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NFL Draft

2017 Cowboys Draft: Should Dallas Target Jabrill Peppers?

Brian Martin

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2017 Cowboys Draft: Will Jabrill Peppers Be The Best Player Available?

If I would have been asked at any point over the last two collegiate seasons if I would like to see Jabrill Peppers end up with the Dallas Cowboys, my answer would've absolutely been yes. But, as things stand right now I'm a little bit on the fence. Because of that, I have been wondering whether or not the Cowboys draft Peppers in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft when they are on the clock at 28th overall.

Jabrill Peppers is without a doubt one of the more intriguing prospects in the entire 2017 draft class, but it doesn't really seem as if anybody really knows what position he should play in the NFL.

Is he a safety? Is he a linebacker? Is he a better offensive player?

If the Dallas Cowboys draft Peppers, they will have to be able to answer all those questions in order to get him on the field as soon as possible. That's just what you would expect from a first-round draft pick.

In all honesty, I'm actually starting to come around to the idea that the former Michigan star might just be the best player available when the Cowboys are on the clock. The more I study and learn about Peppers, the more I think the Cowboys draft him if he is still available. Continue reading if you want to know why.

Cowboys' Coaching Staff Familiarity

S Coach Greg Jackson and S Jabrill PeppersThe Dallas Cowboys may feel more comfortable drafting Jabrill Peppers than the majority of other teams around the NFL. That is because they may just have a little inside information because of their safeties coach, Greg Jackson.

Before becoming the Cowboys' safety coach in 2016, Greg Jackson spent the 2015 season filling the same role at Michigan. That by the way was the last year Peppers played safety for the Wolverines before moving to linebacker in 2016.

Jackson may have a really good understanding of what Peppers is as a safety and where he needs to improve the most. That kind of knowledge is invaluable, especially when the team you work for is considering drafting that particular player with their first-round selection.

Not only can Jackson give advice about Peppers' skill set, but he also has firsthand knowledge of his work ethic and the kind of person he is on and off the field. Again, this kind of information is invaluable.

Jabrill Peppers' Intriguing Versatility

S Jabrill PeppersOne of the reasons Jabrill Peppers is arguably the most intriguing prospect in the entire 2017 draft class is because of his versatility to play several different positions.

He was recruited to Michigan as a cornerback, but also played safety and linebacker on defense for the Wolverines. Peppers also played on the opposite side of the ball as a running back and wide receiver. But, that's not all. He is also dangerous in the return game as a punt and kick returner.

There are those that believe Peppers would be a better offensive player as either a running back or wide receiver in the NFL. They can certainly make a strong case for that, because he is dangerous anytime he has the ball in his hands. But, I think he is going to make a really good safety once he can buckle down and focus on one position.

The Cowboys are thin at the safety position with Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox leaving via free agency. Peppers could step in and start next to Byron Jones, but with Jeff Heath on the roster the Cowboys can afford to take their time before throwing him into the fire.

We all know the Cowboys like versatility in their players, and Peppers has that in spades. As a rookie he could end up being the starting safety next to Byron Jones. The Cowboys could also decide to use him as their primary return man or in certain packages on offense. He could even be used as a nickel linebacker.

There are so many ways that Jabrill Peppers can be utilized it almost seems as if it is a no-brainer for the Dallas Cowboys to draft him if he is still available. Unfortunately, we are going to have to wait until April 27 to find out.

Do you think Jabrill Peppers would be a good first-round draft pick for the Dallas Cowboys?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. EverybodyTalks

    March 30, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Peppers would be a great choice at 28. We drop Lucky and put Peppers on returns. With that pick we have added help at LB, CB on special packages while filling a need at S or even SS. If Heath is getting his shot, then Peppers could be on Special teams. We will see if he is there at 28.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      March 30, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      There are players I would like more in the first round, but I wouldn’t be upset if Peppers is who the Cowboys decide to go with.

  2. Russ_Te

    March 30, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    If we are going high for an S, we’re talking SS to pair up with Jones at FS / after losing Church. I condone the pick if it is an impact SS and there was not a comparable impact CB on the board. Otherwise I’m going the project route, and as I mentioned I might want to look at Jaylon Smith at SS in camp, because of the physicality upgrade from Church.

    Peppers is 5′ 11″ / 213 lbs / 4.46 40 dash. But he was a track star, so he can run. If I think he is a hitter and intimidator then I’m trying to add about 10 lbs to play SS in the NFL. If he is my starter and can also break open kick or punt returns, then I’m not looking for him to always return the ball – too much injury risk. A player like that – think Darrell Green – is great in spot return duty, like in a close game in the second half.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/jabrill-peppers?id=2557980

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      March 30, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      I really find Peppers intriguing, but at the same time there a lot of players I like better that should be there for the Cowboys at 28. I’m really on the fence about Peppers. I like him because of what he could turn into, but don’t like him because he may never develop into a starter.

      Also, I don’t like the idea of playing Jaylon Smith at strong safety at all, especially since he not 100%. Leave him at LB and let him do his thing. I think he can be in All-Pro LB if he plays like he did at Notre Dame.

      • Russ_Te

        March 30, 2017 at 10:52 pm

        I like his write-up enough to think he has more talent at SS than whoever else will be competing there. But I think a CB of equal talent is more important in Round 1 – or if they get lucky with a DE falling, of course.

        Just think the look at Smith in camp at SS would be interesting, because of the size and speed upgrade from Church. The knee is an issue no matter where he plays, and he might suck at SS or be a natural. I really liked having the big SS with speed that was there with Roy Williams. He just fell apart when he had to turn and run with receivers. But that enforcer around the box is nice to have. Sorry to lose Wilcox, for that reason.

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          March 31, 2017 at 9:12 am

          Russ, I actually think the complete opposite from you when it comes to the safety position. I would prefer two interchangeable safeties that can make plays on the ball. I think that’s kind of why the Cowboys moved on from Church and Wilcox to begin with. I think they want somebody that isn’t as much of a liability in coverage.

          Honestly, I would like to see Budda Baker paired with Byron Jones. That would allow Marinelli to get really creative with his coverages and Jones is also capable of playing that box safety position if needed.

          • jayray78

            March 31, 2017 at 1:46 pm

            Peppers makes a lot of sense and the Jackson connection is the same kind of insight that probably brought Jaylon to the Cowboys. They love to that that kind of familiarity with a player and really get into the intangibles. I think a lot of people are really over thinking Peppers. Just look what we did with Byron Jones. His last two years were at cornerback. We all knew he had the athleticism to play safety too. I see Peppers the same way. Imagine sub packages with Peppers covering running backs and tight ends. Best player available crossing roads with one of the best athletes in the draft, I wouldn’t be upset with this pick at all. In fact, I hope they pull the trigger on it. His position flex and athleticism tells me that he is RKG.

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            March 31, 2017 at 2:12 pm

            I completely agree, but there are players that I would draft ahead of Peppers. Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to get a good read on what teams think about him, especially the Cowboys

  3. Deno Cobb

    April 14, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I seriously hope they don’t draft him. He is OVER-RATED. He is a novelty and not a full time starter/producer. He would be interesting as a 3rd or 4th round pick but nowhere near the 1st.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

      I agree with you. The fact that the Cowboys haven’t worked him out or brought him in for a visit likely means are not very high on him.

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Looking at West Virginia WR David Sills

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Draft: Looking at West Virginia WR David Sills

Although the Dallas Cowboys won't be on the clock in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they essentially invested their first pick in Amari Cooper. However, wide receiver remains a need for the team, specially with Cole Beasley heading for free agency. Out of West Virginia, Wide Receiver David Sills is an interesting potential target for Dallas. A quarterback-turned-wide-receiver story, Sills is one of those guys who constantly shows up when you watch his football team play. That's what you want in a receiver.

Let's dive in.

During his time playing for the West Virginia Mountaineers, David Sills was a scoring machine. He scored 35 career touchdowns (15 in 2018, 18 in 2017) and caught over 980 yards in each of his two seasons as a starter. The Big 12 is known for its lack of good defensive backs, which will naturally raise skepticism when discussing how good Sills really is but it shouldn't.

Sills is 6-foot-4 and weighs 210 pounds. His frame is constantly criticized but thanks to his size and his excellent ability to high point the football that shouldn't be an issue. He's one of the best in this draft class when it comes to 50-50 jump balls. He shines the most as a vertical threat, including over the middle of the field, which should be an interesting trait for the Dallas Cowboys. Throughout his career, he was almost indefensible when given the opportunity at deep over the shoulder passes.

Although he doesn't have the best acceleration, Sills' build-up speed can be lethal for opposing defensive backs. Paired with this is his skill to adjust for deep balls, slowing down when necessary to take on defenders.

What I personally like the most about Sills is his play in goal line situations. Whether it's playing inside on a slant or running a fade route, the Mountaineer wide receiver surely made a lot of opposing defenses suffer. Thanks to his background as a quarterback, his understanding of defensive coverages is pretty solid. He manages to find the defense's soft spots and get open constantly.

But why isn't he valued as a top prospect on this year's NFL Draft? Well, unfortunately, there are a few reasons for this.

First off, David Sills had some problems in the "drops" department. He has plenty of body catches that aren't necessary. When balls weren't on target, he often didn't make the play despite counting with a pretty good catch radius. He can greatly improve in his route running abilities and he was challenged by true press cornerbacks, struggling to release early.

For the Dallas Cowboys, Sills could be a solid contributor as a vertical threat and in the red-zone, where the offense struggled so much last season. With the class being quite loaded at wide receiver this year, Sills should be a realistic target even in the fourth round.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Draft: Looking at West Virginia WR David Sills" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Receive 4th-Round Compensatory Pick in 2019 NFL Draft

Jess Haynie

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Why Finishing 8-8 Improves Cowboys' 2018 NFL Draft Position

The Dallas Cowboys will receive an extra fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after the league awarded compensatory picks today.

The pick will be 136th overall, which is one spot below were Dallas drafted Dak Prescott in 2016.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

And in other news... NFL awarded compensatory draft picks today - Patriots and Rams each received two third-round picks. The full list, per sources:

We have Anthony Hitchens to thank for this extra pick. The former Cowboys linebacker signed a five-year, $45 million deal with the Chiefs last offseason which far surpassed any of the deal that Dallas made with their own free agent acquisitions.

Only free agents whose contracts expired, not those released in the offseason by their previous team, count towards the compensatory pick formula.  Therefore, Allen Hurns' deal was not a mitigating factor.

As mentioned already, the fourth round of the NFL Draft recently gave Dallas its starting quarterback. Other notable fourth-round picks in the modern era have been Hitchens, Doug Free, Marion Barber, and Chris Canty.

Last year, Dallas drafted DE Dorance Armstrong and TE Dalton Schultz with fourth-round picks.

Already short their first and sixth-round picks this year from previous trades, the Cowboys are certainly happy to have this extra selection for April's draft.



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NFL Draft

7-Round Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Edition

Brian Martin

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3 Potential Day 2 Tight End Prospects for the Dallas Cowboys 2

I thought it would be a good idea to get out another 7-round Dallas Cowboys mock draft before the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine kicks off next week. Not only will the Combine shakeup a lot of people's big boards and draft rankings, but it will also be the first opportunity a lot of us will get to see some of these players firsthand.

For this Cowboys mock draft I used Matt Miller's big board on Fanspeak.com. I don't necessarily agree with where he has some of these players ranked right now, but that's part of the fun of doing these kind of exercises. With that said, he is still one of my favorite draft analysts.

Without further ado, here is my Pre-Combine 7-round Dallas Cowboys mock draft.

TE, Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M (2nd-round)

*189th on Matt Miller's Big Board

Jace Sternberger

Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger (John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports)

First off, I think Matt Miller has Jace Sternberger ranked way too low on his Big Board. I don't think he will make it out of the second round and may not even be available for the Dallas Cowboys when they are on the clock with the 58th overall pick. But if he is, I'm writing his name down on the draft card and not looking back.

The Cowboys have made it pretty clear they want to upgrade their TE position, but in order to do that they're going to have to draft one pretty early in my opinion. Sternberger may be a one-year wonder at Texas A&M, but he is exactly what Quarterback Dak Prescott needs in the passing game. He would change the dynamic of this whole offense.

At 6'4", 250 pounds, Sternberger has the size the Cowboys look for in their starting tight ends. His biggest asset right now is his natural receiving ability and how dangerous he is after the catch. He runs and moves like a big receiver. He's decent as an in-line blocker as well, but it's an area of his game that is still improving.

OT, Bobby Evans, Oklahoma (3rd-round)

*89th on Matt Miller's Big Board

Bobby Evans

Oklahoma OT Bobby Evans

It's a little surprising it hasn't been brought up more this offseason, but with Tyron Smith's continued back problems and La'el Collins entering a contract year, the Dallas Cowboys could be looking into drafting another offensive tackle. I know it may be an unpopular pick in the third-round, but I couldn't pass up on Bobby Evans.

At 6'5", 300 pounds, Bobby Evans has the prototypical size teams look for in their starting offensive tackles. He is a smooth athletically gifted lineman who does his best work in the running game. He projects best in a zone blocking scheme where he can use his athleticism to his advantage. He will struggle a little bit in pass protection until he cleans up his hand technique.

With the Cowboys he could compete with La'el Collins for the starting RT position as a rookie, but at the worst be the teams swing tackle in 2019. Since he has the ability to play either tackle position, he would make a good insurance policy if Tyron Smith has to miss time again because of his back issues. Again it may be an unpopular pick, but a necessary one.

OLB, Christian Miller, Alabama (4th-round)

*161st on Matt Miller's Big Board

Christian Miller

Alabama OLB Christian Miller

With the Dallas Cowboys needing more depth at linebacker and defensive end, I decided to select Christian Miller with their first fourth-round draft pick. He unfortunately hasn't been able to showcase his skill set on a regular basis due to being buried on the depth chart at Alabama and some unfortunate injuries, but he has immense potential.

I think a lot of teams will look to draft him as a outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but I really like the variety of roles he could play in the Cowboys 4-3 defensive scheme. I think he could replace Demian Wilson as their strong side linebacker, provide depth at defensive end, and be a special-teams demon as a rookie.

The Cowboys of course will have to be comfortable with his injury history, but in the fourth-round I don't think that would be a problem. If he can stay healthy he has Pro Bowl potential as a pass rusher because of his size (6'4", 247), athleticism and fluidity to bend and torque his body. This might be my favorite pick in this Cowboys mock draft.

DT, Daylon Mack, Texas A&M (4th-round comp pick)

*178th on Matt Miller's Big Board

Daylon Mack

Texas A&M DT Daylon Mack

The Dallas Cowboys could definitely use some more defensive tackle help, especially after all but washing their hands of David Irving. They currently just have Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins on the DT depth chart, unless you want to count Tyrone Crawford. That's why I returned to Texas A&M for the second time in this Cowboys mock draft and selected Daylon Mack.

Daylon Mack is a former five-star recruit who never really lived up to his billing at Texas A&M. Don't let that fool you though, he has the talent to earn a starting job with the Cowboys as a rookie at either the one or three-technique. He is the kind of prospect Rod Marinelli would love to work with.

At 6'1", 327 pounds, Mack would provide some much-needed beef to the Cowboys defensive front. He has surprising athletic ability for his size and has a devastating first step to be the kind of disruptive DT Marinelli prefers along his DL. I really love his violent hands and raw athletic ability, and I believe he could be an absolute steal in the fourth-round even though Matt Miller has him ranked much lower.

WR, Jalen Hurd, Baylor (5th-round)

*159th on Matt Miller's Big Board

Jalen Hurd

Baylor WR Jalen Hurd

Outside of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, the wide receiver position in Dallas is pretty dreadful. There are some young WRs who show some promise, but they still need more depth regardless. That's why I decided to take Jalen Hurd in the fifth-round in this Cowboys mock draft. He is one of the more intriguing prospects in the entire 2019 draft class.

The most intriguing aspect of Hurd's game is his background as a running back. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and was once considered a top RB prospect during his time in Tennessee before deciding to transfer to Baylor in order to switch to wide receiver.

At 6'4", 227 pounds, he has the prototypical size teams look for in a WR prospect. He reminds me a little bit of Cordarrelle Patterson, but is much more natural catching the ball. His route running is a little raw, but he has the ability to play in the slot or on the outside, something he did at Baylor. I think he could help replace some of Cole Beasley's lost production.

RB, Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State (7th-round)

* 206th on Matt Miller's Big Board

Bruce Anderson

North Dakota State RB Bruce Anderson

I reached a little bit with this pick, but if Bruce Anderson is available this late in the draft I would do everything within my power to bring him aboard if I was the Dallas Cowboys. I really think he could be the lightning to Ezekiel Elliott's thunder in the Cowboys backfield. I personally have him in the 3rd-5th round range, but can understand why he's ranked so low on Miller's Big Board right now.

Unfortunately, the draft process hasn't been very kind to Bruce Anderson so far. He was originally expected to open a lot of eyes in Mobile at this year's Senior Bowl, but unfortunately sustained an injury that kept him from competing. To make matters worse, he was a surprise snub at the Scouting Combine, meaning he only has private workouts and his Pro Day to impress scouts.

I for one am a big fan of Anderson's though. I believe he is exactly the kind of RB the Cowboys need behind Zeke. I personally see a poor man's Alvin Kamara when I watched his game film because of the different ways he can be utilized as both a runner and receiver. But, he can also contribute on special teams as a return specialist.

How do you feel about this 7-round Dallas Cowboys mock draft?



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