Connect with us

NFL Draft

2016 Mock Draft 2.0: Haynie Picks 1-34

Jess Haynie



Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Draft: No to Ezekiel Elliot, Yes to Devontae Booker 1

So there have been some major developments since my last mock draft. The Rams gave up everything short of their firstborn to move to number one and Myles Jack's knee evaluation didn't go well. These have led to some interesting ripple effects.

For this mock I wanted to see what would happen if Cleveland doesn't take a quarterback. I still think they will but I wanted to play with that variable.

Also, my standard disclaimers:

  • Please comment with your thoughts on my picks. If you're a fan of another team I really value your insider perspective and will use it to make my next mocks better.
  • These are predictions of what teams WILL do and not necessarily what they SHOULD.
  • I don't get into predicting trades. It's too much of a crapshoot to spend mental energy on.

1. Rams

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.

(Previous: Laremy Tunsil, OT to Titans)
The Rams didn't send all those picks to Tennessee for any other reason than to take a quarterback. Current rumors have Wentz as the guy they like most.

2. Browns

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.

(Previous: Carson Wentz, QB)
Cleveland decides to see what RG3 can do before putting an immediate cap on his future. They stun many by taking Elliott this high, but they're one of the few teams who can afford to pass on Laremy Tunsil and Jalen Ramsey and have a huge need at running back.
The san diego chargers helmet logo

3. Chargers

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

(Previous: Jalen Ramsey, DB)
San Diego had one of the league's worst offensive lines last year. They should land Tunsil one way or the other. Cleveland already has Joe Thomas at tackle and will draft another position, or will trade down to someone wanting Jared Goff.

4. Cowboys

Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida St.

(Previous: Myles Jack, LB)
The dream scenario works out for the majority of Cowboys fans as Ramsey falls to them. The only way Dallas doesn't take Ramsey is if they were dead set on a quarterback, which means they take Goff or maybe try and trade down for Paxton Lynch.

5. Jaguars

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.

(Previous: Same)
Jacksonville pairs Bosa with last year's pick, Dante Fowler, for a hopefully dynamic duo.

6. Ravens

DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon

(Previous: Same)
Buckner has the potential to be a freak as a 3-4 DE, which Baltimore just so happens to play.

7. 49ers

Jared Goff, QB, California

(Previous: Same)
Colin Kaepernick is still there but the situation seems too toxic to last. The Niners will be happy to land Goff and move on.

8. Eagles

Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

(Previous: Ezekiel Elliott, RB)
Not able to get Elliott or one of the top quarterbacks, Philly hopes the doubters are wrong about Jack's knee. He immediately replaces what they lost by trading away Kiko Alonso and is the best talent on the board.

9. Bucs

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

(Previous: Same)
Tampa's front office seems to like numbers and Ogbah has them where it counts; 22.5 sacks the last two years and a 4.63 40-yard dash. There's almost always a picks in the 7-10 range that makes people scratch their heads a little and this would be it.

10. Giants

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

(Previous: Same)
New York has an older quarterback to protect and an average group of running backs to work with. They follow the Cowboys' example and take their third offensive lineman in four years.

11. Bears

Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

(Previous: Same)
Chicago will be thrilled to have Hargreaves slide to them at this pick. He's better than many people think and fills their biggest need.

12. Saints

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

(Previous: Same)
New Orleans' receivers have plenty of speed already but no size or redzone threat potential, which makes Treadwell a good counterbalance.

13. Dolphins

Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

(Previous: Same)
Miami replaces Olivier Vernon with a kid who will probably be far more productive than Vernon ever was.

14. Raiders

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

(Previous: Same)
Liking bigger and more physical corners, Oakland takes Apple and tries to teach him how to avoid penalties.

15. Titans

Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.

(Previous: Reggie Ragland, LB to Rams)
Getting all those picks from Los Angeles and still landing a top offensive tackle makes this a fantastic draft for Tennessee.

16. Lions

A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

(Previous: Same)
Having lost their top two defensive tackles to free agency over the last few years, Detroit gets some big help with Robinson.

17. Falcons

Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

(Previous: Darron Lee, LB)
Needing help all over their defense, Atlanta takes one of the best talents available.

18. Colts

Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio St.

(Previous: Jack Conklin, OT)
After putting up a reported 4.38 40-yard time at his pro day, the 6'3" Thomas zooms past the other receivers on the board. Andrew Luck needs more weapons but also needs offensive line help. This is a tough one to project.

19. Bills

Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

(Previous: Same)
The Ryan boys are desperate and don't mind taking chances on suspect characters. Nkemdiche is this year's Randy Gregory but doesn't have to wait as long to hear his name.

20. Jets

Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia

(Previous: Same)
They will be ecstatic in New York to land Floyd this far down the board. Some have him going in the #8-12 range.

21. Washington

Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

(Previous: Same)
Aaron Donald has helped lift the stigma a little on smallish defensive tackles, helping a guy like Rankins get taken this high.

22. Texans

Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

(Previous: Michael Thomas, WR)
Fuller's speed and deep threat potential make him an excellent counterpart for DeAndre Hopkins.

23. Vikings

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

(Previous: Same)
Minnesota seems sure to take a receiver and will have good ones to pick from. Doctson has the best upside of the remaining options.

24. Bengals

Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

(Previous: Same)
The knock on Dodd is that he benefited from playing opposite Shaq Lawson in college. Teaming him up with Carlos Dunlap should alleviate that concern.

25. Steelers

William Jackson, CB, Houston

(Previous: Same)
Cornerback is clearly their biggest need and Jackson provides good value for Pittsburgh at this spot.

26. Seahawks

Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

(Previous: Same)
Jason Spriggs may have more upside but Seattle needs someone ready to help right away. Decker is a strong run blocker and that's the key to Seattle's offense.

27. Packers

Darron Lee, LB, Ohio St.

(Previous: Kendall Fuller, CB)
Lee's athleticism and talent are too much for the Packers to pass on. He could be a major play-maker in the middle of their 3-4 scheme.

28. Chiefs

 Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

(Previous: Mackensie Alexander, CB)
KC needs a corner badly and Fuller offers major steal potential if his health checks out. He would likely be in the Top 15 if not for injury issues last year.

29. Cardinals

Keanu Neal, S, Florida

(Previous: Same)
There's a steep drop off from Neal to the next best safety, so Arizona covers a big need here.

30. Panthers

Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

(Previous: Same)
Good upside for the 30th pick. Michael Oher was their worst offensive lineman last year and an upgrade is needed.

31. Broncos

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

(Previous: Same)
Until Denver makes some other move at quarterback this offseason you have to go with Lynch.

32. Browns

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

(Previous: Will Fuller, WR)
With Josh Gordon not being of use anytime soon, the Browns have to add some talent. Coleman has a first-round grade by many and is a good value here.

33. Titans

Noah Spence, DE, Eastern KY

(Previous: Same)
After helping their own QB in the first round, Tennessee looks to attack opposing QBs with their next pick.

34. Cowboys

Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland

(Previous: Carl Nassib, DE)
I still like Nassib a lot but there seems to be a lot of doubt about his pro potential. I will go with Ngakoue, who was also highly productive in college with 13.5 sacks and is built more like a traditional 4-3 edge rusher. Given where they went in the last few picks, Dallas has more trade-up potential here to try and grab Lynch or Spence if they're in range.


I think you can sum up this draft in three words for Cowboys fans.


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

  • Bryson Treece

    This is the most likely scenario I see for the top 4 picks now that LA has traded into #1. And I'm just fine with that!

    • Jess Haynie

      You don't think I'm nuts for picking Elliott at #2? Most of the world would say so.

      • Bryson Treece

        A little, yeah. But I've stopped pretending to know what Cleveland is going to do a long time ago. But even if they don't go with Elliott at #2, they go with another QB and that doesn't affect the Chargers or Cowboys decisions.

NFL Draft

Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys

Kevin Brady



2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

As the 2018 NFL Draft draws closer, teams are beginning to hold their official visits with prospects of their own choosing. The Cowboys have already met with a few different prospects thus far, and they've reportedly added a linebacker to that list this week.

Multiple reports are saying the Cowboys will meet with Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this week, adding him to the list of 30 potential visits.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

BoiseState LB Leighton Vander Esch will be a pre-draft visitor for the #Cowboys. Add him to your list of 30, per Tony Pauline.

Vander Esch is a bit of a controversial prospect in the draft world. As I've stated before, he tested like a freak athletically, and his combine profile alone would put him in the discussion on day one. The problems I have with Vander Esch have nothing to do with his athleticism, however, and everything to do with his actual football-playing ability.

On film, I see a player who struggles to get off blocks and will have trouble finding a home with the Cowboys. Still, I wouldn't mind the Cowboys drafting Vander Esch - that pick cannot come in the first round though.

Vander Esch is a long, rangy, and athletic linebacker who is at his best playing laterally and tracking down plays. As a blitzer, Vander Esch has some rather clear issues. He often runs directly into blocks and is unable to shed at the point of attack. I also don't think he is as instinctual a player as some of the other linebackers in this class, such as BYU's Fred Warner or Alabama's Rashaan Evans.

The way things are looking, however, Vander Esch is going to be a first round pick. And if not, he'll almost certainly be a top 50 pick. I wouldn't be very comfortable taking him at 19, and I'd have to think twice before even taking him at 50 for that matter.

Continue Reading

NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

With more pressing needs on offense at guard and wide receiver, and defensively at DE or LB, the Cowboys' concerning lack of proven ability at safety has taken a backseat in this offseason's roster build. With the expectation that new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard will elevate the play of the entire Cowboys' secondary, the team is doing their due diligence on safeties available in the 2018 NFL Draft - starting with Texas' DeShon Elliott.

Josh Norris on Twitter

It appears Texas S DeShon Elliott is visiting the #Cowboys today

With 63 tackles and six interceptions in his final season at Texas, Elliott took full advantage of being a starter in the Big 12 for the first time in his career, flying onto the NFL Draft scene.

Elliott is a well-balanced, average athlete with the upside to be targeted late in April's draft and make a difference.

If they had to play a game tomorrow, the Cowboys would be rolling with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier at safety.

Finding an expanded role this season for Frazier should be a priority in Dallas, as should supplementing Heath and Woods with additional talent. DeShon Elliott would fit this group well, along with the Cowboys' scheme, given his range and disruptive ability.

Should Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and now Byron Jones help the Cowboys reach their full potential at CB, the Cowboys safeties will not be tested in single coverage up the field often. This is an area that Elliott was exploited in at Texas plenty of times, performing better as a true free safety or second-level player.

Continuing to add young talent at the right price is key to the Cowboys' ongoing rebuild on defense, now visiting with a local safety prospect that should be available to them in the later rounds. Texas' DeShon Elliott is officially a name to consider come draft week in Dallas.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”

Kevin Brady



Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Last week, I detailed what the Cowboys tend to look for when drafting a wide receiver. In terms of a combine profile, Dallas clearly has a "type" of wide-out they like to target.

The Cowboys certainly need to upgrade their receiving corps, but with the plethora of other holes to fill, they may not be able to do so until the 3rd or 4th round. Luckily for the Cowboys, there is at least one receiver which both fits their profile and should be available early on day three.

That player is Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

Working on something for @InsideTheStarDC... here's the height, weight, 40 time, and 3 cone for every WR DAL has taken since 2010.

First, let's re-examine what the Cowboys like to look for. As you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys draft targets all seem to fit a similar profile. If we treat Dez Bryant as their "ideal" draft pick, the trends become even clearer. Dallas wants to find a wide-out who is about 6'1" 205 pounds, runs nearly a 4.5 40 yard dash, and about a 6.9 three come time.

DeaSean Hamilton, coincidentally, is 6'1" 203 pounds, ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the Penn State pro day, and ran a 6.84 three cone at the combine. Penn State's all time receptions leader stole the show at the 2018 Senior Bowl, putting all of "Draft Twitter" on notice to his talent.

An efficient and smooth route runner, Hamilton looks natural coming in and out of breaks, creating separation with his precise routes. The Cowboys don't have many receivers on their roster who can win with their route running, and adding a player like Hamilton would greatly help third year quarterback Dak Prescott moving forward.

With the ability to play in the slot, as well as potentially being a Z receiver for the Cowboys and a replacement for Terrance Williams, Hamilton would be an excellent draft target in the third or fourth round. And, keeping in mind how nicely he fits their typical draft profile, I'd expect Dallas to target Hamilton during the 2018 NFL Draft.

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here