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Complete 2017 1st-Round Mock Draft: Cowboys Get Defensive Help

Brian Martin

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2017 Full 1st-Round Mock Draft: Cowboys Get Defensive Help

The event that we have all been waiting for is almost upon us! The 2017 NFL Draft is now just a few weeks away and because of that, I decided it was time for me to put together my first complete first-round mock draft of the year.

I personally like to wait until approximately a month away from the NFL draft to do this. It gives me more time to collect all the information I need, which gives me a much better understanding of not only the prospects themselves, but of teams needs as well.

Continue reading below to see how the first-round of my 2017 mock draft shakes out and why I drafted each prospect for that particular team.

R1/1 – CLE: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

Cleveland still needs to find their franchise quarterback, but there simply isn’t a QB worth the #1 pick. Myles Garrett is a difference making DE with All-Pro potential. He is hands-down the best prospect in the 2017 draft class.

R1/2 – SF: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

The 49ers are rumored to be pretty high on Foster and have already met with him privately. There is however talk that the Carolina Panthers are trying to make a trade for the #2 pick to select LSU’s former RB Leonard Fournette. Regardless, Foster is likely the 49ers target whether at 2 or 8.

R1/3 – CHI: Solomon Thomas, DT, Stanford

Chicago’s defense ranked 15th in total defense and 27th against the run in 2016. Thomas can help improve those numbers and has the versatility to play outside as a DE or in the interior as a 3-tech DT in the Bear’s 4-3 defense.

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R1/4 – JAC: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Jacksonville needs a workhorse RB to improve their poor rushing to attack and take the pressure off of QB Blake Bortles. Fournette checks nearly every box for an NFL RB and will help improve the Jaguars offense from day one.

R1/5 – TEN: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Titans ranked 30th in pass defense in 2016 with only 12 interceptions. Lattimore is an instant upgrade and a day one starter on the outside for Tennessee.

R1/6 – NYJ: Jamaal Adams, S, LSU

Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrest are the current starting safeties for the Jets, but Gilchrest tore his patella tendon in December making him questionable to start the season. Adams is an instant upgrade to the back end of the Jets secondary and has Pro Bowl potential as a rookie.

R1/7 – LAC: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

The Chargers clearly missed Eric Weddle’s presence in their secondary in 2016. With Hooker they add the best ball hawking safety in the draft class, fill the void left by Weddle, and instantly improve their secondary after finishing 20th in pass defense last season.

R1/8 – CAR: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

If the Panthers aren’t able to work out a trade with the 49ers to move up to draft Leonard Fournette, Cook would make a nice consolation prize. He does have some injury concerns, but he might just fit the Panthers offense better than Fournette because of his receiving ability.

R1/9 – CIN: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky

Cincinnati lost both Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler in free agency and need help along the offensive line. Lamp can play anywhere along the offensive line, but is probably going to make his living on the inside as guard.

R1/10 – BUF: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Buffalo needs more playmakers in the receiving game, especially with Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin leaving via free agency. The Bills have their choice between the top WRs, but Corey Davis is more pro-ready then Mike Williams at this point in their careers.

R1/11 – NO: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

The New Orleans Saints finished 1st in overall offense in 2016, but 27th in total defense. Any defensive player they draft at this point is likely an upgrade, but Humphrey comes in and instantly upgrades their secondary.

R1/12 – CLE: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

The Browns have started 18 quarterbacks in the last decade, but haven’t found anything to stick as of yet. There are rumors that they are in love with Trubisky and could even consider taking him at #1 overall. Getting him at #12 would be ideal, especially after getting Myles Garrett first.

R1/13 – ARI: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

At 37, Carson Palmer is starting to show signs that his age is starting to catch up to him. The Cardinals currently don’t have his successor on the roster, which is why Mahomes makes a lot of sense here. Bruce Arians loves to throw the ball down the field and Mahomes has the strongest arm in the 2017 draft class.

R1/14 – PHI: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

The Eagles need to find some offensive weapons for their young QB Carson Wentz, and Mike Williams would instantly step in and be the best WR on the roster.

R1/15 – IND: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama

Indianapolis needs to improve their front seven after finishing 30th in total defense and 19th in sacks in 2016. Allen is arguably the best DT in the draft class, but there are concerns about his long-term future in the NFL due to a arthritic condition in his shoulders.

R1/16 – BAL: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

O.J. Howard is the best all-around tight end in the 2017 draft class and helps the Ravens offense in both the running and passing game as a rookie. He is a mismatch problem as a receiver and an excellent in-line blocker.

R1/17 – WAS: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

The Redskins can use Reddick as a OLB or LB and their 3-4 defensive scheme. He could start off as an OLB while Trent Murphy serves his suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, then move to LB once he returns.

R1/18 – TEN: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

WR John Ross could be a strong consideration here for the Titans, but improving their defense might be of bigger importance. Harris is just starting to scratch his potential, but could turn into a dominant pass rusher with more time and NFL coaching.

R1/19 – TB: Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma

Mixon certainly comes with baggage, but his talent is undeniable. The Buccaneers fielded a carousel of running backs in 2016 because of injury and Doug Martin can’t be relied upon as their featured back. Tampa Bay has a young talented team and Mixon’s addition could take them to the next level.

R1/20 – DEN: Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah

The Broncos need to improve their offensive line to protect their QB and open up the running game. Bolles would step in as the starting left tackle and add a spark to the unit because of his infectious attitude of nastiness.

R1/21 – DET: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Ezekiel Ansah had just two quarterback sacks in 2016 and is entering his contract year. Barnett isn’t the flashiest of players, but he would be a day one starter because he knows how to get to the QB.

R1/22 – MIA: David Njoku, TE, Miami

Njoku may be the second best tight end in this draft class, but it’s by a small margin. QB Ryan Tannehill could use another weapon in the receiving game, and Njoku is a mismatch problem for both DBs and LBs.

R1/23 – NYG: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

The Giants really need to improve their offensive line and Robinson has the versatility to play either tackle or guard at the NFL level. This would give the Giants some flexibility with how they put together their starting offensive line for 2017.

R1/24 – OAK: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

The Raiders could use a big physical DT in the middle of the defensive line, especially after giving up 375 yards a game last season. At 6’6″, 300, McDowell would step in and instantly be an upgrade in the middle of the Raiders defensive line.

R1/25 – HOU: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

As things stand right now Tom Savage is the Texan starting QB in 2017. Kizer has the intangibles NFL teams look for in their signal callers and shouldn’t have a problem stepping in and commanding Bill O’Brien’s offense as a rookie.

R1/26 – SEA: Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin

The Seahawks fielded one of the youngest and most inexperienced offensive lines in the entire NFL in 2016. Although they improved throughout the season, they could definitely use Ramcyzk. He would immediately be an upgrade at LT and protect Russell Wilson’s blindside.

R1/27 – KC: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

There was a noticeable drop off in the Chiefs defense when Derrick Johnson went down with an injury. Cunningham is a very similar player to Johnson and would likely step in is a day one starter.

R1/28 – DAL: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

The Cowboys would probably prefer to go with a pass rusher here, but the cupboard is pretty bare at this point. Conley has a prototypical size for an NFL CB and would it be a day one starter opposite either Anthony Brown or Nolan Carroll.

R1/29 – GB: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan

The Packers biggest weakness in 2016 was their secondary because of the the injuries they had to deal with throughout the year. Peppers has the versatility to play several different positions on defense for the Packers and could be utilized on offense as well.

R1/30 – PIT: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA

James Harrison is 38 years old and Jarvis Jones just left through free agency. McKinley may miss the first month of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery, but he fits the mold of a Pittsburgh defensive player.

R1/31 – ATL: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Vic Beasley has emerged as one of the better pass rushers in the NFL, but the Falcons can use someone playing opposite him to get after the QB. In 2016 they got by with a 37-year-old Dwight Freeney, but Charlton is a bigger/younger prospect who has immense upside.

R1/32 – NO: John Ross, WR, Washington

With the draft pick they received from the New England Patriots for Brandin Cooks, the Saints replace their speedy deep threat with a similar player in John Ross. This is the ultimate win-win for New Orleans. They get another deep threat and avoid having to pay Cooks a big money contract or risk losing him in free agency without any compensation.

I decided to go with a cornerback at 28 for the Dallas Cowboys because nearly all of the defensive ends that I have with a first-round grade where already drafted. I actually like the selection of Gareon Conley, but I’m willing to bet that the majority of you are going to to be disappointed that the Cowboys didn’t get a pass rusher in the first round.

Takkarist McKinley was still on the board, but I decided to pass on him. He is likely going to miss the first month of the season because he’s recovering from shoulder surgery, which means he’s going to have a hard time getting up to speed. It is going to be hard for him to make much of an impact in 2017 after missing so much time and the Cowboys need immediate contributors, especially with their early round draft picks.

Please for free to use the comment section below to pick apart any selection that you don’t agree with.

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Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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10 Comments
  • Jonathan Young

    Yes Takk & Pepper’s still on the board. Sorry I would take one of those two. 1 Pepper’s then Talk. Another name for you Tarell Basham a mid 2nd to maybe late first. I would take him if as you said DE’s are gone and so is my top two safeties. When we pick we will have to pick like your picking in the next round.

    • Brian Martin

      McKinley is going to miss all of the off-season practices and likely the first month of the season. It’s going to take him too long to get up to speed and the Cowboys need somebody that can play right away. I like Peppers, but I have Conley ranked higher.

      At the end of each round you’re not picking like your in the next round. You’re looking for prospects that have slipped through the cracks. I like Basham, but there’s no way I’m taking him in the first round. You have to let the draft come to you, otherwise you’re reaching for players based on need and that can get you in trouble.

  • Byron Rainer

    Conley in round 1? First I’ve heard of that. Grab the UCONN safety.

    • Brian Martin

      I have seen quite a few “draft analysts” have Conley ranked in the first round.

  • dallas1966

    I agree with you Brian. What’s your thoughts on TY Watts, who is being mentored by future hall of famer, D-Ware?
    Could he possibly move up the draft board @ 28?

    • Brian Martin

      I like TJ Watt, but I prefer the Cowboys target him in a trade down scenario. I wouldn’t be upset if they took him at 28 though. I have him ranked as an early to mid second rounder, so wouldn’t be much of a stretch to see him at 28.

  • John Williams

    Conley would be fine, but would definitely prefer Takk or Watt at 28. I think the secondary isn’t as big a concern as finding someone with legit pass rush ability.

    Everyone in the DL room is a question mark outside of Malik Collins. Get a Watt or a McKinley in there and it should help everyone.

    Cool with passing on Peppers.

    If John Ross fell to 28, there would have to be a very serious discussion before passing on him. He takes the offense from pretty good to pretty elite. Could you imagine them lining up in 11 personnel with Dez and Ross on the outside, Witten in-line, Beasley (or Terrance Williams) in the slot, Zeke in the backfield and Dak under center. Teams would crap their pants as Dak goes into his PA technique.

    Send Dez and Ross on go routes, Witten on an option underneath and Beasley or Williams on a Post. Goodness gracious.

    Their is enough defensive talent in this draft to take Ross at 28 and still upgrade the defense. Especially considering the probable contributions from Jaylon Smith and Charles Tapper this year.

    • Brian Martin

      My issue with John Ross is his injury history. I wouldn’t use a first-round draft pick on a WR that has had as many surgeries as he has had. I think the Cowboys are going to shy away from “injury prone” players as well.

      • John Williams

        You are probably right about them shying away from someone with an injury at 28.

        • Brian Martin

          That’s the one and only reason I had him drafted so late in the first round to begin with. His injury history is really concerning to me, especially due to his size.

NFL Draft

3 Potential Draft Targets Who Shined In Their Championship Games

Mauricio Rodriguez

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We still have to wait a long time before it’s Draft season, but after watching college football’s conference championships yesterday, it is inevitable to start talking about some prospects who could help the Dallas Cowboys next year.

The Cowboys still have four football games left, but the college football season is coming to an end. This week, some of the best teams in the country played their respective conference championships. Here are some players who shined in their championship games and could help the Cowboys at positions of need.

Georgia Bulldog LB Roquan Smith

3 Potential Draft Targets Who Shined In Their Championship GamesOut of everyone on this list, Smith is perhaps the player who made the most noise on championship weekend. As Georgia absolutely destroyed Auburn, Smith made his presence felt on the field.

His stats were outstanding, including 13 tackles (10 of which were solo), one sack, two tackles for a loss and two fumble recoveries. The 2017 SEC Championship Game MVP will definitely be in the “top LB of the class” conversation.

Roquan might go too early for Dallas, but a lot of things can happen between now and April, so he’s still worth keeping an eye on. Who knows, maybe we even get to see Dallas trading up. Just picture a LB group with Sean Lee, Anthony Hitchens, Jaylon Smith and Roquan Smith.

Mayhem.

Oklahoma Sooner TE Mark Andrews

3 Potential Draft Targets Who Shined In Their Championship Games 1

Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

It’s no secret that Jason Witten’s career is coming to an end soon, and his perfect replacement may be coming out of Oklahoma this year. The Sooners TE is arguably the best at his position this year and a key piece of the Baker Mayfield-led offense.

He’s not only good as a receiving threat, but also as a blocker, which does nothing but help his draft stock.

The Cowboys may be reluctant to target a tight end in the first round, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to se a TE’s stock falling just because of his positional value. It’s still to early to say, but Andrews could be a second-round target for Dallas. At least, he should.

We may have hopes on Rico Gathers, but it should be time to start looking at other – more viable – options. Mark Andrews would be a nice addition to the Cowboys offense.

Memphis Tiger WR Anthony Miller

In a game in which more than 100 points were scored, Memphis’ WR Anthony Miller’s draft stock skyrocketed. There’re a lot of reasons to believe he won’t be a first-round pick, including the conference he plays in and his lack of size.

3 Potential Draft Targets Who Shined In Their Championship Games 3

But don’t underestimate this guy. He truly is a game changer. During his championship game versus Central Florida, he caught 14 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns.

The Cowboys really need to take a look at WR as a top need. Even with names like Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley, this is a group that has really struggled creating separation and opportunities for the offense.

As draft season gets closer and closer, we’ll be taking a deeper look at all of the Cowboys’ prospects. For now, I thought of pointing out these guys who had excellent performances in their championship games.

It may not be the best Draft class ever, but I bet it will be a fun one for the Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about “3 Potential Draft Targets Who Shined In Their Championship Games” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys 2018 NFL Draft Preview

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I know what you’re thinking, the Cowboys get blown out on the road at Atlanta and I’m giving up on the season and moving on to the draft. That is NOT what I’m doing. We are more than halfway through the regular season and the draft is creeping right around the corner (five months to be exact).

I’m here today, to (hopefully) educate you on a few prospects and highlight some of the Dallas Cowboys biggest needs heading into April.

If the season ended tomorrow, the Dallas Cowboys would be picking 17th overall, so highlight players who will realistically be around for the Cowboys to draft in that range and throughout the first few rounds.

Offense Dominates Top 10 Picks of 2017 NFL Draft, Defensive Talent Remains for Cowboys

Top Five Team Needs

  1. Linebacker
  2. Wide Receiver
  3. Tackle
  4. Cornerback
  5. Defensive End

Linebacker

Linebacker is one of the biggest positions that NEEDS to be addressed in April’s Draft.

Outside of Sean Lee there isn’t a single linebacker on the team that plays at a consistently high level. And unfortunately for the Cowboys (and Sean Lee), he has struggled to stay on the field his entire career.

Anthony Hitchens is a very solid MLB for the team, but he is entering a contract year in a year where DeMarcus Lawrence, Zack Martin, and David Irving (RFA) are also free agents.

Jaylon Smith and Damien Wilson are really the only two other options the Cowboys have as full-time linebackers and neither of the two are consistent in their level of play.

Damien Wilson has shown flashes of being a very good player, but he has struggled in coverage and misses tackles in the open field far too often.

As far as Jaylon Smith goes, I don’t think he should be on the field at all right now. As bad as that sounds, Smith is currently hurting this defense. To make matters worse it doesn’t seem that Jaylon Smith is being limited athletically, but the mental aspect of the game has let the former second round pick down big time.

Jeff Cavanaugh on Twitter

Interesting plan by Jaylon. https://t.co/z8eL80yYlh

Linebacker Options in the 2018 NFL Draft

  • Rashaan Evans – Alabama – 6’3″, 235lbs

Rashaan Evans is a thumper in the middle of one of the most talented defenses in the nation. Evans does an excellent job taking on and disengaging from blocks to get to ball carriers in all depths of the field.

Evans shows glimpses of a familiar face in Sean Lee. His instincts may be his best trait.

Rashaan Evans is a little undersized, but he uses his smaller size to his strength. The Cowboys desperately need a linebacker who can contribute, but more importantly take over if Sean Lee’s injuries continue to keep him sidelined.

Rashaan Evans would be a great option for the Cowboys in the middle of the first round.

https://twitter.com/Future_NFL_GM/status/929520211719532544

  • Roquan Smith – Georgia – 6’1″ 225lbs

Similar to Rashaan Evans, Roquan Smith is an undersized linebacker who flies all over the field. Smith’s ability to diagnose plays and get to the football in a hurry is one of his biggest strengths.

The Cowboys linebackers corp currently lacks a player that can play sideline to sideline and that is the Georgia linebacker’s best trait.

  • Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech – 6’5″ 235lbs

Tremaine Edmunds would fit in wonderfully in the Dallas Cowboys defense. Edmunds is a consistent tackler, who knows where to be and when to be there. The Virginia Tech junior plays both the run and the pass well and looks very athletic on tape for being 6’5″ 235 lbs.

Wide Receiver

Chaz Green was absolutely terrible in Sunday’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, but the receivers weren’t much better. While some of the blame should be given to the play-calling, the receivers didn’t get any separation for Dak Prescott.

Dez Bryant is still a huge weapon in the red zone, but in between the 20s Dez has struggled the last few seasons. Dez Bryant wins with his size and physicality, but lacks the quickness to get separation against quicker cornerbacks.

Cole Beasley is great at gaining separation, but teams are scheming to bracket Beasley with a corner and a linebacker/safety.

The Cowboys need to target a wide receiver in this year’s draft, and the first round may be the time to do it.

Wide Receiver Options in the 2018 NFL Draft

  • Calvin Ridley – Alabama – 6’1″ 190lbs

The wide receiver depth in this year’s draft class isn’t great, but Calvin Ridley is.

Ridley uses his speed, route running ability, and smarts to create separation, off the ball, in the middle of his routes, and at the top of his routes. Ridley is the type of player that can get open and make plays in all depths of the field.

I really like Calvin Ridley’s ability to make plays after the catch, but more importantly his ability to separate to allow his quarterback to get the ball out of his hands quickly.

Brett Hudson on Twitter

First big Calvin Ridley play: MSU plays zone behind blitz. Ridley hits gap between underneath and McLaurin deep. Ridley runs good route and you can see McLaurin (top right) doesn’t have time to get there. https://t.co/2KQeDypNyb

  • Anthony Miller – Memphis – 5’11” 190lbs

To me, Anthony Miller is a poor man’s Odell Beckham Jr.

Anthony Miller has extremely sticky hands, runs impressive routes, and has the quickness and smarts to create separation. Anthony Miller has elite traits, he just doesn’t get the respect he deserves due to playing at a smaller school in Memphis. Miller may not be a clear-cut first rounder, but he could be an option in the second round.

Jason DiRienzo on Twitter

What makes #Memphis WR Anthony Miller so special?…plays like this. He is a human highlight reel. He will be a top WR #devy pick, mark it. https://t.co/ZdfbppLbob

Tackle

Oh man, where do I even begin? If the Cowboys could be promised that none of their starting five offensive lineman would ever get injured, then we wouldn’t be talking about this at all.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Tyron Smith has been dealing with back problems for two years now, and was held out of the Atlanta game due to a strained groin. In his absence, Chaz Green and Byron Bell gave up 6.5 sacks (6 of which came from Adrian Clayborn). The swing-tackle position in Dallas is by far one of the weakest on the team.

Tackle Options in the 2018 NFL Draft

  • Connor Williams – Texas – 6’6″ 315lbs

If not for a knee injury that has kept Connor Williams out for a majority of the 2017 season, he would be looked as the best offensive lineman in this class.

Williams has the size, strength, and athletic ability to manhandle rushers off the edge. Williams is an excellent run blocker that still needs a little bit of refining as a pass blocker. If the Cowboys front office is extremely worried about Tyron Smith’s health, drafting Connor Williams in the first round wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

  • Orlando Brown – Oklahoma – 6’8″ 345lbs

As you see from his height and weight, Orlando Brown is a massive human being. While that does help him in some instances, it also hurts him when dealing with some of the smaller/quicker pass rushers.

For his size, Brown does do a nice job of keeping his technique clean when run blocking and not reaching or extending too early.

Where Brown needs work is in his pass blocking sets.

Brown is often a tick too slow to reach his landmarks which allows some rushers to beat him to the edge. If Brown can clean that aspect of his game up he would be an intriguing option for Dallas on day two.

Cornerback

The Cowboys spent two top-100 draft picks on corners last year. Chidobe Awuzie has spent a majority of his time on the sideline nursing a hamstring injury that he can’t seem to shake. Jourdan Lewis, on the other hand, has been fantastic.

Outside of those two guys – Anthony Brown has had an up and down year. For the most part, it’s safe to say that Anthony Brown’s sophomore season has been a disappointment.

Orlando Scandrick is a veteran in the locker room and has played nicely for the Cowboys in 2017, though I’d be surprised to see him back in 2018. Drafting at least one corner in the top-100 is something I think the Cowboys NEED to do for the makeup of their roster in 2018.

Cornerback Options in the 2018 NFL Draft

  • Tarvarus McFadden – Florida State – 6’2″ 198lbs

Last draft season, McFadden was slated to be a top-five pick in 2017. I think McFadden’s inconsistent play has pushed him down draft boards just a bit.

In 2016 McFadden finished the season with eight interceptions, making him one of the most intriguing prospects heading into his junior year.

In 2017, McFadden hasn’t picked off a single pass yet, but he can still play at a really high level.

  • Quenton Meeks – Stanford – 6’2″ 200lbs

Quenton Meeks is another corner I think Dallas would really like to land in April’s draft. Meeks is a long corner that has good speed and is an extremely smart player.

The Stanford junior plays a lot of off-coverage allowing him to watch and read the quarterback’s eyes and body movements. Quenton Meeks isn’t a guy you may be familiar with in November, but you’ll start hearing his name a lot more the closer we get to April.

Demetric D. Warren on Twitter

PickSix by Stanford True Freshman Quenton Meeks #RoseBowlGame #NerdNation #TheFarm https://t.co/ePkCUvOgUl

Defensive End

This may leave some scratching their heads as well. For years Cowboys Nation has been screaming for a dominant pass rush and they finally have one. DeMarcus Lawrence leads the NFL in sacks, but is also a free agent at the end of the year. David Irving is playing lights out as the defensive line’s Swiss Army Knife, but is also a restricted-free-agent at the end of the season.

While I do think both players will be back, at least for 2018, the depth behind them is concerning.

Taco Charlton has had a dreadful year and is barely getting to see the field. Benson Mayowa has yet to register a sack and is getting a lot of reps at weak-side defensive end. Tyrone Crawford has probably had his best season yet, but has dealt with his fair share of injuries and isn’t an ideal option at WDE (weak-side defensive end).

With the concerns of talent and depth at defensive end, I think WDE is a very important position the Cowboys must target in the draft.

Defensive End Options in the 2018 NFL Draft

  • Harold Landry – Boston College – 6’3″ 250lbs

Harold Landry is your prototypical WDE. At 250lbs, Landry has the speed, bend in his lower half, and explosiveness to win the edge on a high percentage of reps. Landry also has very polished hands that allow him to control blocker’s arms and hands when they are able to get a hold of him.

Landry would certainly require more attention at the RDE position than any of the players the Cowboys are throwing out there right now. That opens up more opportunities for DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving, if both players are re-signed like I imagine.

The Great From 88′ on Twitter

That dip RT @EricElizondo8: Harold Landry bending the corner https://t.co/zFzO7sqY7t

  • Bradley Chubb – N.C. State – 6’4″ 275lbs

While Harold Landry doesn’t really fit the profile the Dallas Cowboys like out of their defensive ends, Bradley Chubb does. Chubb is a bigger body that could play either LDE or RDE, maybe even some three-technique in certain situations.

Chubb is extremely powerful and has a large arsenal of pass-rush moves that he uses to get after the quarterback. If Chubb can hang around until the 17th overall pick, don’t be surprised if his card gets turned in.

  • Marcus Davenport – University of Texas San Antonio – 6’7″ 255lbs

Knowing it’s hard to believe the Cowboys spend back to back first round picks on defensive ends, I added Marcus Davenport to my list.

Davenport is a freak athlete that is still learning how to rush with good technique. At 6’7″ 255lbs, Davenport runs like a running back but has the strength of a defensive tackle.

The UTSA senior has the speed to excel at RDE, but also the strength and ability to play the run as a LDE in the Cowboys’ 4-3 scheme. If the Cowboys do go elsewhere in the first round, Marcus Davenport may be a great option in the second round to help bolster the Dallas Cowboys pass rush.

Dane Brugler on Twitter

UTSA DE Marcus Davenport #93 was dominant vs. UNT: 4 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 FF…6-6, 255 athlete w/ hoops background. NFL excited about him. https://t.co/EJVzXiSqZQ

There is still a lot of football left in the 2017-2018 NFL Season, but it’s never too early to start talking about some guys who could potentially help the Dallas Cowboys get to the Super Bowl in 2018. We’re only a few months away from hearing who your Dallas Cowboys select in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft!

Who do you think the Cowboys should draft in April?

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NFL Draft

Matt Miller’s 2018 Mock Draft Predicts Cowboys Land Top CB

Brian Martin

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Matt Miller's 2018 Mock Draft Predicts Cowboys Land Top CB
Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

I don’t know about you, but I like to look at way too early mock drafts throughout the season to see who the so-called “draft analysts” predict for each team. Matt Miller happens to be one of my favorite draft analysts and fortunately he just released his latest 2018 NFL Mock Draft.

Matt Miller has his ear to the ground and has a pretty good connection with NFL scouts around the league. He uses those connections for these mock drafts and bases each selection on what he’s hearing from those teams instead of who he would personally choose. That’s why I put a little bit more credibility in his mock drafts than others.

Let’s take a look at who Matt Miller predicts the Dallas Cowboys will select with their first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Miller set the draft order according to each teams current record and the strength of schedule for the rest of the 2017 season.

19. Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

CB Holton Hill

Holton Hill, CB, University of Texas

Holton Hill, CB, University of Texas

Surprisingly enough, draft analyst Matt Miller predicts the Dallas Cowboys will select a cornerback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft despite using their second and third round selections in 2017 on CBs (Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis). Miller of course does state that this isn’t necessarily the direction he would go. The selections are based on what he’s hearing from teams around the league.

Here is what Matt Miller says about Holton Hill:

“The 6’3″, 200-pound junior cornerback has eye-popping tools and traits. Hill’s arm length, toughness as a tackler and 4.5 speed might just remind you of a young Richard Sherman. On the year, Hill has two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns. He continues to impress with five passes defensed despite offenses staying away from his side of the field.”

Holton Hill is the first cornerback off the board in Matt Miller’s 2018 NFL mock draft and certainly sounds like a player the Dallas Cowboys could use. He would add much-needed size to the position and could be the #1 CB they are currently lacking. The only concern I would have is his lack of straight-line speed. But, Miller using Richard Sherman as a comparison lessens the concern just a little.

I’ve personally watched Holton Hill play a few games this season, and I have to say I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him. He is exactly the type of CB Rod Marinelli likes in his system. Hill is equally as good in man-to-man coverage or zone, and prides himself on his physical tackling ability against the run.

Whether or not  the Dallas Cowboys draft another CB early is still up in the air, but I certainly think it’s possible. Orlando Scandrick might be playing his last year in Dallas and Anthony Brown has seemed to regress this season. Jourdan Lewis certainly looks like a keeper as does Xavier Woods, but Chidobe Awuzie’s health issues make him an unknown at this point.

Given all the unknowns and youth at the cornerback position for the Dallas Cowboys, I believe Holton Hill will certainly be in play for them in the first round if available. Unfortunately, we have to wait until April to find out if this is true or not.

Do you like the Holton Hill selection for the Dallas Cowboys?

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