Cowboys Draft: My Take On Our Projected Draft Board ⋆
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Cowboys Draft: My Take On Our Projected Draft Board

Cowboys Headlines - My Crack at our Draft Board 1

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: My Take On Our Projected Draft Board

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!!

6 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    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

      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.

  • Sean Martin

    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

      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.

  • Ethan

    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

      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.

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