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2014 NFL mock draft: Cowboys select Timmy Jernigan

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The Dallas Cowboys take Timmy Jernigan with the 16th pick of the 2014 POD Community Mock Draft.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

With the 16th pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2014 NFL mock draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. Sgdbw90 is serving as the Cowboys' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.

Flash back to the 2007 Lions -- started 6-2, struggled to the finish, but held their own on both sides of the ball. They had a defensive front that was anchored by Shaun Rogers and Cory Redding, who may have been two of the top 15 DTs in football. Flash forward one year to 2008 -- no Rogers, no Redding and, as we all know, no wins. Lesson: Rod Marinelli requires stud DT play. His version of the Cover 2 depends on getting pressure from your front four, and if your line can't control the run and get after the QB, your D will be shredded.

Cut to 2014 and a team likely to be rebranded the "Allas Cowboys," because last year they had no D. Dallas finished dead last in total yards and first downs allowed, so they replaced their DC with (you guessed it)... Rod Marinelli! But Shaun Rogers isn't walking (or fitting) through that door anytime soon, so the Cowboys MUST use this draft to shore up a weak D-line that only got weaker when Jason Hatcher defected to Washington.

Now, everyone with a star on their hat is praying for Aaron Donald to slip down the board, but that's not happening in real life and it didn't happen here (stupid Bears...). But there are far worse consolation prizes than Timmy Jernigan, a strong, agile run stopper who was the anchor of the national champion's defense. He could fill the 1-gap role for a decade (the perfect complement to the newly signed Henry Melton), or he could play the 3 gap (in formation or during a stunt). Jernigan may never develop into a top-flight pass rusher. But at this point in the round, a team that has a staggering 11 draft picks can afford to take a risk on a guy who at worst becomes a run-stopping fixture at nose tackle and at best develops into the top-tier penetrating presence at DT that Marinelli requires.

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Check out the 2014 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.