After months of speculation and discussion, the 2018 NFL Draft week is finally here. In just a few short days the Dallas Cowboys will be on the clock for the first round of the draft, looking to improve their playoff chances for the upcoming season.
I’ve watched and evaluated a lot of players over the past few months and have complied a short list of players I’d like to see the Cowboys take 19th overall.
Without further introduction, here are my four favorite targets for the Cowboys this Thursday night.
Isaiah Wynn, Georgia OL
While all of the Dallas Cowboys’ offseason moves point to them targeting a wide receiver or linebacker early on, my personal favorite target in round one would be an offensive guard. In particular, that would be Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn.
Outside of Quenton Nelson, Wynn is my favorite offensive line prospect in the 2018 draft class. His balance, athleticism, footwork, hand placement, and overall ability as an offensive lineman make him a top 15 prospect in my eyes.
In terms of fit with the Cowboys, it couldn’t get any better. Wynn is a plug-and-play starter in the Cowboys’ scheme, and fills an immediate need for a starting left guard. Though he played tackle last season at Georgia, and would be an effective left tackle in the NFL, his fit at guard in Dallas is too perfect to pass on.
Harold Landry, Boston College EDGE
There’s most likely only one player in the top 10 of my draft board that could realistically fall to the Dallas Cowboys 19th overall. That player is EDGE2 on my board, Boston College’s Harold Landry.
Landry struggled throughout 2017 mostly due to some injury issues, but when healthy in 2016 he was downright elite. Landry has all the tools to be the explosive pass rushing defensive end the Cowboys have lacked on the right side for years.
Pairing Harold Landry with DeMarcus Lawrence would make the Cowboys defensive line one of the most feared units in all of football. If the NFL lets Landry get to 19, the Cowboys better make that pick.
Vita Vea, Washington DL
Coming in next on my wishlist for 19 is Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea. Whereas Harold Landry would be an added weapon to the Cowboys pass rush, Vita Vea would solidify the interior of a butt-kicking run defense.
Primarily a nose-tackle at Washington, Vita Vea could quickly fill the 1-technique hole in Dallas. The Cowboys did bring back David Irving and drafted Maliek Collins just two years ago, but nether of these guys can bring the same presence as a traditional 1-technique that Vea can.
Despite his size, Vea is still versatile enough to move around the defensive line a bit, and has some pretty impressive movement skills and athleticism for someone as big as he is.
Vita Vea just seems like the type of player Rod Marinelli will love, and the fact he immediately fills a need on the Cowboys defense is an added bonus.
James Daniels, Iowa OL
Iowa’s James Daniels is a guy who flew under the radar for much of the national draft process, but he deserves round one consideration. Daniels and UTEP’s Will Hernandez are right behind Isaiah Wynn on my interior offensive line rankings, but Daniels’ ability to play both center and guard give him the edge to me.
I also believe Daniels fits nicely as a zone blocker. He is excellent on reach blocks, with quick and efficient feet, and shows the ability to get to the second level and seal off linebackers as well.
Daniels is a balanced and fluid athlete who also possesses the size necessary to play on the inside at the next level. I have a first round grade on James Daniels and would be ecstatic to see the Cowboys take him 19th overall.