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2017 Mock Draft Challenge: Your Chance To Be The Dallas Cowboys GM

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Hold 28th Overall Pick in 2017 NFL Draft 1

How many of you have claimed that you could've done a better job as the General Manager for the Dallas Cowboys in regards to drafting players?

I'll be completely honest and say that I'm guilty of such an accusation. I'm sure there are plenty of you out there that will admit to the same.

The Dallas Cowboys have done a much better job of drafting players the last several years, but Jerry Jones still receives a lot of flak for the way he is handles the draft as the GM/Owner.

Now, I know it's still early to be doing mock drafts, but I thought it would be fun if we all had the chance to play GM for once and select the players we would personally choose for the Dallas Cowboys.

Of course, there has to be rules. To keep things as fair as possible for this exercise we will use CBS Sports player rankings to help us decide where each individual player will be available when it's the Cowboys turn to draft.

Okay, this is how it will work. You have to draft a player that is within the correct slotted area. For instance, the Cowboys have the 28th overall draft pick in the first round, so you can't draft anybody that is ranked lower than 28th. This will continue through all seven rounds until you have completed the draft for the Dallas Cowboys.

Simple enough, right? It's a little bit more difficult than you might think.

Below is my attempt at playing GM for the Dallas Cowboys using the CBS Sports player rankings.

Round 1 (28th overall) - Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

Round 2 (60th overall) - Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA

Round 3 (92nd overall) - Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

Round 4 (132nd overall) - Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas

Round 6 (212th overall) - Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech

Round 7 (231st overall) - Treyvon Hester, DT, Toledo

Round 7 (249th overall) - Joe Williams, RB, Utah

With the Cowboys first-round draft pick I decided to try and improve the pass rush with the selection of Carl Lawson. Lawson has an injury history, but I believe he is one of the more pro-ready pass rushers in this draft class.

Fabian Moreau will help improve the secondary and will probably end up being a starter as a rookie. He has the size, speed, and fluidity that you look for in a cornerback and I think he will make an instant impact his first year in the NFL.

In the third round I decided to give Dak Prescott another weapon in the receiving game by drafting Chris Godwin. I think Godwin will be an upgrade over both Terrance Williams and Brice Butler, and also help Dez Bryant see less double coverage.

This is where things started to get a little bit more difficult. There are a lot of players that I like in this slotted area, but I decided to go with Jeremy Sprinkle because of my concerns at the tight end position. Geoff Swaim and James Hanna will be returning from serious injuries, and Rico Gathers is a huge question mark. Sprinkle could be that #1 TE after Jason Witten's contract expires after the 2017 season.

In the six round decided to add depth to the safety position with Xavier Woods. I think Woods will continue to impress coaches and scouts this off-season and he could be a steal in the sixth round.

The Dallas Cowboys hold two seventh round draft picks. With the first one I added Treyvon Hester, an athletic defensive tackle that I think Rod Marinelli will mold into a good rotational player. Hester is the penetrating type of defensive tackle that Marinelli prefers along his defensive line.

With the Cowboys final draft pick I decided to add a little depth to the running back position with the selection of Joe Williams. Williams would be an excellent complementary back to Ezekiel Elliott. He is a threat to score any time he touches the ball and is a tough runner between the tackles despite his size.

Well, there you have it. Now that you have seen how I would draft for the Dallas Cowboys, it's your turn.

Use the comment section below to share what you would do as the GM of the Dallas Cowboys using the CBS Sports player rankings.



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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57 Comments
  • Donny Cook

    Round 1….Damarcus Walker….DE/DT…..He can play inside and out, Demarcus Lawerence has not lived up to that ‘QB Hunter’ label on his draft…Dallas needs a double digit sack artist.

    Round 2… Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State excellent for depth, can see him as a starter, however would like to see him improve in pass coverage, but solid against the run. when Dallas subs, he’s a starter regardless, would not be surprised at all if can he play all 3 linebacker positions

    Round 3…. Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee, he’s a physical corner, teams usually avoided the corner he was in) With Carr and Claibornes future unknown, best to draft one.

    Round 4… Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas good size, excellent blocker, Witten isn’t getting any younger sadly

    Round 6…. Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M…TWill’s contract is up…Brice Butlar’s contract is up, at 6’4 190…would like to see him pack on 15-20 lbs in the offseason..other then that..would love to see him opposite of Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley

    Round 7….. Zach Banner, OT, USC , a mammoth individual to see the least, listed at 6’9 344, would love to see him on Dallas O-line, Doug Free is who Doug Free is, not getting any younger and his penelties are just killer for Dallas offense. You can’t rely on Chaz Green to stay healthy. While he’s played on the left side at times for the Trojans, Banner is probably more of a smash-mouth right tackle for the NFL. He has a lot of strength at the point attack and obviously is a massive blocker. Banner showed some athleticism by playing some basketball at USC

    Round 7…Like you, I can see Dallas getting Trayvon Hester

    Undrafted pet cats

    Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State no I am not kidding, name alone, DMC’s contract is up, Dunbars is up, Alfred Morris’s contract is up next year…good for depth

    Jason Hatcher, DE, Kentucky Hatcher was stuck behind Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith in 2014, but the backup still managed 28 tackles with 5.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks, you can never have enough pass rushers

    Tony Bridges, CB, Ole Miss for depth

    • Brian Martin

      Donny, I would be on board with your draft. I’m not a big fan of Walker’s though. I see him more as a DT than a DE. He’s not very explosive off the edge, but would probably be a good 3-tech for the Cowboys.

      I’m also not real sure about taking a linebacker so early. That’s the one position that the Cowboys are pretty deep.

      • Donny Cook

        I think Walker would be a huge upgrade over Tyrone Crawford, I am not trying to down Crawford because last 2 years he’s had 9.5 sacks, but Walker is one of those pass rushing DT’s at 3 tech we need, I know we got depth at linebackers but I can state the case for Raekwon, at 6’2 243, he’s got good size, never gives up on the play, can rush the passer, can stuff the RB, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Txm41fQ5Q you can mute it, his highlights, seems allot like the the way Sean Lee plays

        • Brian Martin

          I agree that Walker might be an upgrade over Tyrone Crawford, but Crawford isn’t likely going anywhere because of his contract and the Cowboys drafted a 3–tech last year, Maliek Collins.

          Don’t get me wrong I like McMillan. I just don’t know if the Cowboys would invest so highly in a linebacker with the starting spots all but locked down.

  • Erie Adams

    using standard CBS Rankings witch I tend to find VERY unlikely I always use Matt Millers Rankings since he is always closest to the draft’s but for this purpose only
    I do see Mathis and Hendrickson both ALOT higher closer to draft time but if Cowboys draft fell like this then I would be one happy happy camper

    28: R1P28

    CB

    MARLON HUMPHREY

    ALABAMA

    60: R2P28

    S

    BUDDA BAKER

    WASHINGTON

    92: R3P28

    TE

    JAKE BUTT

    MICHIGAN

    132: R4P27

    EDGE

    JOE MATHIS

    WASHINGTON

    212: R6P27

    EDGE

    TREY HENDRICKSON

    FLORIDA ATLANTIC

    231: R7P10

    QB

    JOSHUA DOBBS

    TENNESSEE

    249: R7P28

    S

    DALLAS LLOYD

    STANFORD

    • Brian Martin

      I prefer Matt Miller’s rankings as well. I honestly don’t see Marlon Humphrey available in the first round for the Cowboys, but if he is I would absolutely write his name down on the draft card.I also kinda doubt that Baker is there in the second. I could see him going in the first round.

    • Erie Adams

      Cheating and using Matt Millers BB on this draft

      28: R1P28
      EDGE DEREK BARNETT
      TENNESSEE one of the top 4 Edge Rushers in this draft Slides a bit and Dallas Runs to the Podium
      60: R2P28
      DL MALIK MCDOWELL
      MICHIGAN STATE has his up and down moments that caused him to slide down a little as well but with Rods coaching he could be a first rd talent with a 2nd rd pick
      92: R3P28
      CB CHIDOBE AWUZIE
      COLORADO very good Cb not talked about a lot could be day 1 starter
      132: R4P27
      WR DEDE WESTBROOK
      OKLAHOMA Dez 2.0 tall fast good route running comes with baggage not as much as Nixon from OK does but just like Dez did coming out of college
      212: R6P27
      RB JAMES CONNER
      PITTSBURGH Beat Cancer and can replace DMC with ease
      231: R7P10
      LB RILEY BULLOUGH
      MICHIGAN STATE Home run hitter who some times is WILD and takes him self away from the play but with Rods Coaching just like his team mate can be Sean Lee 2.0
      249: R7P28
      QB CHAD KELLY
      OLE MISS was projected to be top 3 qb last year when talking bout 2017 draft needs work but would be better then Kellen and Dirty Sanchez as a backup

      • Brian Martin

        This would be an excellent draft for the Dallas Cowboys. However, I don’t see Barnett or McDowell available for the Cowboys in the first round. I think both players get drafted before the Cowboys on the clock at 28.

        • Erie Adams

          So do I but Collins could very well drop to Rd 2 with alot of inconsistency and we could see 3 or 4 qb’s go in rd 2 as well and now Steelers Big Ben throwing a wrench in things as well

          • Brian Martin

            That’s why these mock drafts are so fun. There are so many unknown variables that come into play when trying to figure out where each player will get drafted.

  • Saul molina

    I would try to move up and get Solomon Thomas or Derek barrnett

    • Erie Adams

      Solomon will be top 10 pick Barnett could fall to mid 20’s

      • Saul molina

        We have to move around we have to get someone of that caliber

        • Saul molina

          We have to move around we have to get someone of that caliber

    • Brian Martin

      I’m not as big as a fan of Solomon Thomas as a lot of people. I think he would be better as a defensive tackle in the Cowboys 4-3 scheme. And I honestly don’t like the idea of moving up in the draft for anybody. This draft is deep at the defensive end and cornerback position.

      • Saul molina

        If we could get the top corner or maybe the second top corner I would agree but there are more questions at corner in this draft than defensive end

        • Brian Martin

          This is actually pretty deep class of cornerbacks.

          • Saul molina

            If my cowboys are smart they will go defensive end and pick up a corner in free agency maybe Tremaine Johnson

          • Brian Martin

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys signed a DE and CB in free agency

          • Saul molina

            It would be smart to draft Solomon Thomas or Derek Barnett and get trumaine Johnson and resign MO Claiborne then you have a he’ll of a secondary

          • Brian Martin

            The Cowboys would likely have to trade up to draft Solomon Thomas or Derek Barnett and I just don’t see them doing that because they would have to give up too much. This is a deep defensive end draft class and they can find good players without trading down.

          • Saul molina

            If they trade up to like 15 they won’t have to give up that much

          • Brian Martin

            That would likely take their first and second round draft picks. That’s too much for me

          • Saul molina

            Nah first and fourth that would work

          • Brian Martin

            I think that’s wishful thinking, but if that’s the case I would be on board

          • Erie Adams

            13 spots is FAR more then adding a 4th rd pick would cost 1 and 2 and could be a 6th too 1 & 2 only gets you like 5 spots so no way a 1 & 4 gets you 13

          • Brian Martin

            It could be done with this year’s first and next years first, but there’s not a player in this draft I would do that for with the exception of Myles Garrett.

  • Kevin Zanella

    28 David Njoku. TE. Miami 6’4′ 240. Athletic Freak would give immediate upgrade and stretch capability to the position.

    60 Jourdan Lewis, CB. Michigan. 5’10” 186. Sticky coverage guy who is actually better overall than his much more bally hooed teammate Jabrill Peppers.

    92. Joe Mixon, RB. Oklahoma. 6’1″ 226. Look no further than what Atlanta did with two explosive RB’s working in tandem. Mixon had off field issues and will slide because of it. He is supremely talented and could help in kicing game as well.

    132. Daeshon Hall, DE. Texas A&M. 6’5″ 270. Most overlooked Hall while watching Garrett on the other side, but the kid, while he lacks some technical skills that are coachable, was still very productive.

    212. Xavier Woods, SS. Louisiana Tech. 5’11” 203. Simply put… the kid is a playmaker. He would compliment Jones perfectly on the back end. Great value here.

    249. Brandon Bell, OLB. Penn St. 6’1″ 233. Senior captained the Nittany Lions on defense and was argubly their best player on defense. Value pick.

    • Brian Martin

      Kevin, This is a great draft. I don’t know if the Cowboys will even have Mixon on their draft board. I’m not sure they would want to deal with the negative publicity that he would bring to the organization, especially after what they went through with Greg Hardy.

  • nick

    Get Sidney jones some how some way. Trade romo for the texans 1st rd pick and then trade both our 1st Rd picks for the Browns 2nd pick in the 1st rd. he’s a baller and playmaker. Let him pack on 5-10 lbs and practice against dez everyday and he will have no problem with bigger receivers. I think he’s going to be the best corner in this draft by far and the best to come out in a long time I’ve seen him play and watched his games. He’s from the same school as Marcus peters but I think he looks better than peters did coming out. He’s going to be a REAL shut down corner. He’s got Excellent all around speed, ball skills, back pedal, short area quickness and burst. He’s got confidence and swagger through the the roof. He’s got passion for the game hes a fiery competitor that always get his hands on the ball. Super tight sticky coverage. Uses excellent technique, very good at reading the quarterback and receiver, understands the game, you will see him run the route for the receiver a lot of times. Physical in run support for being a little “under weight”, he could get better with coaching though. Best of all he’s “the right kind of guy” never had any problems off the field and I hear he’s an excellent teammate and locker room presence. A few pounds under desired weight and an inch shorter than most corners doesn’t scare me away He’s a baller a FOOTBALL PLAYER. JERRY JONES, STEPHEN JONES, WILL MCCLAY, GARRETT LET’S MAKE HIM A COWBOY PLEASE !!!

    • Brian Martin

      Nick, I also really like Sidney Jones. I’m just not a big fan of trading up in this draft. It’s deep in the positions that the Cowboys need to address.

      • Erie Adams

        cowboys won’t have to move up for S Jones but IMO he is Byron Jones 2.0 S Jones is going to be CB 4 or maybe even 5 on most boards you got the 2 fla boys OSU guy Bama CB and OSU could have 2 guys above S Jones

        • Brian Martin

          Erie, I don’t think Sidney Jones is like Byron Jones at all. Byron Jones is more of a safety, whereas Sidney Jones is definitely a CB. But you’re right, there are other cornerbacks just as good that might be available without having to trade up.

  • Randy Martin

    I love this! I started early doing mocks and it’s interesting to see how players are moving up and down the boards as we get closer. Big disclaimer we all know is Fanspeak drafts do a poor job of replicating reality but it is what it is so without further ado:

    1. Takk McKinley, DE-I know he is a bit undersized for DE at 6-2 but his speed on the edge will pay huge dividends and give us that guy we need.

    2. Charles Harris, DE- What??? He shouldn’t have been here but he was so I could not let him stay on the board and I double dipped. With McKinley and the other pieces we have on the line things are about to get real and Marinelli is ecstatic.

    3. Zay Jones, WR-Playing at East Carolina he may not have got the attention of some big name prospects but at 6-1, 200 lbs and yes 158 receptions his senior season for 1746 yards. He kind of works the middle of the field like Beasley but thinking about Bryant, Jones, and Beasley gets me excited! Unless T-Will signs a hometown discount he can walk and goodbye Brice Butler. If Andy Jones is ready I think we are in good shape with that group at WR.

    4. Kevin King, CB-Excellent boundary corner with the height and length Dallas likes at 6-3, 190 and played across from Sidney Jones at Washington.

    6. Aaron Jones, RB-Thinking about TE at this slot but the guys I was looking for were gone. The Dunbar experiment is over and it’s time to let him and McFadden walk. Had 1773 rushing yards at UTEP this season and has great hands as a receiver. 5-10 and 200 lbs. But looks durable and powers through tackles showing a fierce stiff arm. Yeah it’s UTEP but I like what I see.

    7. Ezra Robinson, CB- 2nd team FCS All American at Tennessee State has 5 INT’s this season with 42 tackles and will add needed depth of we lose some of our backfield through free agency.

    7a. Jonathan McLaughlin, OT- Represents an excellent choice as a backup with the potential to start at Tackle down the road. At 6-5, 300 lbs., Playing at LT, he can play either side he was a 4-year starter at VaTech.

    • Brian Martin

      Randy, I would absolutely be on board double dipping at defensive end if those were the two players available. I like Zay Jones, but I like Chris Godwin better if he still available in the third. Kevin King would be a great addition to the Cowboys secondary. A TE in the sixth round that I like is Hayden Plinke out of UT El Paso. He 6’5″, 265 and is a good in-line blocker and receiver. If you haven’t heard of him you might check him out

      • Randy Martin

        Funny you brought up Plinke. At that pick it was between Jones and Plinke, both out of UTEP. I would be fine with that pick as he has some strong upside. I went with Jones because I’m tired of Dunbar and we still have Hanna, Swaim, and Gathers. Not sure about Hanna’s health, Gathers development, but Swaim showed growth both as a receiver and blocker. If Swaim or Gathers is not the next Witten we have to find him as I think it’s JW’s last season. It will be interesting to see what Dallas might do if OJ Howard or David Njoku are available at #28. I think either could be the next Witten. we have to go BPA and not fill positional needs.

        • Brian Martin

          Randy, I’m really hoping that we have seen the last of Dunbar. There are some good backs in this draft that would be an upgrade.

          I’m actually a little worried about the tight end position. Swaim and Hanna are both coming back from serious injuries. And Gathers is still an unknown.

  • Mark Pilling

    Using Fanspeak mock draft tool (with the CBS rating) worked out very well for us:

    28: R1P28
    EDGE DEREK BARNETT
    TENNESSEE
    60: R2P28
    EDGE DAWUANE SMOOT
    ILLINOIS
    92: R3P28
    CB KEVIN KING
    WASHINGTON
    132: R4P27
    OT CONOR MCDERMOTT
    UCLA
    212: R6P27
    S MONTAE NICHOLSON
    MICHIGAN STATE
    231: R7P10
    DL ISAAC ROCHELL
    NOTRE DAME
    249: R7P28
    WR JEHU CHESSON
    MICHIGAN

    • Brian Martin

      Mark, I would be on board with this draft.

    • Erie Adams

      i have drafted almost that same exact draft on FS before with exception of the Rochell guy I admit I have only scouted around 150 players so far so I have zero clue who he is I do love the KK in the 3rd pick I am very high on all the Wash players really high on Joe Mathis

  • Erie Adams

    this is what I am Afraid the Cowboys will do

    28: R1P28

    TE

    O.J. HOWARD

    ALABAMA

    60: R2P28

    CB

    JOURDAN LEWIS

    MICHIGAN

    92: R3P28

    OT

    TAYLOR MOTON

    WESTERN MICHIGAN

    132: R4P27

    EDGE

    BRYAN COX

    FLORIDA

    • Brian Martin

      I don’t think that would be a terrible draft. Of course, it would all depend on what they did in free agency.

  • Mike Capesius

    1-Taco Charlton DE Michigan-Speed and strength to be every down player eventually.
    2-Amara Darboh-WR-Michigan- Great hands, speed and strength-very good size
    3-Jarron Jones-DT-Notre Dame-Penetrater from DT position
    4-Vince Biegel-LB-Wisconsin-May not have measurables but the guy is a tackling machine
    5-Jalen Myrick-CB-Minnesota-Speed to spare, can also return kicks
    6-Dallas Lloyd-SS-Stanford-Playmaker with good size and speed, besides, the name fits
    7-Sojourn Shelton-CB-Wisconsin-Smaller but fast and is a playmaker, also can return kicks

    • Brian Martin

      Mike, I’m really not that high on Taco Charlton. He has all the measurables you look for in a DE, but he is continuously the last one off the line at the snap the ball and is still really raw as a prospect.

      I would be on board with the rest of your draft though

    • Erie Adams

      Darboh is one of my Pet Cats but no way I see him as a 2nd rd pick

      • Brian Martin

        I have him in that 2-3 round range

  • Erie Adams

    Did one last PRE Combine Mock with 1 trade

    28: R1P28

    S

    JABRILL PEPPERS

    MICHIGAN

    60: R2P28

    WR

    JOHN ROSS

    WASHINGTON

    68: R3P4

    CB

    JOURDAN LEWIS

    MICHIGAN

    92: R3P28

    TE

    JAKE BUTT

    MICHIGAN

    132: R4P27

    EDGE

    TREY HENDRICKSON

    FLORIDA ATLANTIC

    212: R6P27

    RB

    JAMES CONNER

    PITTSBURGH

    231: R7P10

    LB

    BEN BOULWARE

    CLEMSON

    249: R7P28

    QB

    TREVOR KNIGHT

    TEXAS A&M

    • Brian Martin

      This would be a fantastic draft! Although, I would like to see DE taken earlier.

  • Randy Martin

    Ok so I didn’t didn’t follow the rules and used Matt Millers board which is far more realistic. This may be the best draft yet though it is pie in the sky.

    VIEW EACH TEAM’S DRAFT

    28: R1P28
    WR MIKE WILLIAMS
    CLEMSON
    60: R2P28
    EDGE CARL LAWSON
    AUBURN
    92: R3P28
    CB CAMERON SUTTON
    TENNESSEE
    132: R4P27
    EDGE DAESHON HALL
    TEXAS A&M
    212: R6P27
    DL TANOH KPASSAGNON
    VILLANOVA
    231: R7P10
    RB DE’VEON SMITH
    MICHIGAN
    249: R7P28
    OT JUSTIN SENIOR

    I didn’t get a TE and simply followed the board. We all know Williams wouldn’t fall to 28 and Hall and TK aren’t going to fall this far given their Senior Bowl showing but they did this morning. I also would love to have De’Veon Smith as a backup to Elliot as he does everything well.

    • Brian Martin

      This would probably be the Cowboys dream draft. How could it not be? I’m right there with you on De’ Veon Smith. He’s more quick than fast, but I love how hard he runs the ball and he’s difficult to tackle.

  • osnappp

    28. TreDavious White CB
    60. Obi Melifonwu SS
    92. Tanoh Kpassanon DE
    132. Josh Reynolds WR
    212. Chad Kelly QB
    231. Freddie Stevenson FB
    249. Brandon Bell OLB

    • Brian Martin

      This wouldn’t be a bad draft for the Cowboys. Although, I don’t think they would draft a fullback. They have Keith Smith and he had a really good year. Brrandon Bell is a little undersized also. I don’t know where he would play. Maybe outside linebacker?

      • osnappp

        Think they should do what they been doing and take the best player, I think Stevenson is the best fb in the draft, and that should be better than the 15th best at another position

        • Brian Martin

          I believe they will continue to take the best player available approach unless there is a similar graded player at a need position.

  • Richard Perry

    1… Haason Riddick OLB
    2… Zay Jones WR
    3… Tanoh Kpassagnon DE
    4… Damontae Kazee CB
    5… Xavier Woods SS
    6… DeAngelo Henderson RB
    7… Ben Boulware ILB

  • http://ringsidetosideline.wordpress.com Jason Pruett

    I like this draft exercise, Brian. In my latest post on my personal blog, I drafted for Dallas using my own composite big board, but the CBS Sports board is my go-to as a starting place every draft season, so they certainly share some similarities. My 1.0 is as follows:

    R1: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennesee
    R2: Desmond King, DB, Iowa
    R3: Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
    R4: Carroll Phillips, OLB, Illinois
    R6: Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming
    R7: Brad Watson, DB, Wake Forest
    R7: Keith Towbridge, TE, Louisville

    Full write-up here:
    https://ringsidetosideline.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/drafting-dallas-2017-7-round-mock-draft-1-0/

    While it doesn’t quite fall within the rules for the exercise, I was actually able to reproduce the first four picks with the Fanspeak On the Clock Mock Draft Simulator using the CBS big board as I was going through the process of building my mock, so it’s certainly possible. Now, whether the Cowboys would actually draft some of these players is another question. But, as acting GM, I would be quite pleased with this class.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Jason. I would definitely be on board with this draft for the Cowboys. I also read your writeup on your blog. Good stuff

NFL Draft

Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts, a Pass Catching Theme Persists

John Williams

Published

on

Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts a Theme Persists

The Dallas Cowboys haven't played the 2018 NFL season yet, but that shouldn't stop us from looking ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft and seeing what players the team will have their eye on this fall.

With the NFL season fast approaching, that means the college football season is as well, and as we look through these mocks, perhaps you get an idea of whom to watch with a Cowboys perspective this fall.

I scoured the internet looking for the best and brightest minds and their "way too early 2019 mocks." As I perused the mocks, one thing was clear. Many of the national writers see the Dallas Cowboys going with an offensive pass catcher in the 2019 NFL Draft. Namely a TE.

TE Noah Fant, Iowa

Noah Fant, from the University of Iowa, will be a junior in his 2019 season and as a sophomore caught 30 passes for 494 yards (16.5 yards per reception) and 11 touchdowns. The receptions and yardage may not look all that impressive, but if we think about Iowa's offense in the Big 10, we can understand that he's not going to get many opportunities to catch the ball when the team is running it as often as they do.

In fact, the Hawkeyes ran the ball 10 more times per game than they threw it and their quarterback only completed - on average - 15 passes a game.

Fant accounted for 21% of the receiving yards on the season and 42% of the passing touchdowns. He was only 36 yards away from leading the team in receiving despite catching 21 fewer passes than leader Nick Easley. No other pass catcher for Iowa had more than four receiving touchdowns.

If there's something not to like at the moment about Fant, it's his size.

At the moment, College Football Reference has him listed at 232 pounds. There are running backs that weigh more than Fant does and he'll probably need to add about 10-20 pounds in the NFL to be an effective in-line blocker.

Mocked to the Dallas Cowboys by Dane Brugler of The Draft Show on DallasCowboys.com. In a mock draft he did for Sports Day DFW and the Dallas Morning News, he had this to say.

"It is now the post-Witten era in Dallas and unless a tight end on the roster emerges this season, the position could be high on the wish list next offseason. His athleticism makes Fant an appealing up-and-coming prospect."

Dane Brugler - Sports Day DFW, Dallas Morning News

Eric Galko of The Sporting News selected the Iowa tight end to the Cowboys as well, seeing him as a special prospect that has the chance to fill the shoes of Jason Witten.

Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington also had Noah Fant to the Cowboys, thinking they are in need of a Jason Witten replacement.

DE Austin Bryant, Clemson

Depending on what Dallas can get out of Right Defensive Ends Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong, and Charles Tapper, it could have the Cowboys taking a defensive end in the first round for the second time in three years.

Will Brinson's mock doesn't offer much analysis on Bryant, mostly saying that Clemson is going to be good. But here's what Draftek.com's Brett Clancy, who covers the 49ers, had to say about Bryant:

"Clemson's Austin Bryant is the 4th EDGE off the board in this mock and 2nd from his school, but he's still well worth a mid-round pick. Bryant broke out with 8.5 sacks as a junior last year and many thought he'd go pro. I like Bryant's move to stay in school and refine his game, specifically growing a repertoire of pass rush moves to complement his strong edge-setting ability."

Brett Clancy - Draftek.com

Bryant was amazingly disruptive for the Clemson Tigers as a junior, racking up 50 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks. At 6-5 265, he could come in and play right defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys on day one.

DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama

We know that the Dallas Cowboys have an affinity for Power 5 prospects and Jason Garrett goes back with Nick Saban.

Despite that relationship, it hasn't led to many Alabama players being selected by the Dallas Cowboys. Perhaps, that should tell us something.

One other factor that could be in play with Davis is dependent upon who the defensive coordinator is in 2019. We all know that Rod Marinelli doesn't place premium draft value on defensive tackles, but prefers to find diamonds in the rough to develop.

If Kris Richard takes over as the defensive coordinator in 2019, the story could be a bit different. Seattle, with Richard at the defensive helm, selected defensive tackles in the second round of the 2016 and 2017 NFL Drafts.

If the Dallas Cowboys are going to spend a first on a defensive tackle, this is the guy to do it on.

He was highly productive as a sophomore for the Crimson Tide, racking up 69 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also had one interception that was returned for 19 yards. At 6-7 306 pounds, he has the size and frame to be an immediate impact player on the Dallas Cowboys interior.

If the Dallas Cowboys choose not to resign David Irving in the 2018 offseason and Maliek Collins doesn't take a step forward, then Davis becomes a real possibility.

Here's what Draftek's Cowboys analyst had to say about Raekwon Davis.

"Alabama's Raekwon Davis has played both DT and DE in the Crimson Tide's 3-man line. He can maintain his gaps against the run when needed, but his primary skill set is using his long arms and strong lower body to use a variety of pass rush moves to win with power and speed. 

"One red flag on Davis happened 8/27/17: he was struck in the leg by a stray bullet during the wee hours of Sunday morning at a Tuscaloosa bar (Bar 17) where several shootings have occurred over the past few years. Despite HC Jason Garrett's affinity for Nick Saban coached players, this incident might remove him from the Dallas board."

Long Ball - Dratek.com

Interestingly, Draftek did a second round in this mock and they sent Boston College Safety Lukas Denis to the Dallas Cowboys.

S Jaquan Johnson, Miami

Speaking of safeties, Dan Kadar over at SBNation sent one to the Dallas Cowboys in the form of Jaquan Johnson.

Johnson, from the University of Miami, was very productive in his junior season for the Hurricanes, racking up 96 total tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack and four interceptions. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.

Here are Kadar's thoughts on the second team All-ACC player:

"There was a lot of talk during the draft that the Cowboys were in talks to trade for Earl Thomas. If they want to address safety next draft, Johnson was a second-team all-conference player who some thought would go pro."

Dan Kadar - SB Nation

Obviously, this pick will depend on what happens with Earl Thomas over the next nine months and the development of Xavier Woods, but Johnson will be a name to watch for teams that need a safety.

Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts a Theme Persists 2

Miami Hurricanes WR Ahmmon Richards

WR Ahmmon Richards, Miami

Another Hurricane to have on your NFL Draft radars is Wide Receiver Ahmmon Richard, who is going into his junior season at Miami.

The Dallas Cowboys have begun the process of overhauling their wide receiver corp with the departures of Dez Bryant and Brice Butler in the 2018 offseason. In 2019, it's likely that Terrance Williams (contract) and Cole Beasley (age) could be next to go.

That would leave them with Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Deonte Thompson, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson as their WR depth chart. It's certainly a solid group, but adding a talent like Richards could help.

The Draft Wire's Luke Easterling believes, "Richards would be another great addition with impressive size and speed."

In two seasons at Miami, Richards has averaged 18.8 yards per reception, and 68.65 yards per game. He's got deep-threat ability which would combine well with Gallup and Hurns.

WR Collin Johnson, Texas

If Richards doesn't do it for you, then lets head a couple of hours south of Dallas to the University of Texas and Wide Receiver Collin Johnson.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has the Dallas Cowboys going with the junior wide receiver and had this to say:

"The Dallas Cowboys made interesting moves at wide receiver in the 2018 draft—trading Ryan Switzer to Oakland, acquiring Tavon Austin from Los Angeles, not selecting a receiver early—and will head into the upcoming season with a need for a playmaker down the field. Texas' Collin Johnson at 6'6" can be the downfield weapon and red-zone nightmare the Cowboys so badly want.

"Johnson does need to improve upon his production from the last two seasons and prove to scouts he can run well enough to separate from NFL defenders, but his size and hands are already getting buzzed about as teams prepare for the upcoming college season."

Matt Miller - Bleacher Report

I'll agree with Miller that Johnson will need to increase upon his production. Some believe that the quarterback limitations in Austin have been a factor, but at the moment, I'm leery of taking a wide receiver from the Big 12 that doesn't have excellent production in the first round of the draft.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

It's obvious from these mock drafts that analysts see the Dallas Cowboys continuing to invest in pass catchers for their offense and that is a reasonable thought.

Obviously, a lot will change between now and next April when the Dallas Cowboys go on the clock, but this gives us a bit of insight on who to watch in this upcoming college football season.

What names will you be watching in college football this season?



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NFL Draft

Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?

Sean Martin

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Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?

Last night, it was reported that Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Marquez White has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The incident comes from a traffic confrontation that took place back in October, where White -- according to his camp -- was justified in drawing his weapon for self-defense.

A promising young player that stuck on the Cowboys practice squad in his rookie season, the sixth round pick doesn't need this case hanging over his head as training camp approaches. When considering the timing up against this week's supplemental draft, and the rare crop of defensive back talent available in it, White could soon be fighting for relevance on the Cowboys roster.

Becoming complacent in building one of the best young secondaries in the league won't be an issue for the Cowboys under new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard. The Cowboys were relying on White to be a depth option behind projected starters Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis.

White's spot on the depth chart may very well hold up, but by the end of the week he could also have added competition in Adonis Alexander or Sam Beal.

Respectively, the former Virginia Tech and Western Michigan cornerbacks are two of the most talented supplemental prospects to enter the draft in years -- both likely to be the first players drafted since 2015.

Alexander and Beal are also joined by Mississippi State Safety Brandon Bryant as another backup option for Dallas.

Supplemental Draft: CB Adonis Alexander A Depth Option for Cowboys? 1

A lengthy cornerback with the toughness to play on the boundary, Alexander is a similar player to White, and one that Richard should love for his physical traits. Whether or not this natural skill outweighs some maturity issues that saw Alexander fall from freshman starter to suspended at VT will determine if the Cowboys feel comfortable sending away a 2019 draft pick for his services.

Where Alexander's career leaves his arrow trending downward on the eve of the supplemental draft, Beal is a rising prospect that some are calling the best to ever enter this draft.

An all-conference cornerback as a Junior out of Western Michigan, Beal improved with each passing college season, determined to finish out his degree along the way. However, once Beal's eligibility for his Senior season was called into question, the feisty 6'1" CB decided to turn towards the NFL.

Beal's professional football faith is now in the hands of any team that's done their homework on him. Projected to be taken as early as the third round, teams impressed by Beal's tape could be giving away a premium pick in next year's draft to add him just before training camp.

Should this team be the Cowboys, Beal's presence would put more than just White on notice. The Cowboys are also expecting corners like Duke Thomas and Kam Kelly to fight for roster spots. In a perfect world, say the one the Cowboys were living in yesterday before this White news broke, Thomas or Kelly could replace White on the practice squad as the Florida State product took another jump in Oxnard.

Cowboys CB Marquez White Could Emerge in 2018

Dallas Cowboys CB Marquez White

As I've written before though, teams must be relentless in their search for talent. The Cowboys have drafted well, but passed on big name free agents in recent years. The result is a young roster full of potential and ready to compete.

If either Adonis Alexander, Sam Beal, or even Brandon Bryant help them do so this year, we could be right here talking about a new Cowboys rookie in the middle of July. Marquez White would be happy to see this talk overshadow his legal situation for the moment.

This won't be the case when he's competing against another player that will likely cost the Cowboys more than the sixth round pick they invested in him two years ago.

Tell us what you think about "Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

Brian Martin

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Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

You may not be aware or maybe you've simply forgotten, but the Dallas Cowboys have struggled drafting players in the 2nd-round who can come in and contribute. Typically players drafted this highly are not only immediate contributors as a rookie, but are cornerstone players for years to come. That hasn't been the case for the Cowboys.

I don't know where you stand, but I was beginning to think the Dallas Cowboys were cursed with their 2nd-round draft picks. I know this was an area where they would gamble on players for some reason or another, but unfortunately it never really paid off. Hopefully, things are changing for the better.

Let's take a look back at past drafts to see what I'm talking about.

Past 2nd-Round Draft Picks Dating Back to 2006:

2018 Connor Williams
2017 Chidobe Awuzie
2016 Jaylon Smith
2015 Randy Gregory
2014 DeMarcus Lawrence
2013 Gavin Escobar
2012 (no selection) used to trade for Morris Claiborne
2011 Bruce Carter
2010 Sean Lee
2009 (no selection) traded out of 2nd-round
2008 Martellus Bennett
2007 (no selection) used to trade back into 1st for Anthony Spencer
2006 Anthony Fasano

You may be wondering why I decided to start all the way back in 2006. Well, I believe that's when the 2nd-round draft picks curse started for the Dallas Cowboys.

Anthony Fasano ended up having a solid career in the NFL, but he never lived up to his draft status as a former 2nd-round draft pick. The same can be said for Martellus Bennett, Gavin Escobar, and Bruce Carter. Shed a tear for them if you want, but I'd put them in the "bust" category.

Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The sad truth is, Sean Lee is the only 2nd-round draft pick on this list to ever see a second contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Although, I guess you can include DeMarcus Lawrence since he will be playing under the franchise tag in 2018. But, that's still not a very good hit percentage in the 2nd-round for more than a decade. Luckily, it looks as if things are changing.

DeMarcus Lawrence might end up being another "hit" for the Cowboys. It may have taken him four years to reach his potential, but there's no denying how dominant he was last season. If he can maintain that dominance this season, he could be looking at a big payday from the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys took a risk on the next two players they drafted after D-Law. They knew Randy Gregory had his off the field issues, but were willing to take a chance on his talent in the 2nd-round. That has yet to pay off, but Gregory has a chance to rebound now that it looks as if he has his life back in order.

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys took another risk in the following draft when they drafted Jaylon Smith. No one knew if he would ever be able to play again after the devastating knee injury he sustained in his final collegiate game, but it's looking as if he could make a full recovery and return to his pre-injury form. Year 3 will be big for him, but he could end up being an absolute steal.

Fortunately, the Cowboys 2017 and 2018 2nd-round draft picks (Chidobe Awuzie and Connor Williams) look to be cornerstone players for years to come. That's what you're looking for in players drafted this highly.

I say all of this because it's really looking like the Dallas Cowboys have finally broken their 2nd-round curse. Maybe it's a change in draft philosophy or maybe it's because Will McClay's voice carries more weight in the draft room, but it's definitely good news for the future of the franchise. Hopefully it continues.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys 2nd-round curse has ended?



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