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Mailbag: Where Does Barrett Jones Fall On Draft Boards?


I was hoping to see Barrett Jones selected in more of the writer's mock drafts. Does his Lisfranc injury overshadow his versatility and take him off of the Cowboys' draft board?

David: As a former LSU writer, I saw plenty enough of Barrett Jones to think he's got the tools for success in the NFL. He's as smart a college player as I've ever been around, and he's versatile, as you mentioned. This draft seems quite deep along the offensive front, however, and it seems dangerous to spend a high pick on a guy who hasn't been at full health since his college career ended.

Rowan: I think the injury might scare teams away from selecting him early. Jones' best asset is probably his versatility. He was clearly smart enough to play all across the line during his time at Alabama, where offensive linemen seem to grow on trees. His ability isn't a question, but it may be difficult to pin where he'll play at the next level, and it takes some courage to select a player who isn't healthy. But if he's healthy, he could be a steal in the third round or later.

With the O-line being what it is, wouldn't it make sense to pick a RB like Marcus Lattimore? He seems to be strong and always tries to fight for those extra yards.

David:I think the idea is a good one, but there are more advisable options. Lattimore would have been as good a running back as there is in this draft before his devastating injury in October. The former South Carolina Gamecock was able to work out at his Pro Day in March, but it remains in question how much he'll be able to play in 2013, if at all. Lattimore also had his 2011 season cut short by injury, so this is more than just one occurrence. This draft has other bruisers, like Le'Veon Bell, Christine Michael or Rex Burkhead, who could also fit that role. Former [embedded_ad] Arkansas standout Knile Davis is another one to consider, though he carries some injury risk of his own.

Rowan: He would make sense for a team to take a chance on in the middle rounds, but probably not Dallas. This has nothing to do with his talent. There may not be a better college running back in the draft. But the last thing the Cowboys want is a running back with durability or injury concerns. They're looking for a player to come in and be able to handle a full load if called upon immediately. The Cowboys haven't held back from drafting injured players in the past, but they may go a safer route at running back, and they can do that later in the draft.

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