Mock Draft Roundup: Ohio State Prospect Is Front-Runner For No. 4 Pick

IRVING, Texas – If the madness of free agency can teach one lesson, it's that a mock draft written before March is essentially meaningless. Just look at the New York Giants, who were widely predicted to draft a defensive lineman – right up until they spent $100 million on the position last week.

Of course, that's not going to stop people from making mocks – and it shouldn't. Projecting the uncertainty of the NFL draft is one of the offseason's most enjoyable past times. But it feels like a bit of a wasted effort until free agency gives us a better sense of each team's needs.

With the dust starting to settle on free agency, though, this week feels like a good time to debut the first Mock Draft Roundup of the year.

Judging by their mid-March mocks, draft analysts certainly recognize that the Cowboys could use some help with their pass rush. Of the 12 mock drafts below, nine of them have Dallas selecting a pass rusher at No. 4 overall, and seven of those nine have their sights set on one high-profile target in particular.

Here's the rundown:

Date of Mock:March 15
Pick: Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey
Comment:"They need a playmaker in the secondary. Ramsey can play both corner and safety, which offers versatility that the Cowboys need."

Date of Mock:March 14
Pick:Ohio State DE Joey Bosa
Comment:"The Cowboys need to address the defensive line this offseason and if Bosa is still available at pick No. 4, I don't think he'll still be around at pick No. 5. Bosa would be an ideal fit at left end in coordinator Rod Marinelli's scheme and gives the Cowboys much-needed depth, especially considering Randy Gregory's troubles."

Date of Mock:March 14
Pick:Bosa
Comment: "The Cowboys can't count on Randy Gregory, and Bosa will have an immediate impact."

Date of Mock:March 14
Pick:Ramsey
Comment: "The Cowboys are in a position in the first round where they really can't go wrong. Bosa makes sense if he's there, UCLA linebacker Myles Jack would be a good pick and Ramsey would give them a huge upgrade in pass coverage."

Date of Mock:March 14
Pick:Bosa
Comment:"With Greg Hardy not in the team's future plans and 2015 second-round pick Randy Gregory facing a suspension, the Cowboys may have little choice but to address defensive end early in the draft. Bosa is ideally built for the 4-3 and he has the pro-ready game that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will appreciate, showing awareness and strength to handle run-stuffing duties as well as the burst and refined hand play to attack the quarterback."

Date of Mock:March 9
Pick:Ramsey
Comment:"This fills a need, but it's the Cowboys also taking the best player available. Ramsey is a play-maker who can play either cornerback or safety at the next level, and is one of the true premium talents in this draft class."

Date of Mock:March 9
Pick:Bosa
Comment:I could see Joey Bosa slide to the Dolphins or Buccaneers because of his character concerns, but Dallas is a strong possibility as well. Jerry Jones has shown that he's not afraid to take a chance on a talented player with some off-the-field questions. With Greg Hardy on his way out, and Randy Gregory now one strike away from a year-long suspension, Bosa makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys.

Date of Mock:March 12
Pick: Oregon DL DeForest Buckner
Comment:N/A

Date of Mock:March 9
Pick:Bosa
Comment:"I could see Joey Bosa slide to the Dolphins or Buccaneers because of his character concerns, but Dallas is a strong possibility as well. Jerry Jones has shown that he's not afraid to take a chance on a talented player with some off-the-field questions. With Greg Hardy on his way out, and Randy Gregory now one strike away from a year-long suspension, Bosa makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys."

Date of Mock:March 8
Pick:Buckner
Comment: "A good combination of clear need and a really good player available. Buckner brings versatility and the ability to disrupt the pocket."

CBSSports.com'sWill Brinson

Date of Mock:March 7
Pick:Bosa
Comment:Pass rusher has to be a critical piece of the puzzle for the Cowboys with the loss of Greg Hardy (free agent addition by subtraction) and Randy Gregory (suspension).

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Date of Mock:March 7
Pick:Bosa
Comment: "A pass-rushing menace with remarkable skill, Bosa would be an excellent addition to a Cowboys team that will be without DE Randy Gregory for the first four games of the season and is likely to not sign impending free agent DE Greg Hardy to a new deal. I'm as bullish on Bosa's NFL chances as just about anyone who covers the draft, and I suspect he could have a tremendous positive impact in Dallas."

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