The Dallas Cowboys went into the first round of Thursday night’s NFL Draft in need of offensive line help.
They got their opportunity and took full advantage of it, drafting former USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick.
Smith, who declared for the draft early as a junior, is projected to play left tackle for the Cowboys opposite of the right tackle position he played for the Trojans last year.
The Houston Texans got some line help on the defensive side of the ball, drafting former Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt with the 11th overall pick.
A quick breakdown of what Smith and Watt should bring to their respective teams:
Dallas Cowboys- Tyron Smith (ninth pick)
This was a solid decision for Dallas and Jerry Jones by picking Smith in the first round. They could have taken shut-down cornerback Prince Amukamara or highly rated defensive tackle Nick Fairley, but instead they focused on their biggest need: offensive line. They came away with an athletic, skilled left tackle in Smith.
The 6’5″, 307 lb USC product should provide an upgrade in the pass blocking department and will be responsible for protecting Tony Romo’s blind side from the left tackle position.
The main area of concern surrounding Smith is his current lack of bulk. His height and agility, though, should make up for any size and strength issues his first year in the league.
Houston Texans- J.J. Watt (11th pick)
Watt is big (6’5″, 290 lbs), physical and should be a solid addition to the Texan defensive line playing opposite of pro bowler Mario Williams. The former Wisconsin Badger more than likely won’t develop into an elite pass rusher but he should at least routinely pressure the quarterback as well as use his speed and quick first step to defend the run both inside and outside the tackles.