-brainer for Jerry, who gets to make the call to the draft this year instead of having the phone ripped out of his hand.
Mock draft order
27. Cowboys - LB Bud Dupree