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Cowboys Draft: Narrowing Down Rd.1 DB Options

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft: Narrowing Down Rd.1 CB Options

After narrowing down the Cowboys’ round one defensive end possibilities to four names, I got to work on narrowing down their defensive back-board as well.

By looking through their pre-draft visitors, athletic thresholds, and draft positioning (players with a real shot to fall to 28), I have come up with the five most likely defensive backs to be taken with the 28th overall pick, if the Cowboys decide to go that route.

By the way, I’m not on board with taking a few of these guys, but by the Cowboys actions these past couple of months, they are all realistic possibilities.

Kevin King, CB, Washington

Cowboys Draft: 3 CBs To Expect In Round One

SEATTLE, WA – NOVEMBER 19: Defensive back Kevin King #20 of the Washington Huskies makes an interception in the end zone against wide receiver N’Keal Harry #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils on November 19, 2016 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The most likely of the five to be taken by the Cowboys in round one, Washington cornerback Kevin King presents some interesting qualities for fans to love.

A long corner, King has the body type to play in press-man coverage, but has not exhibited the necessary technique/stance to do so at the line of scrimmage just yet. However, with his length and athletic ability, King is worthy of a late first, early second round pick in this year’s draft.

Even as deep as the cornerback class is, Kevin King has risen towards the top. With a little bit of coaching, King can be the Richard Sherman-type corner the Cowboys defense has long been yearning for.

Obi Melifonwu, S, UCONN

2017 Cowboys Draft: 5 First-Round Prospects To Target

Sep 27, 2014; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies safety Obi Melifonwu (20) celebrates against the Temple Owls during the first half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Like his former UCONN teammate and current Cowboys safety Byron Jones, Obi Melifonwu stole the show at the NFL Combine with his unworldly testing. A clear athletic freak, many believe that Melifonwu has the chance to develop into an impressive NFL player.

On film, however, Melifonwu has some clear deficiencies which could plague him at the next level. Still, I am a fan of Melifonwu’s game, and believe that he could add to a formidable safety combination with Byron Jones.

With that being said, I am not totally on board with taking Obi at 28 considering the EDGE possibilities. There is a good chance he’ll be taken a few spots before the Cowboys anyway, with teams like the Oakland Raiders reportedly showing interest.

Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC

Adoree' Jackson

Arguably the most controversial prospect on the Cowboys round one draft board, USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has drawn some serious interest from the Dallas front office.

While he is most likely a slot corner in the NFL, it is Jackson’s versatility which make him such an intriguing prospect. Jackson could most likely be moved around the field, being used on offense and in the return game as well.

Like Obi Melifonwu though, I don’t think his tape matches his athletic profile. Once again, I am a fan of Jackson’s game, and would consider him in round two, but in my opinion the 28th overall pick is too rich for Jackson.

Especially considering how badly the Cowboys need a boundary cornerback.

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

2017 NFL Draft: Could This Alabama CB Replace Cowboys' Free Agents?

GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 11: Marlon Humphrey #26 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates a play against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Okay, back to a defensive back I could get really excited about in the first round.

In some ways, Marlon Humphrey is the most NFL-ready defensive back on this list. At 6’0″ 197 pounds, Humphrey absolutely looks the part of an outside corner in the NFL.

With good athleticism, fluid hips, solid technique, and disciplined eyes, Humphrey flashes the abilities to start in this league from day one. While some have suggested he’d benefit from a position switch to safety, I actually think his position versatility will be seen as a plus on the Cowboys draft board.

Similar to Byron Jones, Humphrey will be able to move around the secondary, and perform a ton of different roles for a defense which needs much help.

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

Could CB Tre'Davious White Replace His LSU Brethren In Dallas?

After losing a former first round corner out of LSU, why not add another one in this year’s NFL Draft?

Tre’Davious White could be the perfect replacement for Morris Claiborne on the outside of the Dallas defense, and could also be a much more durable and reliable player than Claiborne ever was.

White has good feet, fluid hips, solid recovery speed, and excellent ball skills which are certainly NFL-ready.

Tre White is a bit smaller than both Kevin King and Marlon Humphrey, but would be a good third option behind those two in the first round. Then again, I believe that if both King and Humphrey are gone, there is almost no way the Cowboys settle for a cornerback at 28.

Instead, I’d expect a defensive end to be the pick. In fact, I’d anticipate any of the four EDGE players I discussed yesterday, Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell, or Kevin King to be taken before any other prospect available.

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Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, it’s pretty clear defensive tackle is toward the top of the Dallas Cowboys’ needs. Dallas has invested multiple draft picks and resources into the secondary, linebackers, and defensive ends, but their interior defensive line still needs to add depth and talent. One potential target to fill this need is Michigan Wolverines Defensive Tackle Maurice Hurst.

Over at Slant Sports I completed a full scouting report on Hurst, giving him a first-round grade and ranking him atop this defensive tackle class.

At 6’2″ and about 280 pounds, Maurice Hurst clearly projects as a three technique at the professional level. Hurst played the under-tackle most of the time at Michigan, but he did kick down over the center or inside the guards at times. Still, I wouldn’t expect a team to draft Hurst to be their one tech of the future.

Hurst is an explosive beast at defensive tackle.

Playing with a nonstop motor, Hurst won off the ball often, but also created effort and hustle plays behind the line of scrimmage during his college career. Hurst’s first step, quick hands, ability to win with leverage, and overall explosiveness shine through on film.

nfldraft2018 maurice hurst 5 – Streamable

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“Here’s an example of that explosive first step. Hurst is lined up as the 3-technique on the far side. Winning with his first-step quickness and burst, Hurst gives the offensive linemen absolutely no chance to block him. He then powers through the recovery attempt by the lineman to make the tackle in the backfield.” ~Slant Sports

Hurst clearly doesn’t have the prototypical size of a defensive tackle in the NFL, but his play style suits his body well.

His explosiveness and burst off the ball make him incredibly dangerous, and his quick hands, low pad level, and strong lower body help him to win against any offensive lineman.

He obviously isn’t at the same level, and may not deserve eye-to-eye comparisons with this player, but Maurice Hurst’s play style and body type remind me of a young Aaron Donald. (I’m not saying he’s better than Aaron Donald, save the comments).

nfldraft2018 maurice hurst 8 – Streamable

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In terms of his fit with the Cowboys, Hurst would compete with Maliek Collins for playing time at three technique.

Respected draft guru Dane Brugler, has mocked Hurst to Dallas in his latest mock draft, but the way they handle both Collins and impending restricted free agent David Irving will play a huge role in determining if Hurst would even fill a need.

Regardless, Maurice Hurst is a name deserving of first-round buzz, and Cowboys Nation should keep their eyes on him this offseason.

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NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller A Needed Weapon For Cowboys
AP Photo / Jessica Hill

Slotted to pick 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in position to add a first-round talent to a team that fell just short of the playoffs at 9-7 in 2017. Faltering entirely on offense without RB Ezekiel Elliott too many times this season, it’s hard to argue this asset is not best spent on new talent at WR.

The Cowboys haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round since 2010, trading up for Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant. Frequent injuries and the inability to develop with QB Dak Prescott have diminished Bryant’s status as a star receiver in Dallas, and it may be time to overhaul the position entirely.

After scouting Memphis WR Anthony Miller, he may be just what the Dallas Cowboys need. Let’s take a closer look at his fit in the Cowboys’ offense in the first draft-season edition of Sean’s Scout.

WR Anthony Miller 2 – Streamable

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With 96 receptions for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns in his final season at Memphis, Senior WR Anthony Miller is one of the top players at his position in the 2018 NFL Draft. These inflated numbers in the Tigers’ pass-happy offense do little to highlight Miller as a next level prospect…

This film clip and quote from my full scouting report on Miller shows the pure play-making ability Miller has. Miller wouldn’t fill the Cowboys need for an over-the-top burner at WR, but he has no problem tracking the ball with ease and adjusting in the air to make big plays down the field.

…Miller is as tough of a cover as you’ll find thanks to his explosive and concise release off the line.

Anthony Miller is certainly a “Dak-friendly” pass catcher, as he possesses the catch radius to snag passes away from his frame using his exceptionally strong hands. Even when he is covered, Miller is open vertically.

With that said, Miller has more than enough ability to separate with good initial quickness and elite balance through his routes.

WR Anthony Miller 4 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

…he wastes no time accelerating through the secondary, and running with a powerful stride that makes it difficult to bring him down.

There may be better technical route runners in this draft class, but few set up defenders as consistently well as Miller — who has the production to match these NFL traits.

A willing run blocker too, Miller could walk into Dallas and immediately earn snaps as an X, Z, or Y receiver. Miller’s best fit to start his career is likely as a Z receiver, drawing less attention in coverage while being allowed to run a full route tree.

…Miller gets on cornerbacks in a hurry, setting them up with his fluidity and size to track the football through contact.

A potential replacement for Terrance Williams with the Cowboys, Miller is somewhat of a similar player in the way he wins with mostly size.

The Memphis product would still be an upgrade over Williams though, as it is much easier to get the ball in Miller’s hands. Add in the red-zone ability that Anthony Miller has to box out defenders, and the run-after-catch burst as an inside target, and Miller is a weapon the Cowboys could desperately use.

WR Anthony Miller 1 – Streamable

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…I found myself constantly impressed with the speed at which Miller gets up the field when taking the ball underneath.

Miller will have nothing but opportunities to raise his draft stock over the coming months. He will be at this month’s Senior Bowl, receiving NFL-level coaching to refine his game. The Scouting Combine will also be critical for Miller’s testing numbers to confirm the athlete seen on tape dominating at Memphis will take the next step.

Earning a second round grade on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, there is a chance the Cowboys have to use their first round pick if they truly want Anthony Miller in Silver and Blue. A very complete player that fills a need, Miller as the Cowboys first pick could make plenty of sense in April.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Luxury or Need for Cowboys to Draft Another 1st-Round OL?

Brian Martin

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Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Due to growing concerns about Tyron Smith‘s availability and future health, due to reoccurring back injuries, there seems to be a growing consensus among Dallas Cowboys fans that there’s a need to draft an offensive lineman with the first-round pick. But, is it actually a need, or would it be more of a luxury?

There is legitimate concern about Tyron Smith and his future health.

Back injuries have a way of flaring up at the most inopportune times. It’s also not an injury that’s going away anytime soon, if ever. This is the unknown the Cowboys are faced with heading into the off-season, and it could end up having a major impact on the direction they go in the 2018 NFL Draft.

There seems to be a growing consensus around Cowboys Nation that the Dallas Cowboys should seriously consider selecting the best available offensive tackle with the 19th overall pick.

There are probably two reasons for this:

  1. Tyron Smith’s health concerns, and
  2. the need to upgrade the swing tackle position after watching Byron Bell and Chaz Green play in 2017.

But, the question remains: is drafting yet another offensive lineman in the first-round a luxury or need for the Dallas Cowboys?

Personally, I can see both sides of this argument. So, let’s break it down a little and examine each.

Luxury

Zack Martin

Dallas Cowboys RG Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys have already invested an enormous amount of resources to build arguably the best offensive line in the NFL.

They’ve spent three first-round draft picks to acquire Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin, two of which have already received long-term extensions with Martin waiting in the wings.

That’s a lot of money devoted to one position, which ultimately means the Cowboys have to go cheaper in other areas in order to fit under the salary cap. This is the money that would be used in free agency to acquire some of those higher-priced free agents fans are always hankering for.

It also can be used to re-sign some of the Cowboys players at other positions, such as DeMarcus Lawrence.

But, it’s not only the money that makes drafting a first-round OL a luxury.

Four out of five of the Cowboys OL are already pretty much set in stone. The left guard position is really the only unoccupied position right now, but that could be filled rather easily. This, of course, is assuming Tyron Smith stays healthy, but regardless, he is the starting left tackle when the 2018 season begins.

Need

Byron Bell

Dallas Cowboys OL Byron Bell

There’s no reason to believe Tyron Smith will be able to play an entire 16-game season going forward. The last two seasons he has had to sit out several games due to injuries, and unfortunately his back issues aren’t going away anytime soon.

To make matters worse, Dallas doesn’t have an adequate backup, which was proven on more than one occasion in 2017. Hence the need.

With the exception of the quarterback, the left tackle position is arguably the most important on offense. They protect the QB’s blindside and are largely responsible for keeping him healthy and upright.

There’s a reason they are drafted so highly and paid so handsomely: they are that important to a team’s success.

There was also a reason the Dallas Cowboys offense started to sputter once Tyron Smith started missing time. Opposing defenses no longer respected the Cowboys LT, and started putting their best pass rusher on that side to get after Dak Prescott.

Prescott ended up having happy feet and it had a ripple effect throughout the entire offense, and not in a good way.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Quite honestly, I think it would be a luxury to draft any kind of offensive lineman with the Cowboys’ first-round selection, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if that’s the direction they went. There are positives and negatives to both sides of the argument.

But, if they stick to the draft board and an OL is their highest rated player there, I say go for it.

The only thing we can do is have faith that the Dallas Cowboys know more about Tyron Smith’s health and his availability to play then we do as fans. If they decide to draft an offensive lineman early, I think we should all take that as an indication that they are worried about Smith, at least a little bit.

Luxury or Need: Do the Cowboys draft a first-round OL?

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