Dallas Cowboys Guide to the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistFebruary 13, 2013

Sept. 9, 2011; Tempe, AZ, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (34) during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium.   Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With holes all along the offensive line, potential openings at wide receiver and running back and a new defense being implemented, the Dallas Cowboys will likely be taking a close look at the vast majority of the 330 prospects attending the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine next week in Indianapolis

Let's break down some of the key combine-bound candidates to become Cowboys in the near future. 

Six Must-Watch Prospects

Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri)

I believe the Cowboys can wait to invest in the interior offensive line later in the draft, and I don't feel as though combine results will be of utmost importance when it comes to addressing that need. Instead, I believe Dallas has to focus on determining who the best defensive tackle and right offensive tackle candidates are early in the draft.

Richardson should be the first name on the list. He appears as though he'd be an ideal replacement for Josh Brent and/or Jay Ratliff. 

Potential pick: First round

John Jenkins (DT, Georgia)

He might have been an even better fit when Dallas still ran a 3-4, but Jenkins is such a beast that the Cowboys should still consider the impact he could make while paired with Ratliff and/or Jason Hatcher. 

Potential pick: First or second round

Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama)

Again, another guy with a 3-4 background but one with measurables and strength that can't be ignored. The way I see it, Richardson should be the overwhelming favorite for that No. 18 pick with Jenkins and Williams the dark horses. Let's see if either can emerge at the combine. 

Potential pick: first or second round

Lane Johnson (OT, Oklahoma)

I think the 'Boys look instead to grab Doug Free's replacement in the first round, Johnson makes the most sense. The way things are shaping up right now, he may be the only option at that position when the Cowboys are first on the clock. 

Potential pick: first round

D.J. Fluker (OT, Alabama)

If the 'Boys look elsewhere in Round 1, Fluker will become a popular choice for their second-round pick. They'll hope to see more quickness and better agility from Fluker as he works out for evaluators over the next few months, starting next week in Indy.

Potential pick: first or second round

Justin Pugh (OT, Syracuse)

How strong is he? Is the undersized Pugh NFL ready? That's what the Cowboys will hope to get a grip on at the combine in order to determine if he's worth using an early pick on. Right now, he's all over mock draft boards.

Potential pick: second or third round

Flying Under the Radar

Luke Marquardt (OT, Azusa Pacific)

He's looking to become the first APU product drafted since Christian Okoye in 1987, which means he's a bit of a mystery. But something about this guy intrigues me. He seems to have all of the tools required of a very good pass-protector on either side. Dallas should keep a close eye on Marquardt as a potential late-round flier. 

Potential pick: seventh round or undrafted free agent

Other Sleeper Candidates Who Should Be on Dallas' Radar

Stephane Milhim (OT, Massachusetts)
Edmund Kugbila (G, Valdosta State)
Lamar Mady (G, Youngstown State) 


Johnathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)

A lot of Cowboys fans would be delighted if the big man were to fall to Dallas with that No. 18 pick, but I'm not convinced Hankins will translate well to NFL play. He appears to lack consistency, and I wonder about his burst. How he performs in Indianapolis will be key, but as is, I wouldn't take him in the top 20. 

Potential pick: first round

Other First-Round Candidates Who Should be on Dallas' Radar

Sam Montgomery (DE, LSU)
Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU)
Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina
Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas) 
Eric Reid (S, LSU) 
Dallas Thomas (OT, Tennessee)
Eric Fisher (OT, Central Michigan)  

You'll Have to Wait to See...

Mike Catapano (DE, Princeton)

The versatile Ivy Leaguer didn't get an invite, but I think he'd suit the 'Boys nicely along the defensive line. 

Potential pick: seventh round or undrafted free agent

Omar Hunter (DT, Florida)

Yet another big body who could replace Josh Brent. He's quick for his size but will probably be picked up by a team running a 3-4. 

Potential pick: seventh round or undrafted free agent


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