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Eatman: From Cali To Bama, My Mock Is All Over The Map


IRVING, Texas – Whether it's the NFL Draft or your own fantasy football league, there's just something unique about picking right in the middle.

While it's not the bottom, a middle pick like the Cowboys have can sometimes be tough to game-plan for. It seems if you're at the top or the bottom, you can have a better strategy.

But at 16, you're at the mercy of everyone else. That can be good and bad.

So far, even though this draft is more than three weeks away, I've found myself involved in four mock drafts of some sort already.

One of them appeared in our recently-released *Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine* Draft Preview, an inaugural special edition that has tons of draft coverage and insight, and just about all of it is tailored to the Cowboys' needs.

In that mock, I went with Alabama safety Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. Two weeks earlier, we did a mock simulator draft and Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix was the selection.

I did a radio interview for a station on the east coast where reporters from different cities conducted the mock draft and when it came to me, UCLA's Anthony Barr was on the board. I quickly took him, although I don't think he'll be around when the real draft gets here May 8 – if it ever gets here.

And just Tuesday morning, on the NFL Network, we did a mock draft with different reporters as well. This time, four quarterbacks were taken in the top eight picks, plus names like Aaron Donald and Barr were already gone. Even receiver Mike Evans, whom I probably wouldn't have drafted anyway, was off the board.

So I picked Missouri's Kony Ealy, who seems to be the second-best pass rusher in the draft behind Jadeveon Clowney, who went No. 2 in this mock. I've said it over and over that there's no way Clowney isn't going No. 1. If Houston doesn't want to take him then they better trade the pick because he's too good to pass up on both talent and value.

So four mocks – four players. I've got me some UCLA, Notre Dame, Missouri and Alabama in there.

Give me four more mocks and maybe I can find me some other players. I think Notre Dame's offensive lineman Zach Martin could be a good fit. And I liked what I saw from Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. I think given the chance again I'll probably pick Pryor over Clinton-Dix just because of the physicality he brings to the table. The Cowboys need a guy like that.

Florida State's Timmy Jernigan could find himself on one of my mocks and maybe Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, too. [embedded_ad]

If I sound like I really don't have a clear-cut answer, it's because I don't. And at this point, we really shouldn't. The Cowboys haven't even conducted their draft meetings yet, which are usually a two-week process.

While they won't just come out and show their hand, somehow we'll get a better feel which way the Cowboys are leaning.

But then again, at No. 16, they can't lean too far one way or another.

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