As the NFL Draft inches closer, almost all of our focus seems to have been placed on Thursday night’s first round. However, we all know that making those value picks on day two and three of the draft is how championship teams tend to be built.
Considering the depth of talent this draft class possesses both in the secondary and at defensive end, the Cowboys second and third round picks will be vital to this class’ future success.
Later on, I’ll publish my list of potential third round targets for the Cowboys, but for now, let’s take a look at some realistic options for the 60th overall pick.
Tarell Basham, EDGE, Ohio
An incredibly productive edge rusher for Ohio University, defensive end Tarell Basham possesses many of the tools scouts look for when drafting a day two pass rusher. In 2016, Basham was named the Mid-American Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, finishing his final college campaign with 16 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.
Originally, I gave Tarell Basham an early third round grade, but as Draft Breakdown published more film, and more information became available to me, I moved Basham up to the second round.
Showing the ability to both win the edge and win with counter moves inside, Tarell Basham is a legit right defensive end prospect at the next level.
With his broad shoulders, long arms, and a well-proportioned frame, Basham carries his 269 pounds very well.
When at his best, Basham showed the ability to win with a quick first step, powerful rip move, and strong, active hands. He is still raw as a rusher, but his effort and motor give me a lot of reasons to be excited about the player he could develop into.
If the Cowboys decide to take a cornerback 28th overall, Tarell Basham might be the most likely EDGE to join them in round two.
Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State
Coming from a small school can hinder any NFL Draft prospect, but this is especially true when you are a small school prospect who plays one of the most stacked positions in an entire draft class. This is the case for Youngstown State’s defensive end Derek Rivers, who while ignored by many draft evaluators over …
My personal favorite EDGE out of this round two group, Derek Rivers, may just develop into the best of the entire bunch (besides Myles Garrett, of course).
Rivers is a disciplined, balanced, and athletic edge rusher who displays a solid pass rushing repertoire for a small school rookie. As I mentioned in my Slant Sports scouting report, Rivers’ best trait is that first step quickness.
Rivers comes off the ball explosively, playing with a jet-pack on his back, especially on obvious passing downs. If your offense gets into a 3rd and long situation against Rivers, he will pin his ears back and get to the quarterback right now.
Derek Rivers earned a late first round grade on my board, and while I am higher on him than many others, I truly believe he is worthy of the 28th overall pick. So, of course, I believe he is worthy of a second round pick from the Cowboys.
Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
Lost in the shuffle of a deep cornerback draft class, UCLA’s Fabian Moreau is beginning to gain hype after dominating the 2017 NFL Combine. At that combine, Moreau finished in the top five of four of the events, dazzling with his 4.35 40 yard dash and 136 inch broad jump.
A long, physical cornerback, UCLA’s Fabian Moreau may be in play for the Cowboys with the 60th overall pick. Though his 3-cone time was not all that impressive, his 4.35 40 yard dash and 136 inch broad jump were some of the best of the class.
Moreau is a fluid athlete who plays with loose hips, and solid acceleration. He showed the ability to break on the ball consistently, and is a smart corner who uses the sideline to his advantage in coverage.
With all that being said, Moreau is a raw talent in terms of his technique. Converting to corner from running back, Moreau may need a little more time to hone his coverage skills. Plus, he is coming off of a pectoral injury which may affect his draft stock.
Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Before you burn me at the stake for suggesting a wide receiver, hear me out.
The Dallas Cowboys are going to love Juju Smith-Schuster. Considering his 6’1″ 215 pound frame, and his ability to bust zone coverage, Juju is exactly what the Cowboys value in their outside Z receivers.
Yes, they don’t need to take a wide-out this high at all. And, since Dallas re-signed both Terrance Williams and Brice Butler, it would certainly be surprising if they went this route as early as round two.
But Juju Smith-Schuster is the perfect WR for the Dallas Cowboys, and if available when on the clock in round two, they might go ahead and pull that trigger.
Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State
Like Juju, Curtis Samuel would be a great addition to a Cowboys offense which already possesses some serious weaponry.
While Dallas has their work-horse back in Ezekiel Elliott, drafting his former college teammate would give the Cowboys a replacement for both Lucky Whitehead and the departed Lance Dunbar in the return game and the offense.
Samuel has quick feet, great speed, and big-play ability both out of the backfield and as a receiver. Though his hands aren’t a strong point, Samuel could be a nice option out of the backfield for the Cowboys, especially on third down.