<
>

Mel Kiper Jr. goes for defensive end to Cowboys

play
Elliott on the rise in Kiper's NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (1:58)

Mel Kiper Jr. projects Ohio States RB Ezekiel Elliott as the highest riser in his mock draft 4.0, and Todd McShay breaks down Kiper's biggest mistakes in the latest mock draft. (1:58)

IRVING, Texas -- With the draft three weeks away, ESPN Insider Mel Kiper Jr. has offered up his latest mock draft.

With the fourth pick, Kiper has the Dallas Cowboys selecting Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. This is the first time Kiper has gone with Bosa; In his three previous mock drafts he has gone with defensive end DeForest Buckner (twice) and quarterback Carson Wentz.

In their last three mocks combined, Kiper and Todd McShay have given the Cowboys Bosa.

So will the Cowboys actually select Bosa?

They had a private workout with him in Columbus, Ohio. He is on the visitor list this week at Valley Ranch as well.

And the Cowboys still have a defensive end need. The Cowboys re-signed Jack Crawford on Monday and added Benson Mayowa earlier in free agency. But DeMarcus Lawrence is coming off back surgery and Randy Gregory will miss the first four games because of a suspension.

Bosa might not be the elite right defensive end teams covet, but he was a productive player at Ohio State with more than 20 sacks in three seasons. Each year, high-profile players fall victims to over-scouting when it becomes about things they can't do.

He did not time well at the combine and there are questions about his ability to turn the corner, but each year teams say they pay attention to the tape most. His is impressive. He plays a mature game for a young player because he knows how to use his hands.

If the Cowboys draft Bosa, they could move Lawrence to right defensive end. Even though it was just two years ago it is forgotten that the Cowboys traded up to get Lawrence in the second round because they thought he was the last of the game-ready right defensive ends in that draft.

He moved to left defensive end last season because the Cowboys signed Greg Hardy and added Gregory in the second round. He responded with eight sacks. The move back to the right side could benefit Lawrence's recovery from the back surgery because the run responsibilities are slightly different.

Bosa makes sense at No. 4. He has made sense for some time, too, but there are cases for others at No. 4 as well.