Despite a rather successful 2016 season which resulted in 13 wins, the Dallas Cowboys still have a good amount of holes to fill through the 2017 NFL Draft.
Pass rusher, cornerback, safety, and possibly another offensive playmaker are all on the Cowboys’ wish-list for this year’s draft. And while the pool of talent may be deeper than usual, the Cowboys late positioning in round one may put them behind the proverbial eight-ball early on.
Or at least it seems.
Holding the 28th overall pick in the NFL Draft has yielded both Hall of Famers and players which flamed out quickly. It has been a place where championship contenders can improve on their roster and take the next step, and also where day-two caliber players get reached for at the end of day-one.
Then again, which draft position hasn’t produced players on both sides of history?
Recently, though, the 28th overall pick has produced somewhat unfavorable results. Since 2000, only four Pro Bowlers have been selected with the 28th overall pick. Offensive tackle Joe Staley being the best of the bunch, players selected five picks away from round two haven’t found much success at the next level.
Players Taken 28th Overall Since 2000
- 2000: Rob Morris, LB, BYU
- 2001: Derrick Gibson, SS, Florida State
- 2002: Jerramy Stevens, TE, Washington
- 2003: Andre Woolfolk, CB, Oklahoma
- 2004: Chris Gamble, CB, Ohio State
- 2005: Luis Castillo, DL, Northwestern
- 2006: Mercedes Lewis, TE, UCLA
- 2007: Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan
- 2008: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
- 2009: Eric Wood, C, Louisville
- 2010: Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State
- 2011: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
- 2012: Nick Perry, LB, USC
- 2013: Sylvester Williams, DL, North Carolina
- 2014: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
- 2015: Laken Tomlinson, OL, Duke
- 2016: Joshua Garnett, OL, Stanford
While some of that list isn’t pretty, there have been a few gems found at the end of round one.
Just a few years ago, the Green Bay Packers drafted linebacker/edge defender Nick Perry with the 28th overall selection. If the Cowboys can get a Nick Perry-quality edge player in this year’s first round, I think we could all be happy.
No, he isn’t necessarily a “war daddy” (man, I am sick of that term) but he has been a solid pass rusher for the Packers through the years. And with the 28th pick, solid may be all you can hope for.
There have been two Hall of Famers taken with the 28th overall pick, however: Darrell Green, former Washington Redskins cornerback, and Derrick Brooks, former linebacker of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Where Cowboys fans can bring back their confidence in building through this year’s draft, though, is with their second and third round picks.
While this draft doesn’t have a clear-cut “top ten,” it does have about 100 guys who could realistically find themselves in the top 50. Knowing this, the Cowboys could find a player who may normally be a top 50 guy towards the end of round two.
Plus, this draft class is deep exactly where the Cowboys need it to be: cornerback and defensive end.
So, Cowboys Nation might need to temper their expectations for the quality of player they will find in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Still, considering how deep this year’s draft class is, the Cowboys can still find three quality starters in the first three rounds.
The history of the 28th overall pick might not be too great, but that doesn’t mean the Cowboys can’t change that this year.