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NFL Draft

2017 NFL Draft: 5 Players Cowboys Should Avoid In Round One

Kevin Brady



2017 NFL Draft: 5 Players Cowboys Should Avoid In Round One

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

Dallas Cowboys 2017 NFL Draft Target: Michigan DE Taco Charlton

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

2017 Cowboys Draft: Should Dallas Target Jabrill Peppers? 1

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

Dallas Cowboys 2017 NFL Draft Target: Florida CB Teez Tabor

October 1, 2016:Florida Gators corner back Jalen Tabor (31) during a 13-6 win by Florida over Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Jamie Gilliam/Icon Sportswire)

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

Could Byron Jones Be Working Out With Barry Church's Replacement?

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

2017 NFL Draft: 5 Players Cowboys Should Avoid In Round One 1

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.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

  • Kevin Black

    I agree with just about everything you say here. I’d add Takk McKinley to this list. His lack of agility is worrying. I’d put a 2nd round grade on him as well. His 3-Cone and Shuttle times were very concerning.

    • Kevin Brady

      Takk McKinley is an interesting case. He is so raw that I think Marinelli could help teach him how to rush the passer and use all of those athletic tools to his advantage. At the same time, his lack of agility and shoulder issues do worry me in round one.

  • Olivier Stewart

    I thought this was a good scouting report on Jabrill Peppers, thoughts?

    The film room Ep. 29: Jabrill Peppers Scouting Report

    • Kevin Brady

      To be honest, that video is the best case for Peppers I have seen so far. Still, I have significant questions about him being a top 50 player in this class.

  • Randy Martin

    I don’t understand the Obi love. They have fallen in love with the way he looks and his combine performance and everybody just jumped on the buzz about the guy. I think Brugler has about 9 safeties in front of him. He is definitely not a round 1 guy. There have not been many 6’4 safeties that were successful.

    • Kevin Brady

      I agree, Randy. He is an incredible athlete and could be an interesting day two prospect, but I can’t endorse taking him in the first round.

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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NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys Mock Drafts Address Needs at 3 Different Positions

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys Mock Drafts Address Needs at 3 Different Positions

"Tier two" of NFL Free Agency is here, meaning the Dallas Cowboys can set their sights on adding depth and filling the holes left by departed FAs Anthony Hitchens and Jonathan Cooper.

It may take another week for mock drafts to reflect the losses of both starters by the Cowboys, but the ongoing draft process does not slow down at any point. A few of the names the Cowboys will bring in for pre-draft 30 visits have already been released, and this week's roundup of national mock drafts continues to address the overall needs on this Dallas roster.

CBS Sports: Calvin Ridley, WR - Alabama

CBS Sports' R.J. White:

"Ridley's stock is down after an unimpressive combine, but the Cowboys decided to use one of their predraft visits on the talented wideout, who might not fall any further than this pick. Considering wide receiver is one of the team's biggest needs, they could jump at the chance to draft Ridley, who could eventually take over the No. 1 role if the Cowboys move on from Dez Bryant next offseason, which would save them more than $12 million on the cap."


The Dallas Cowboys will be meeting with free agent WR Allen Hurns today, a tangible second receiver that could immediately upgrade Terrance Williams' position. Hurns, unlike the lesser-known pass catchers the Cowboys looked at previously in free agency, may have enough talent entering his fifth season to take Calvin Ridley out of consideration in the first round.

For now, Ridley should absolutely remain in the conversation as this draft's top receiver. Frequently finding his way to the Cowboys in many post-Combine mock drafts, the Alabama star is just getting started in reaching his football potential and becoming an option for Dak Prescott on the outside.

Draft Wire: Vita Vea, DT - Washington

USA Today Draft Wire's Jacob Infante:

"Vea could realistically go higher than No. 19, but there may not be a ton of teams willing to draft a nose tackle early on in the draft. Vea’s much different from the average nose tackle, though, which is something the Cowboys would see firsthand if they were to pick him."


The hype for Vita Vea as a prospective Dallas Cowboys target has died down ever since Stephen Jones mentioned the team's preference to find 1T DTs with the traits to also rush the passer as a 3T. Simply being "different from the average nose tackle," as Infante writes here, may not be enough for Vea to be selected at 19th overall by the Cowboys.

Should the Cowboys be surprisingly wiped out at both guard and linebacker on their board, considering a rare prospect like Vea and the impact he could make in Rod Marinelli's scheme could become much more realistic though.

An investment like Vea at nose tackle feels like the safest way for the Cowboys to protect their franchise tag investment on DE DeMarcus Lawrence - while also potentially boosting the play of Maliek Collins and David Irving inside at DT.

Drafttek: Isaiah Wynn, G - Georgia

Drafttek's Long Ball:

"... Isaiah Wynn played LOT for the SEC Champion and National Champion runner-up Georgia Bulldogs. Bill O'Brien's South coaching staff moved Wynn inside and he was easily the most impressive interior OL prospect during practice sessions..."


This would be one of the highest value picks the Dallas Cowboys could make at 19th overall. As it stands today, this team is in need of a starting left guard they can trust, which Isaiah Wynn can be from day one at the next level.

Despite their clear need up front, using another first round pick on an offensive lineman will surely generate some eyes rolls around Dallas on draft night. As if his mauling style of play and NFL-ready build aren't enough for the Cowboys to sell their fans on Wynn, his flexibility to provide needed depth at OT puts this Georgia product over the top.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Recent trades by the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills to shake up the draft order may just be scratching the surface for the run of quarterbacks that takes place annually atop each draft. With as many as five QBs coming off the board prior to the Cowboys' first pick, their ability to add a quality starter at a position of need looks good.

Exactly what these positions of need will be by the end of free agency, and which prospects fill needs in Dallas, will update weekly as we continue to prepare you for the 2018 NFL Draft here at Inside The Star.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Mock Drafts Address Needs at 3 Different Positions" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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