With some serious holes to address in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys still have a good shot at improving on their roster despite having such a late first round pick.
Considering both the depth of this draft class at positions of need and the Cowboys’ ability to draft impact players since Will McClay effectively took over, Dallas should feel confident going into the final weekend of April.
If they are going to make the most of their first round pick, however, there are a few consensus first round players which I believe the Cowboys should avoid taking if possible.
Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
Sorry, Michigan fans.
Defensive end Taco Charlton was a seriously productive pass rusher in college, and in my opinion will be a solid left defensive end at the next level. I currently have a second round grade on Charlton, and believe he can be a effective defensive lineman if in the right system and asked to do the right things.
With all that being said, there’s no way I want the Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first round pick.
Essentially, adding Charlton would be like adding another DeMarcus Lawrence. While I like Lawrence as a left defensive end, he is not the explosive edge rusher the Cowboys need right now.
Instead, I hope Dallas looks towards other EDGE prospects with a much more athletic profile, explosive pass rush, and higher ceiling as a right defensive end. (See Derek Rivers, TJ Watt, Carl Lawson, Takkarist McKinley, and Charles Harris)
Jabrill Peppers, Defensive Back, Michigan
Let’s keep the trend of annoying Michigan fans, okay?
Similar to Charlton, I actually like Jabrill Peppers as a player/athlete. He is a fun watch, and with time may be able to develop into a starting safety in the NFL.
He simply doesn’t have it yet, however.
As a pure safety, Peppers has not shown enough to warrant a first round pick from any team, let alone a team like the Cowboys who would like to win now. He was successful playing in the box in college, but he doesn’t seem to have the build or strength to do so in the NFL.
Basically, he’s a tweener who doesn’t have a true position at the moment. Given that, I wouldn’t spend a first round pick on Jabrill Peppers, especially not with other talented safeties on the board.
Jalen “Teez” Tabor, Cornerback, Florida
Oh how the mighty have fallen…
Teez Tabor seemed to be a sure-fire first round pick just a few months ago, but after absurdly poor testing at both the combine and his pro day, Tabor has fallen far down draft boards.
While fellow staff writer Sean Martin is still willing to die on the Teez Tabor hill, the fact that it’s nearly impossible to find corners which deserved to be taken in round one with a 4.7 40 time, makes me think it’s fair to have reservations about Tabor at 28.
With the abundance of talent this year’s cornerback class possesses, I think we can find a corner who’s tape matches better with their testing than Tabor’s does in either of the first two rounds.
Obi Melifonwu, Safety, UCONN
Speaking of players who’s tape doesn’t match their testing, let’s discuss Obi Melifonwu.
Once again, I like Obi, I really do. I just don’t like him enough to take him at 28. I currently have a late second round grade on Melifonwu, but if I was grading just on tape, he would slide back into the early third for me.
While his combine testing and athletic profiles are off the charts, Melifonwu simply doesn’t show enough consistency as a safety to merit a first round pick.
Of course, he has drawn comparisons to current Cowboys safety and his former UCONN teammate Byron Jones based off their athletic profiles, but there is one big difference between the two.
Byron Jones had first round tape. I don’t think Obi Melifonwu does.
Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin
This is less of an indictment on Ryan Ramczyk as it is the fact that I don’t think the Cowboys should go offensive tackle in round one. But still, if they were to go tackle, I’d rather see Alabama’s Cam Robinson be the pick here.
Ramczyk’s draft status has been elevated a ton over the last few months, but his injury history and lack of experience really do worry me if I was going to take him in the first round.
I currently have a second round grade on Ramcyzk, and would not be opposed to selecting him with the 60th overall pick, but I don’t believe the Cowboys need to reach for a tackle in round one considering all of their pressing defensive needs.