My first mock draft of the 2017 NFL Draft season is here, and with it came some realizations about what the Cowboys could realistically be looking at when the 28th overall pick comes around. This pre-Combine mock draft was done (mostly) using my own draft board and evaluations on these players, and for that reason showcases plenty of the defensive talent available throughout this draft.
The Cowboys needs on defense are obvious, while the rest of the NFC East also came away with some high-value picks in this mock draft.
28th Overall: Dallas Cowboys, Charles Harris – EDGE Missouri
Getting other premier pass rushers like Carl Lawson and Takk McKinley down to the bottom of the first round for the Cowboys proved to be more difficult than I expected, but Charles Harris certainly has a case to be in among this group as well.
Not nearly the most polished and complete rusher in this class, the Dallas Cowboys have a clear role for Harris to come in as a rookie and play to his strengths. A true RDE rusher, Harris flashes his speed and array of pass rush moves to get into the backfield.
Rod Marinelli can point Charles Harris to the quarterback all season long and expect the young Missouri prospect to improve week by week.
23rd Overall: New York Giants, Leonard Fournette – RB LSU
I’m not as high on Leonard Fournette as a NFL running back prospect compared to where other mock drafts have him coming off the board, but the Giants’ recent draft history paired with their need at running back landed them Fournette here at 23rd overall.
Eli Manning is towards the end of his run in New York, but the results have been there for him and the Giants offense as a whole under Head Coach Ben McAdoo. The missing element has been a reliable running game, and with Rashad Jennings recently released by the team, the need for a workhorse in the backfield is more evident than ever.
This could be yet another reach in the first round by the Giants, but I do firmly believe that Fournette will have a chance to succeed in the NFL if he is drafted into an offense that doesn’t force him to be “the guy”. With the Giants passing game being their focal point offensively, Fournette could carve out a nice role.
17th Overall: Washington Redskins, John Ross – WR Washington
With DeSean Jackson set to hit free agency and the Redskins not fully committed to Kirk Cousins at quarterback yet, drafting him another weapon like Ross in the passing game could work wonders in Washington.
Capable of easily taking the tops off of defenses while comfortably running underneath and intermediate routes, Ross will be a match up nightmare for a long time at the next level.
There are a lot of directions that the Redskins could go with this pick, but Ross should be near the top of their board at this point in the first round, and is capable of making one of the biggest day one impacts with his effortless speed and catching ability.
15th Overall: Philadelphia Eagles, Corey Davis – WR Western Michigan
The NFC East is going to be a wild race to the finish if all of these picks become reality. With John Ross going to Washington two picks later, I have the Eagles getting my top WR in this draft at 15 in Corey Davis.
Carson Wentz has a long way to go to prove he can be a star at quarterback in the NFL, but to his credit there are very few QBs in the league right now that could succeed with the Eagles core of receivers.
Passing up needs on defense, the Eagles add the dynamic Corey Davis to their passing game, cementing the fact that points will be scored in these divisional rivalry games.
Davis’ completeness as a route runner, hands catcher, and physical but dynamic target in the air with terrific run after the catch ability separates him from the other receivers in this draft.