Connect with us

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: My Take On Our Projected Draft Board

Published

on

Cowboys Headlines - My Crack at our Draft Board 1

Take this with a grain of salt, but I thought I'd take a shot at what I think the Cowboys' board looks like with just over 2 weeks left until the draft. There is bound to be a surprise or two in here, but I can't imagine there's too much shakeup.

Instead of just doing the top 4, which I was going to do initially, I'm going to do the top 15 in the event that we end up trading down. So without further ado:

1.

DB - Jalen Ramsey

9.

DE - Joey Bosa

2.

RB - Ezekiel Elliott

10.

DE - DeForest Buckner

3.

QB - Carson Wentz

11.

CB - William Jackson III

4.

QB - Paxton Lynch

12.

DE - Shaq Lawson

5.

LB - Myles Jack

13.

DT - Sheldon Rankins

6.

QB - Jared Goff

14.

CB - Vernon Hargreaves

7.

OT - Laremy Tunsil

15.

WR - Laquon Treadwell

8.

DE - Noah Spence

 

There are more than a few things about this chart to argue with. The first is that we have Jalen Ramsey as our number one player. If you'll recall, a few months back, someone created a rumor that the Cowboys had Ramsey as their #1 player. While I don't think that was true back then, given that we didn't have our board set, I truly believe that when all is said and done, he'll be sitting atop our chart. To me, with the vibes that I get from the fan base and media, anyone else would be a surprise.

Another thing to note is that we have three quarterbacks in the top six. Jerry has gone on record by saying that we will absolutely not draft a quarterback with the 4th overall pick. Anything that these executives say prior to the draft should be taken with a grain of salt, let alone a proclamation about a particular selection. The fact of the matter is, you set up your board and stick to it 99% of the time. If Jalen Ramsey and Zeke Elliott are off the board in the first three picks, you better believe the Cowboys entertain the idea of concreting their quarterback position for the next 15 years.

Speaking of quarterbacks, yes, I put Paxton Lynch fourth on our board. I don't think the Cowboys have shown any hesitancy in their evaluation for the Memphis product. If you'll recall, Paxton Lynch was an overwhelming top 5 projection last fall.

This is a guy with raw talent, and would have to sit behind Romo for a year or two, but as would Wentz or Goff. They've visited with Lynch 2-3 times already, and have another visit planned right before the draft. Buckle your seat belts because if things play out perfectly (depending on your point of view), we may be looking at a situation where Lynch is the pick at four.

"Wait, you're telling me Laremy Tunsil is 7th in our board?" No. Well, yes. But also no.

I think the Cowboys see Tunsil as one of the top 2-3 players in this draft. But, we just drafted Chaz Green in the third round last year, and have Doug Free still under contract. This doesn't mean we wouldn't consider drafting Tunsil at all. I just think we may value other players more in the top 6 when you factor in need and the over-valuation of quarterbacks nowadays. Having said that, if we traded back to 8-10 and Tunsil were somehow still available, you've got to pull the trigger, or trade farther back.

To me, Myles Jack is rated too low. In fact, on my personal board, Jack is the number one player. The versatility he brings to the field, in combination with his instincts and athleticism, is second to none. If his medical re-check comes back with no issues, he could see a jump on many boards, including ours.

Ah, the polarizing status of Joey Bosa. Cowboys fans have been stressing out for a couple months now about the thought that Joey Bosa could be the pick at 4. Yet, I've seen a ton of experts go on record as saying Bosa is certainly a top 4 player in this draft. Whether or not he is is, obviously, yet to be seen, but I truly believe the Cowboys don't have a ton of interest in him at 4. Don't get me wrong, they like him. A lot. But I think, at pick 4, they're looking for a sack leader, and not a run defender, which I think most people see Bosa as.

Thus, I think that they likely have him a little farther down their board. You'll notice I believe they have him ranked just behind Noah Spence, who will be more of a sack producer at the next level.

Another thing people may find surprising is how far down DeForest Buckner is. This is a simple explanation: scheme. Do I think Buckner would excel in a 43 defense? Absolutely. BUT, that's not what he played in college. Thus, any projections about his production in our scheme would be just that: guesses. He's a physical freak and has traits defensive coordinators love. I wouldn't be surprised at all if we took him at four based on that. But, I would think they may want a little bit more of a sure thing (if there's such a thing) in the top 5.

Lastly, you may be surprised by the ordering of my cornerbacks.

Do you remember the Cowboys releasing Tyler Patmon and rolling with Terrance Mitchell/Deji Olatoye? When they did this, the Cowboys went on record saying they were looking for players with a little more girth, who could get more physical with guys at the line in press coverage. This isn't how Florida used Vernon Hargreaves. He was mostly used as an off Cover 1 and 3 guy because of his lack of top-end speed.

Enter William Jackson. He's not a guy who gets his hands on you at the line as much as we may want, but he's over six feet tall, and runs in the mid 4.3s.

This is a guy who can keep up with any receiver in the NFL, and is the best in the draft with his back to the ball. Hargreaves is an excellent player, but I feel that our front office may like Jackson's traits a little more for this defense. Having said that, the Cowboys brought in Hargreaves as one of their 30 visits, and refrained from bringing in Jackson, so I could have missed the mark here.

Per Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net, the top of the Cowboys' board looks a lot like the one described in this post:

rabblerousr on Twitter

From the great @TonyPauline:

Now for the bottom line. I don't think Jalen Ramsey is going to be available at pick #4.

I think all of the top 3 picks have needs in the secondary, and it would be very difficult to pass up on Ramsey's elite talent. Thus, I think Cowboys fans will still be happy to hear that I believe there's a very good chance Ezekiel Elliott will be taking the field with a star on his helmet this September.



Dallas Cowboys fan since the Drew Bledsoe "era." I love Tony AND Dak. I like to think that I'm the most objective that a fan can get, while still being a diehard, which I truly believe is the 8th wonder of the world. Go Cowboys!!

Advertisement
6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Randy Martin

    April 11, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Interesting how you can get in the head of the Cowboys front office. I'll take it with a full shaker of salt.

    • Ian Koplowitz

      April 11, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      This was more of a post based on rumblings and rumors I've heard from news outlets and social media. I tried to throw all of that together for fans and breakdown some surprises.

  2. Sean Martin

    Sean Martin

    April 11, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Interesting board philosophy for sure. This is why we love the draft though! A lot of teams will just stick Tunsil at the top of their board, even if they have no shot at him. Then just go down with BPA from there. I hope they have Buckner ahead of Bosa and think they might, but I don't think either is the pick at 4. As for the corners, I do personally like Jackson more than Hargreaves. How they fall on the board depends on how Dallas evaluates his value to other teams. For a while there he was in play for #34, but that is no longer the case. If they think he will be available in the 20s though, that changes a lot. Looking forward to more great stuff like this leading up to draft night, Ian!

    • Ian Koplowitz

      April 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      The Jackson projection was a fun one. You can't help but to get excited about the athleticism he brings. I may well have missed the mark there, but I think they really like his traits. Since boards rarely ever come to public view, people are surprised when they see boards that don't mimic CBS and ESPN ones. Fact of the matter is, we draft a "3rd round center" in the first round. Charlie Casserly just mocked Kenny Lawler (a third-fourth round grade to most) as the top WR in the first round. It's all about who these teams like.

  3. Ethan

    April 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    In a nutshell, I don't understand or like this board at all. I think a NFL team's board should reflect BPA "AND" players fitting a top NEED. That said, why list multiple QBs unless you are almost completely confident the Team will go QB in Round 1 which there are two camps strongly opposed/in favor of, AND…why have Tunsil at all? I think Jack that high is a big caveat that you "assume" his knee is healed which I have not heard is confirmed. We need a DE and Bosa is the closest option to a 'safe" bet to have an immediate impact.

    • Ian Koplowitz

      April 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Totally agree with you. I listed 3 quarterbacks for a couple reasons. 1) the rumors that we have Wentz as our #1 QB, 2) all of the meetings with Lynch our front office has had, and 3) Goff being widely regarded as the best QB. Tunsil is arguably the BPA, but he's lower because of his worth to this team. And I absolutely agree that Bosa can have an immediate impact, but I'd rather spend the 4th pick on someone I have more confidence in to get higher sack totals. Lastly, I believe Jack is the best player in this draft. Regardless of the knee, I haven't heard of any long term damage, meaning when he recovers, if he hasn't already, he'll be fine moving forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

NFL Draft

Should the Dallas Cowboys Make Offensive Tackle a Draft Priority?

Brian Martin

Published

on

Should Dallas Cowboys Make Offensive Tackle a Draft Priority?

The 2019 NFL Draft will be an interesting one for the Dallas Cowboys. From the outside looking in it doesn't seem as if they have any clear "needs" that need to be addressed. But, if you were to dive deeper into their roster you'd probably discover things might not be as stable as we'd like to believe.

The Dallas Cowboys could obviously stand to upgrade several positions. So far this offseason wide receiver, tight end, and safety have been at the forefront of the discussion, but one position not being mentioned is offensive tackle. Why?

There has to be growing concerns within the organization about Tyron Smith's inability to stay healthy for an entire season. He has a bothersome back and it has continued to make him unavailable for at least two or three games these past few seasons. How much longer can they afford to roll the dice with his back issues?

Then there is La'el Collins, who is entering a contract year in 2019. Collins' best attribute during his time with the Cowboys is probably his availability. He's battled through some injuries himself these past couple years, but managed to play through it. Unfortunately though, his career has been up-and-down since taking over as the starting right tackle. It's probably time to find his successor.

La'el Collins

Dallas Cowboys RT La'el Collins

Sadly, Dallas doesn't have much offensive tackle depth behind Smith and Collins. Cameron Fleming, the Cowboys swing tackle in 2018, is now a free agent and is probably looking to join a team where he can earn a little more playing time. The only other OT candidate on the roster might be Connor Williams, but even that's an unknown sense he's never played tackle in the NFL.

I don't know what the Cowboys brass thinks of all of this, but I find it more than a little concerning. We know all too well what happens when the OT play isn't up to par. Chaz Green anyone!? That game alone against the Falcons is one we would all like to forget, but serves as a reminder of just how important it is to have an emergency plan in place.

The Cowboys of course have one or two ways of solidifying their tackle position. They can use free agency once again to find a swing tackle like they did with Cameron Fleming last year, or they can use one of their draft picks this year. The latter seems to be the wiser move, especially with Collins' contract coming to an end.

The Dallas Cowboys may have Tyron Smith and La'el Collins as their starters for the upcoming 2019 season, but it's never too early to start preparing for the future. That's why it wouldn't surprise me at all if Dallas used one of their draft picks this year on an offensive tackle. In fact, I'd encourage it.

I really like the idea of providing some competition at the RT position. If La'el Collins wins out fine. The rookie OT can then serve as the swing tackle and take over next season when Collins' contract expires. But, if the rookie wins Collins could also be become a trade asset. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Do you think offensive tackle should be a Dallas Cowboys draft priority?



Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Cowboys Draft Target: Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.

Since Kris Richard has taken over the back-end of the Dallas Cowboys defense, they have clearly shown a bias towards a "type" of cornerback. Richard, looking to build this Dallas unit in a similar form to his Seattle teams, has prioritized long corners both in height and arm length.

As his responsibilities within the organization increase, it's only fair to expect Kris Richard to have more say in who the Cowboys' defense acquires in terms of talent. This means we should anticipate more defensive backs who fit his type, such as Kentucky Wildcats cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr.

The Player

So why does Lonnie Johnson fit the mold of what Kris Richard tends to look for? Well, for starters, he is 6'3" and 206 lbs with 32 1/4" arms. He's a long corner with excellent size and the trait profile which indicates he could be the perfect candidate to play cornerback in Dallas.

But while he might look great on paper, the tape is always the most important factor for evaluating and projecting talent. And, for Johnson, the tape isn't all-that great. Despite his length, Johnson struggled mightily in press-man coverage at Kentucky. Too often he is late or ineffective with his hands, leaving him susceptible to being blown by by the opposing receiver. He often loses balance due to poor footwork, and is rather average with his hips and quick change of direction.

Where Johnson was his best in college was in zone coverage, playing his deep third of Kentucky's cover-three look. Rarely did he allow receivers behind him in zone coverage, and displayed good instincts when deciding whether to jump routes or play more conservatively when playing in that deep third. He was not nearly as comfortable underneath, and Kentucky didn't ask him to play in that role too often. Because of how big he is, Johnson is able to contest at the catch point regularly, yet he only deflected 9 passes in 2 years.

What gives me the most hope for Lonnie Johnson as a prospect (besides his length) is his Senior Bowl performance. Johnson impressed daily at the Senior Bowl, looking more comfortable in man coverage and playing much better in his press technique.

Was this Johnson becoming more comfortable over time and a sign of things to come at the next level, or was it an anomaly that we shouldn't read too much into? The answer to that question is up to the individual teams, but his combine performance will play a huge role in how those teams answer.

The Fit

As I've discussed already, Lonnie Johnson Jr. fits what Kris Richard tends to look for in his cornerbacks. He is long, tall, and relatively athletic, making him a clay piece for a coach like Richard to develop.

The question is, however, how much development can really occur? The highs for Johnson are rather high when he maximizes his natural abilities on the field. But too often he is sloppy in technique, or looks lost in man coverage. Whether or not Richard can "fix" Johnson completely may never be seen, but teams (especially this one) could fall in love with him as a prospect for what he can become if it all comes together.



Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Oklahoma Sooners RB Rodney Anderson

Brian Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Draft Target: Oklahoma Sooners RB Rodney Anderson

NAME: Rodney Anderson

SCHOOL: Oklahoma

CONFERENCE: Big 12

POSITION: Running Back

CLASS: RS Junior

JERSEY: No. 24

RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star

HT: 6'1"

WT: 219

D.O.B.: 9/12/96

Highlights:

Rodney Anderson || 2017-18 Highlights ᴴᴰ || Oklahoma

Rodney Anderson || 2017-18 Highlights ᴴᴰ || Oklahoma Like, Comment, and Subscribe for More! Follow my Instagram: @szhighlights Songs: - "Don't Know Me" by Trae Tha Truth - "Better Days" by Trae Tha Truth I do not own any of these highlights or music clips.

Before we get into the player, we should really try to get to know Rodney Anderson the person. He attended Katy High School in Katy, Texas, one of the powerhouse HS football programs in the state. He was a four-star recruit who received offers from Auburn, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. He originally committed to Texas A&M, but changed his mind and decided to go to Oklahoma instead. He had an up-and-down career on the football field at Oklahoma because of injuries, but did graduate with a degree in Arts and Sciences in May 2018 and is pursuing his Master's in Human Relations.

Pros:

Rodney Anderson has the ideal size and athleticism to become a featured back in the NFL. He shows good patience and vision on film to allow his offensive lineman to secure their blocks before sticking his foot in the ground and exploding through the hole. He runs behind his pads and shows good strength, loose hips, and balance to run through arm tackles. More than capable of picking up those "dirty yards" and is surprisingly slippery as a runner in the open field.

Anderson is capable of playing in a power scheme or a zone heavy scheme like the Dallas Cowboys deploy. He has been featured in a number of rushing concepts including gap/power, read action, and power sweeps. His talent also carries over to the passing game. He possesses soft hands and looks natural catching the ball both out of the backfield and down the field as a receiver. Solid in pass protection, but this is an area of his game where he can improve.

Cons:

The biggest negative about Rodney Anderson is his injury history at Oklahoma. He is basically a one-year wonder because of three separate season-ending injuries, but bad things happen in three so maybe that's behind him. Durability will be a question mark entering the NFL though.

His vision is sometimes questionable, especially on inside and outside zone reads. Has a tendency to to try to bounce runs to the outside too often or cut back too quickly. Shows good explosiveness, but only average burst through the hole. Seems to have adequate long speed on tape, but is 40 yard dash time will be heavily scrutinized if he's able to run at the NFL Scouting Combine.

In the passing game he needs to improve his route running and pass protection if he wants to be a three-down back in the NFL. The talent is there, just not the production and consistency. Will also have to prove he can be productive against stacked boxes at the next level since he rarely saw any in college due to Oklahoma's spread offense.

Cowboys Fit:

If the Dallas Cowboys are looking for a running back capable of being a featured back in the NFL, while also spelling Ezekiel Elliott from time to time, then Rodney Anderson is there guy. His combination of power, balance, explosiveness, and scheme diversity could come in handy as their RB2. Not only would he provide a good insurance policy if the unthinkable were to happen to Zeke, but he could take over if they decide not to give No. 21 a contract extension.

There is a lot to like about Rodney Anderson's game and his ability to contribute in the running and passing game, but he is not by any means a clean prospect. Despite his immense talent, his injury history and lack of consistency in college is bothersome. But, as a mid-round pick the reward far outweighs the risks. Paired with Elliott, the Cowboys could have a formidable one-two punch in their backfield and could pound opposing defenses into submission.



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending