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NFL Draft

2017 NFL Draft: 3 Round Dallas Cowboys Mock

Sean Martin



2017 NFL Draft: 3 Round Dallas Cowboys Mock 3

Welcome to my first (shortened) mock draft of the 2017 NFL Draft season! I've been putting up scouting reports over at Slant Sports and breaking down how prospects fit with the Dallas Cowboys right here at Inside The Star ever since the end of that painful playoff loss to the Packers.

Now, it was time to head over to Fanspeak and test my early knowledge on this draft class against other draft boards - going on the clock for three rounds with the Cowboys' selections.

Here are the results.

Round 1 Pick 28: EDGE Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

The decision the Cowboys could face with their first round pick between UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley and Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson has been a popular one in discussion with Cowboys Nation.

That is the exact decision this 28th overall pick came down to in this mock, as Corey Davis, Mike Williams, and John Ross all went in the top 15 - eliminating any real chance to add a WR in the first round.

Sidney Jones and Marlon Humphrey were both selected at defensive back, which made my decision to jump straight to the EDGE class an easy one.

2017 NFL Draft: Reviewing UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley - Slant Sports

The NFL Draft is a unique thing. 32 teams sit through seven rounds in order to pick college athletes, kids relative to most, who are to come in and have an impact on their franchise. Sometimes, that impact is expected immediately. Other times, players are given the proper time to grow.

The final choice between McKinley and Lawson came down to the higher upside with a rusher like McKinley, who in my eye possesses more of an all around game with the speed, power, and bend to become a force on day one in Dallas. A raw rusher for Rod Marinelli to work with - that actually has first round talent - in Takk McKinley could be the missing piece to the Cowboys' defensive line.

2017 NFL Draft: 3 Round Dallas Cowboys Mock

Round 2, Pick 60: CB Rasul Douglas, West Virginia

The value was here in the second round to add a cornerback to the Dallas Cowboys, and West Virginia's Rasul Douglas fits this team's mold at the position perfectly. Impressing at the recent Senior Bowl with this physical play and natural athletic ability, Douglas' 3218 arms (7658 wingspan) make him an ideal corner to play the off-coverage that Dallas often finds themselves in.

Decisions will have to be made for the Cowboys on both Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr at the cornerback position, but adding young pro-ready talent to your secondary is never a bad idea in today's pass happy NFL. WIth the 60th overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys should be happy to do just that with Rasul Douglas.

2017 NFL Draft: 3 Round Dallas Cowboys Mock 2Round 3, Pick 92: WR Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech

Once again, I viewed this third round pick as another one of great value for the Cowboys, and after looking at the deep stack of wide receivers in the second I decided to bring in Isaiah Ford in the third.

A productive player out of Virginia Tech, Ford had his best season with the Hokies as a sophomore, but did put up 1,094 yards and 7 touchdowns on 79 receptions in his final season as a junior.

An extremely fluid athlete with terrific ball skills, Ford could step in immediately at WR2 across from Dez Bryant - assuming Terrance Williams is paid elsewhere in free agency - and produce in Scott Linehan's offense.

As the 2017 NFL Draft season continues, be sure to check out Slant Sports for all of the full scouting reports we'll be putting out - and follow @SlantSports on Twitter

To view round grades on every 2017 NFL Draft prospect I've scouted so far, check out my real-time draft board!

Tell us what you think about "2017 NFL Draft: 3 Round Dallas Cowboys Mock" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • Randy Martin

    So admittedly I had not seen Isaiah Ford play so I watched his Harris Highlight reel first and then went over to to watch his 2016 game film and came away very impressed. I wrote down some thoughts in no particular order. Strong hands and high points the ball extremely well. Not afraid to work in a crowd and still come down with the ball. Can blow right past people often catching the ball 3-5 yards in front of defenders. Not afraid to play physical and gets YAC. Stretches the field and works both the middle of the field and the sidelines equally well. Able to bait defenders into PI calls. Negatives: Doesn’t always run through his route or sell the route when the ball isn’t coming to him. Blocking needs some work. Willing to hit somebody but sometimes misses and doesn’t re-engage. Would also like to see him put on 10-12 lbs. of muscle. At the next level it’s going to be more physical and the extra weight will help. But those can be fixed and can be said about almost any receiver. Conclusion: I’d welcome him with open arms in round 3!

    • Sean Martin

      Thank you for reading, and for the early scouting notes on Ford! Haven’t actually written up his full scouting report on Slant Sports yet, but from what I know of the player you hit on a lot of his traits. Value is there in the third for sure.

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.

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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!

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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.

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