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NFL Mock Draft 2016: The Dallas Cowboys Select DeForest Buckner

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With the 4th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys (represented by CSC volunteer Tee Word) select...

#44 goes 4th Overall to the Dallas Cowboys
#44 goes 4th Overall to the Dallas Cowboys
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

The Dallas Cowboys have a few positions of need, equal amounts on offense and defense. The Cowboys could use some first round talent in the form of a wide receiver, running-back, quarterback (of the future), cornerback, linebacker, or defensive lineman. Clearly there is a greater need at some positions that doesn't exist at others, for example, QB would be the last choice (based on available options) with running-back & cornerback serving as 1a and 1b. So far, two viable options at number 4 have been taken in versatile DB Jalen Ramsey and nifty QB Jared Goff. The war room will now focus on the best players available at listed positions of need.

Here enter the candidates in the form of Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliot, DeForest Buckner, and LaQuon Treadwell. It is commonly accepted that #4 is too high for Treadwell, so Dez Bryant will have to wait for a complementary position mate. Dallas has had some very talented players assigned to their defensive line in 'The Kraken' Greg Hardy and youngster Randy Gregory. The problem here is that both came with a host of off-field issues (Hardy had domestic problems and Gregory likes the wacky-tobaccky). As a result, Hardy has not been retained and Gregory has been suspended for the first 4 regular season games of 2016. These things considered, any player that is picked this high should not have the checkered past to match his talents. Bosa did not impress the Cowboys and his party boy persona is a turn-off for this potential employer. Elliot slips past Bosa as it was noted by Bosa that he had to relocate from an apartment he shared with Elliot because the RB partied too hard for his taste, imagine that.

By process of elimination and weighting potential, DeForest Buckner rises through the ranks to number four overall. Not only has he kept his nose clean, he has also been impressive on the field.

Strengths (courtesy

Impressive NFL-ready physique. Generated top-­end production by combining his power and dynamic athletic traits. Improved his pad level as rusher creating dominating pocket push that he was able to convert into sacks and knockdowns. Rare tackle production for defensive lineman with 163 over last two seasons. Long arms and good play speed allow him maximum field coverage to tackle. Flexible upper body.

Weaknesses (

Plays too tall after the snap. Pad level so high that it impacts ability to stop and change direction with necessary body control. Needs to bend more when penetrating in order to avoid redirect blocks. Will need to play with wider base to take on blockers on next level.

Reason the Cowboys draft him:

Buckner proved to be a force in his senior season by leading the Pac-12 with 10.5 sacks. Combine his pass rushing ability with his knack for piling up tackles and his high motor is a big draw for NFL teams seeking a quality player to solidify a defensive line. At 6'7", 291 lbs (also tied for the biggest hands in NFL Combine history), Buckner's frame appears to be suited as more of a 3-4 defensive end. However, Buckner would fit well as an interior DT in a 4-3 base alignment or DE, giving the Cowboys a nice complement to newly signed defensive lineman Cedric Thornton. Buckner's minimal fine-tuning requirement makes him a day one pick and starter in Dallas!


Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.

Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.

Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2016 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.

Pick Team
Selection Team Representative Approval Rating

1 Tennessee Leremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss Chris Dunnells
2 Cleveland Jared Goff, QB, California quickdrawdoc
3 San Diego Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
4 Dallas DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon Tee Word
5 Jacksonville
6 Baltimore
7 San Francisco
8 Philadelphia
9 Tampa Bay
Johnny BeGood
11 Chicago
12 New Orleans
Dave Cariello
13 Miami
14 Oakland
Chris Dunnells
15 Los Angeles Rams
16 Detroit
17 Atlanta

18 Indianapolis
19 Buffalo

20 New York Jets
21 Washington

22 Houston
Tee Word
23 Minnesota

24 Cincinnati
25 Pittsburgh
26 Seattle
Matt Mosley
27 Green Bay
Johnny BeGood
28 Kansas City
29 New England (Forfeited) Forfeited pick --------- --------
30 Arizona
Matt Mosley
31 Carolina

32 Denver