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January 19, 2012

Mel Kiper says Stanford guard DeCastro is a natural for Cowboys at 14, but other OL options available

Draft expert Mel Kiper said he had a tough time assigning a defensive back to the Cowboys with their 14th pick in the first round. Instead, he called Stanford guard David DeCastro the best value for the Cowboys and likely an immediate starter.

“It’s somewhere they need to upgrade. He makes an immediate impact there,” Kiper said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. “He’s NFL-ready. He’ll immediately project as a starter and maybe a Pro Bowl down the road.”

Kiper said he has the 6-foot-5, 310-pound guard rated as the 12th-best player on his board. He might be gone by the time the Cowboys pick, he said.

“Even though he’s a pure guard, which might knock him down a bit, I think a lot of people are going to be very high on him on draft day,” Kiper said.

If the Cowboys miss on DeCastro, or pass on him, they can still get help for the offensive line. Kiper talked about two other possibilities for the Cowboys in the interior offensive line”

“Cordy Glenn, the kid at Georgia, played at tackle this year and held up very well, but he played guard in the past.”

“Peter Konz, the junior center coming out early from Wisconsin, the only issue with him is durability. He’s missed multiple games the last three seasons. But with his size, you’ll see interest. His best value is probably early in the second round.”

Other possibilities Kiper threw out:

James Brown, a tackle from Troy.

Rishaw Johnson, a guard from Cal-Penn.

Desmond Wynn, a guard from Rutgers.

Chucky Curry, a guard from West Alabama

“There are a lot of guards you can find on Day 3 that are going to be intriguing possibilities to help you on the offensive line,” Kiper said.

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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