MARCO ASPAASVANCOUVER, WA
Some recent mocks have the Cowboys taking Jalen Ramsey, considered the best DB so far in the class. Though he played corner in college, many reports say he may be better as a safety in the NFL. Considering this was how Byron Jones was described, do you think the Cowboys would take him or pass to fill another need? How would two versatile DBs like Jones and Ramsey play together?
Nick: It sounds like Jones will definitely play safety this year so if the Cowboys indeed go for Ramsey, they would be listing him as a corner. Versatility is a good thing for all players, but if he's in the mix for the No. 4 pick, it will be as a corner. I'm not sure the reason, and it could be because of what I've seen when they took Claiborne and Terence Newman was good but not worth the No. 5 pick, but I'm not that interested in taking a cornerback this high. I think a pass-rusher is a better fit, or someone dynamic on offense.
Rob: Versatility should never be considered a negative. That's a big reason the Cowboys love Jones' potential. One trait that appears to make Ramsey a potential top-5 prospect is he can play either position at the next level. If he was available at No. 4 and was the top player on the Cowboys' board, I don't see a problem with drafting Ramsey, pairing him with Jones and figuring out how where each fits best. I agree that Jones' best spot is probably free safety.
JONATHAN FROSCHSHAWNEE, KS
I understand that most of the big name free agents are going to at least get a look, but with the surprise release of James Laurinaitis from the Rams and our current hole at MLB, is he a free agent that might get more than just a glance? At the right price, wouldn't he be an upgrade over Rolando McClain?
Nick:It's hard to evaluate that for McClain, because he was relatively cheap. And when he wants to play, there aren't a lot of players better than him in the middle. Problem is, he's a hard person to count on. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys again try for a one-year deal with him. And I know free agency comes first and you have to protect yourself, but getting a young, athletic middle linebacker in the draft would be ideal. And if it doesn't work out, then I'm always fine with putting Anthony Hitchens inside.
Rob: Laurinaitis has been a productive player for many years, no question. But for him, and really, most of the players who have been cap cuts the last couple weeks, there's also age to consider – he'll turn 30 at the end of next season and has dealt with injuries the last couple years. I understand your question because McClain's free agent status is a tough call. He's younger (26) and can be dominant when at his best, though it took him a few games to settle in last year coming off the knee surgery and then a four-game suspension.