I thought it would be a good time to do another mock draft for the Dallas Cowboys before the kickoff of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. Things sometimes get blown out of proportion with the way some of these prospects perform in the "underwear" Olympics. A good performance can improve a players draft stock, but a poor performance can do the complete opposite. Either way, evaluators can use this event to confirm or deny what they have seen on film.
In this 7-round mock draft for the Dallas Cowboys I decided to address some of the obvious needs, but also add some much-needed depth and speed to the roster. You may or may not agree with who I've selected for the Cowboys, but that's one of the fun things about mock drafts.
All of the selections are based on my own personal draft grades and where I believe these prospects will be selected. Of course, they are subject to change after each prospects individual performance and their medicals are revealed at the combine.
R1/19 - DAL: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia
Isaiah Wynn will likely be the top-rated player on the board when the Dallas Cowboys select at 19th overall. He is a plug-and-play player at LG, even though he played LT at Georgia. He immediately upgrades the Cowboys OL and solidifies the unit for years to come.
R2/18 - DAL: Justin Reid, S, Stanford
Justin is the younger brother of former 49ers safety Eric Reid, a player involved in the 2013 trade that allowed the Cowboys to acquire Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams. Justin is a good all-around player who is capable of playing FS or SS. He would be a Day 1 starter and probably be the most talented safety on the Cowboys roster.
R3/17 - DAL: Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech
I'm personally hoping that D.J. Chark is still on the board when the Dallas Cowboys select in the third, but he likely goes much earlier because of his rare combination of size and speed. But, Coutee would be a nice consolation prize. He might just be the best deep threat this entire draft class. He's a little undersized at 5'11", 180, which could cause him to struggle against bigger/stronger CBs in the NFL. But, he provides the much-needed speed the Cowboys offense is currently missing.
R4/16 - DAL: Mark Walton, RB, Miami
If not for an unfortunate ankle injury that eventually required surgery last season, Walton would likely be drafted much higher. He's not an every down RB in the NFL due to his size, but he is one of the more explosive players in this draft class. He would make an excellent complementary back in both the passing and running game for the Cowboys. He's a home run threat every time he touches the ball.
R4/37 - DAL: Fred Warner, LB, BYU
Fred Warner is an instinctive off ball LB who could eventually become Sean Lee's replacement at WILL. For the time being though, he would be Lee's primary backup and a core special-teams player. Warner can play sideline to sideline and looks comfortable playing in space when asked to drop in coverage.
R5/34 - DAL: Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame
I personally don't like the depth at the TE position for the Cowboys. Witten is declining and there's not much behind him to inspire much confidence. Hanna could be a cap casually, Swaim is in the last year of his rookie deal, and both Blake Jarwin and Rico Gathers are projects.
Smythe would likely step in and be the TE2 as a rookie. He is the classic "Y" TE, who is a better blocker than receiver at this point in his career. I think he is a capable receiver though, he just wasn't asked to do it much in college at Notre Dame.
R5/36 - DAL: Holton Hill, CB, Texas
If not for suspensions and off the field concerns, Hill would be a top 50 selection and possible first-round draft pick. I'm willing to take a chance on him though in the fifth-round due to his talent because of the young and up-and-coming CBs the Cowboys currently have on the roster. Hill could be a draft day steal if he can get his act together.
R6/19 - DAL: Kentavius Street, DE/DT, NC State
Street was a DE at NC State, but his lack of desired length will likely cause him to kick inside to DT in the NFL. He is one of the more athletically gifted defensive lineman in this draft class and I expect him to put on a show at the combine. I think he could have a role similar to that of Tyrone Crawford and play both DE and kick inside to the 3-tech with the Cowboys.
R6/34 - DAL: Christian Sam, LB, Arizona State
The Cowboys need LB depth in the worst way, so I decided to double dip. Christian Sam is a talented player who could see his draft stock improve if his medicals check out at the combine. He missed all of 2016 due to an injury, but rebounded last season. He would be an excellent special-teams player as a rookie and could be the primary backup at MIKE and SAM.
R7/18 - DAL: David Bright, OT, Stanford
The Dallas Cowboys lack of offensive line depth hurt them in 2017, but Bright could help in this area. He played both guard and tackle at Stanford and also took practice snaps at center. That kind of versatility to play several different positions is invaluable on game day. As a rookie, he could be the primary swing tackle.
Would you be happy with these draft picks for the Dallas Cowboys?
2018 NFL Draft: Cowboys to Hold Visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller
The Dallas Cowboys have been
frustratingly unsurprisingly quiet through the start of free agency, as their opportunity to improve at the AT&T Stadium hosted 2018 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching. Offensive line depth remains a team need for the Cowboys, one they're actively looking to address by visiting free agent Guard Marcus Martin while planning a pre-draft visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller.
I'm told UTEP Guard Will Hernandez is another of Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors. Hernandez joins Alabama WR Calvin Ridley and UCLA G/T Kolton Miller on the list of reported visitors for the #Cowboys. Since 2014, 14 of Dallas' 35 picks (40%) have been pre-draft visitors.
Protecting one of the top quarterbacks available in the draft in Josh Rosen through college, Kolton Miller absolutely blew up the Combine in Indianapolis - entering the draft as one of the most athletic available linemen.
It is this athleticism and versatility that the Dallas Cowboys should absolutely be looking for, if trying to add another "blue chip" player to an offensive line already featuring LT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, and RT La'el Collins.
Kolton Miller with the broad jump world record for an offensive lineman at 10 1 wow
Tyron Smith's health (along with the level of play the Cowboys received at his spot in his absence) and the FA status of Jonathan Cooper are both reasons the Cowboys should consider adding a new, controllable option to their dominant offensive line. Whether this is with the 19th overall pick, or later on with a prospect like Miller, will depend on how the board falls through the first 18 picks of the draft.
With ten total picks coming in, the Cowboys could be positioning themselves for a move up the board to land an impact defender, or an additional piece for Kris Richard to work with in the defensive backfield. Staying home at 19th overall and selecting a player capable of playing swing tackle would not only be a safe option for the Cowboys, but a smart one with Ezekiel Elliott returning full-time to the lineup in 2018.
Without Elliott for six games in 2017, the Cowboys still managed nine wins. This is a point lost to most of Cowboys Nation, especially those watching the entire playoffs without their team in it, only to watch the Eagles hoist the Lombardi. Elliott's impact on each's week game plan for Dallas is hard to understate, and the Cowboys' trust in him begins up front.
Testing as an elite athlete with the film to match at tackle in the Pac 12, Kolton Miller should be a welcome addition to America's Team - getting the opportunity to learn the Cowboys' way with a trip to The Star in his future.
Can Powers of Persuasion Help Make Will Hernandez a Cowboy?
There is no shortage of NFL hopefuls who would like to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft. But, not one of them have used their powers of persuasion to make their intentions known as much as former UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez.
Throughout the entire draft process, Will Hernandez has done nothing but stand out when given the opportunity. He first started to make waves at the 2018 Senior Bowl, where he pretty much dominated his competition. Then, he improved his draft stock even more by putting on a show at the Scouting Combine.
The 6'2", 330 pound offensive guard has likely cemented himself as a surefire first-round draft pick and is arguably the second-ranked OG in the entire 2018 draft class. He is a plug-and-play prospect for any team who drafts him, but he has made his intentions well known that he would love to play for the Dallas Cowboys.
Back in February, Will Hernandez was spotted hanging out with the Cowboys bookend offensive tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, to see the premiere of the movie Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis.
@PujolsFive Cowboys fans will appreciate this post!! ⭐️ Movie Premiere #Deathwish Great movie!
To see Will Hernandez rubbing elbows with a few of the Dallas Cowboys talented offensive lineman only strengthened the connection for Hernandez becoming a draft pick by America's Team. But, this wasn't the only time the former UTEP offensive guard was seen out with a Cowboys player.
In March, he was once again seen out on the town with the Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith.
All of this can probably be chalked up to a current player hanging out with an NFL hopeful, but as a Cowboys fan you want to believe it's more than just a coincidence.
The Dallas Cowboys without a doubt need a new starting left guard. It can be argued it's the team's biggest need this offseason and Will Hernandez fits the bill to a T. He would immediately upgrade the entire offensive line and solidify the unit for years to come.
The only problem is, the Dallas Cowboys have already invested quite a bit in their offensive line and taking Will Hernandez in the first round would be considered by some as overkill. I for one wouldn't be opposed to taking him at 19 if he is the top rated player when the Cowboys are on the clock.
It's hard to know if seeing Will Hernandez hanging out with Tyron Smith and La'el Collins improves his chances of being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but it definitely doesn't hurt. Offensive lines around the NFL perform at their best when they play as a cohesive unit, so developing a bond already could be viewed as a good thing.
Who knows, maybe Will Hernandez's powers of persuasion will pay off and end up being the deciding factor to help him become the next first-round offensive lineman drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.
Do you read anything into Will Hernandez hanging out with Cowboys players?
Keeping Dez Bryant Shouldn’t Stop Cowboys From Drafting Calvin Ridley
With NFL Free Agency buzz at full speed this week, Dez Bryant is one of the most intriguing names in the Dallas Cowboys world. We all know the story. We've been talking about it since last season. Bryant, who was once among the "Top WR of the league" conversation, doesn't look like an elite player anymore.
That doesn't mean he is a bad football player, but the problem is that he's getting paid big time.
The Dallas Cowboys, who have struggled with cap space for many years now, may want to avoid paying $16.5M to a player who isn't justifying his paychecks on the field. Big name and all, it certainly doesn't feel that way.
His lack of production on the field the last three years is concerning, even though he's played with quarterbacks not named "Tony Romo." There are other receivers around the league who have played with bad quarterbacks and have still been able to produce.
Even still, it wouldn't be easy to replace Bryant on the offense just like that. Right now, top free agents are already off the market, so if Dallas wants to replace him, it'd have to be via trade or via the NFL Draft.
ICYMI: A few things to consider as we wait on news about Dez Bryant's future with the Dallas Cowboys https://t.co/cCNpXmhARe
Right now, it seems that Dez is going to remain a Dallas Cowboy and after seeing the contracts other receivers in the league are about to get, who knows if a pay cut will even enter the equation.
Even if Dez keeps wearing the Star every week next season, wide receiver is still one of the team's top needs. Despite the fact that Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten are some very well-known names, the truth is this offense needs a guy who can create separation and be harmful as a deep threat.
This is a draft class with a lot of depth at wide receiver, and the Cowboys could find contributors at the second or later rounds. Even still, if they're on the clock at 19 and Alabama's Calvin Ridley is available, the front office should pull the trigger.
Yes, even if Dez is still on the team.
Despite last year's struggles, we shouldn't lose faith on the Cowboys' offense when it has a lot of talent. We believed in this group to take us to the Super Bowl. What they are missing could just be a new, dynamic wide receiver.
Calvin Ridley is by far the best WR in the Draft this year and will be an impact player anywhere he goes. Despite a poor showing in the Combine, Ridley proves to be worthy of a first round pick on tape. Ideal route-running, great ability to separate and more than enough speed for the NFL.
This would certainly take a lot of pressure off Cole Beasley's shoulders, who was constantly double-teamed last year. Sure, he's still good, but if he continues to run into double-coverage, Dak Prescott and company will probably continue to struggle another year.
It's tough to imagine Calvin Ridley being available at 19, especially with the Baltimore Ravens holding the 16th overall pick. However, some people believe there's a 50/50 chance he's available once Dallas is on the clock. If that's the case, the Cowboys shouldn't pass on this prospect.
Ridley could very well end up being the most productive receiver for the Cowboys in 2018 becoming an essential "best friend" for Dak Prescott.
We've seen how other front offices have made friendly offenses for their young QBs and if Calvin Ridley is what it takes, why even think about it?
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