It's finally that time. The 2016 NFL Draft is just hours away and we will finally know exactly who the Dallas Cowboys will be adding to their 2016 roster.
By now you've probably already heard the names that have been linked to the Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, and Jalen Ramsey.
If you're anything like me, you've done as much research on these three prospects as possible and should have a pretty good idea of each player strengths and weaknesses.
I for one would pound the table for Elliott if I was in the Cowboys draft room tomorrow night. I don't care that the running back position has been devalued here recently. Elliott is hands-down a difference maker in the NFL, and that is especially true if he's running behind the Cowboys dominant offensive line.
If you can't tell already, Elliot is the players name I would be writing down on the draft card when it's a Cowboys time to draft in the first round.
Joey Bosa's name has been linked to the Cowboys because they are in desperate need of past rushers in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's 4-3 defensive scheme. They have been terrible at getting to the quarterback the past several years and the fact that both Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence are expected to miss the first four games of the season only adds to their desperation, at least on the surface.
Bosa would be a solid selection, but at number four overall I'm really looking for someone who will be a difference maker for years to come. I don't know if that is the type of player you would be getting in Bosa.
That brings me to Jalen Ramsey.
It's rumored that the Cowboys view Ramsey is a cornerback in the NFL, and according to the tape I watched of him, I would evaluate him more as a safety.
There is no denying that Ramsey is one the most physically gifted defensive backs we have seen over the past several years, but that doesn't always translate to success in the NFL.
My own personal evaluation of Ramsey shows that he really struggles when he has to turn his back to the quarterback and run down the field with the receivers. He is at his best when he is able to make plays in front of him. That's I believe is best suited to play safety in the NFL.
Don't get me wrong. I would be fine if the Cowboys decided to draft Ramsey with their first-round draft pick, but I think they would be making a mistake if they expect him to play cornerback.
Do you really want to invest so much in another CB when you've already failed miserably with Morse Claiborne and Brandon Carr?
Also, if Ramsey is a better safety in the NFL, do you really want to draft a safety so highly?
Luckily, I'm not the one that's going to be making the decision that will affect the franchise for years to come and my job isn't on the line if this is yet another failed attempt to solidify the back end of the defense.
I'm free to voice my own personal opinion without any repercussions, unless it's from those of you who don't agree with my opinion and if that's the case I encourage you to try and convince me otherwise.
Overall, I'm holding out the hope that in a few hours time when the Dallas Cowboys are finally on the clock that I don't see a draft card turned in with Jalen Ramsey's name on it.
I for one am on the Ezekiel Elliott hype train and I hope it's leaving the station with THE STAR shining like a halo atop his head on the Cowboys draft cap.
Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys
As the 2018 NFL Draft draws closer, teams are beginning to hold their official visits with prospects of their own choosing. The Cowboys have already met with a few different prospects thus far, and they've reportedly added a linebacker to that list this week.
Multiple reports are saying the Cowboys will meet with Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this week, adding him to the list of 30 potential visits.
BoiseState LB Leighton Vander Esch will be a pre-draft visitor for the #Cowboys. Add him to your list of 30, per Tony Pauline.
Vander Esch is a bit of a controversial prospect in the draft world. As I've stated before, he tested like a freak athletically, and his combine profile alone would put him in the discussion on day one. The problems I have with Vander Esch have nothing to do with his athleticism, however, and everything to do with his actual football-playing ability.
On film, I see a player who struggles to get off blocks and will have trouble finding a home with the Cowboys. Still, I wouldn't mind the Cowboys drafting Vander Esch - that pick cannot come in the first round though.
Vander Esch is a long, rangy, and athletic linebacker who is at his best playing laterally and tracking down plays. As a blitzer, Vander Esch has some rather clear issues. He often runs directly into blocks and is unable to shed at the point of attack. I also don't think he is as instinctual a player as some of the other linebackers in this class, such as BYU's Fred Warner or Alabama's Rashaan Evans.
The way things are looking, however, Vander Esch is going to be a first round pick. And if not, he'll almost certainly be a top 50 pick. I wouldn't be very comfortable taking him at 19, and I'd have to think twice before even taking him at 50 for that matter.
2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
With more pressing needs on offense at guard and wide receiver, and defensively at DE or LB, the Cowboys' concerning lack of proven ability at safety has taken a backseat in this offseason's roster build. With the expectation that new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard will elevate the play of the entire Cowboys' secondary, the team is doing their due diligence on safeties available in the 2018 NFL Draft - starting with Texas' DeShon Elliott.
It appears Texas S DeShon Elliott is visiting the #Cowboys today
With 63 tackles and six interceptions in his final season at Texas, Elliott took full advantage of being a starter in the Big 12 for the first time in his career, flying onto the NFL Draft scene.
Elliott is a well-balanced, average athlete with the upside to be targeted late in April's draft and make a difference.
If they had to play a game tomorrow, the Cowboys would be rolling with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier at safety.
Finding an expanded role this season for Frazier should be a priority in Dallas, as should supplementing Heath and Woods with additional talent. DeShon Elliott would fit this group well, along with the Cowboys' scheme, given his range and disruptive ability.
Should Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and now Byron Jones help the Cowboys reach their full potential at CB, the Cowboys safeties will not be tested in single coverage up the field often. This is an area that Elliott was exploited in at Texas plenty of times, performing better as a true free safety or second-level player.
Continuing to add young talent at the right price is key to the Cowboys' ongoing rebuild on defense, now visiting with a local safety prospect that should be available to them in the later rounds. Texas' DeShon Elliott is officially a name to consider come draft week in Dallas.
Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”
Last week, I detailed what the Cowboys tend to look for when drafting a wide receiver. In terms of a combine profile, Dallas clearly has a "type" of wide-out they like to target.
The Cowboys certainly need to upgrade their receiving corps, but with the plethora of other holes to fill, they may not be able to do so until the 3rd or 4th round. Luckily for the Cowboys, there is at least one receiver which both fits their profile and should be available early on day three.
That player is Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.
Working on something for @InsideTheStarDC... here's the height, weight, 40 time, and 3 cone for every WR DAL has taken since 2010.
First, let's re-examine what the Cowboys like to look for. As you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys draft targets all seem to fit a similar profile. If we treat Dez Bryant as their "ideal" draft pick, the trends become even clearer. Dallas wants to find a wide-out who is about 6'1" 205 pounds, runs nearly a 4.5 40 yard dash, and about a 6.9 three come time.
DeaSean Hamilton, coincidentally, is 6'1" 203 pounds, ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the Penn State pro day, and ran a 6.84 three cone at the combine. Penn State's all time receptions leader stole the show at the 2018 Senior Bowl, putting all of "Draft Twitter" on notice to his talent.
An efficient and smooth route runner, Hamilton looks natural coming in and out of breaks, creating separation with his precise routes. The Cowboys don't have many receivers on their roster who can win with their route running, and adding a player like Hamilton would greatly help third year quarterback Dak Prescott moving forward.
With the ability to play in the slot, as well as potentially being a Z receiver for the Cowboys and a replacement for Terrance Williams, Hamilton would be an excellent draft target in the third or fourth round. And, keeping in mind how nicely he fits their typical draft profile, I'd expect Dallas to target Hamilton during the 2018 NFL Draft.
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