The Cowboys fan base, since the start of draft season, has split into groups that support one player or another joining the team with the upcoming fourth overall pick. These “teams” seem to all have vocal leaders on Twitter and other platforms, and perhaps no one has been steering the Jared Goff ship harder than I have.
I am all for Dallas drafting a quarterback in the first round, especially if Goff is in play, but also understand the needs at other positions. I explained why I changed my mind on Joey Bosa after the Randy Gregory suspension.
Whatever player you would love to see this team end up with in the first round, the truth of the matter is that the success of the team will rely just as heavily on their later round picks as well. At some point in the 2016 NFL Draft, one of these picks needs to be a quarterback.
That is something that the entire fan base should be able to agree on after watching Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore collectively win just one game. Tony Romo won the Giants, Eagles, and Dolphins games for us – but now carries serious sustainability issues, as Staff Writer RJ Ochoa pointed out.
Let's examine four quarterbacks that could be selected by the Cowboys sometime in the first four rounds.
Round 1 – Jared Goff
This pick requires little explanation. If indeed the Cowboys are serious about drafting a quarterback in the first round, I believe Goff is their guy. While Carson Wentz is a great prospect, I just do not see this team slotting him ahead of players like Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack on their board.
Goff is my top QB in this class, is a great fit for Dallas, and could benefit greatly from not having to start right away. This pick would make sense, and I would be all for it, but there are of course other very viable options in the later rounds…
Round 2 – Christian Hackenberg
Hackenberg is one of the more interesting QB prospects in recent years. A college career that started with so much promise turned into a story of disappointment and inconsistency – mired in coaching changes at Penn State along with terrible play in his offensive line.
The Cowboys could view Hackenberg as a very high value pick at #34 overall, because he would have gotten past teams near the bottom half of the first round like Houston who will seemingly have interest. They certainly have the offensive line to protect him come the day he has to step in, and in time, Christian Hackenberg could become a very talented NFL passer.
Round 3 – Dak Prescott
Prescott was impressive at the NFL Combine, and with quarterbacks like Cam Newton taking over the position, his overall stock has risen. Prescott likely best fits at the next level in a short-passing style offense, but sitting behind Tony Romo will only further develop his all around skills.
By the time he is expected to start, the Cowboys could have the offensive personnel in place to join the latest NFL trend and play the athletic Prescott at QB in a system that he can thrive in.
Round 4 – Jeff Driskel
I scouted Jeff Driskel right here on InsideTheStar.com, and was impressed with what I saw. In reading what pro scouts have to say about the former Florida Gator turned LA Tech Bulldog, the knock on Driskel has been his field processing speed along with inability to quickly get the ball out of his hands.
To me, these are two of the easiest things to fix once Driskel is brought into Dallas in his first seasons to simply learn the offense. The mental speed of the game will improve with each rep he gets, while the ball will come out of his hands faster as receivers like Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley break open.
Should the Cowboys be in a position to draft Goff and not take him, they can make up for it in my books by potentially stealing Driskel in the fourth round.
Also in the mix: Connor Cook, Jacoby Brissett, Nate Sudfeld, Kevin Hogan