Mock drafts for the upcoming 2017 NFL draft have started to surface with a little more frequency here lately around the Internet.
The last few weeks, both Pro Football Focus and CBS Sports released their first 2017 mock drafts. I guess Todd McShay must have been feeling a little left out, because he just dropped his first attempt at predicting the 2017 NFL Draft.
I don't know about you, but I personally like to see who these so-called "draft analysts" choose to select for each team, especially for the Dallas Cowboys.
McShay is one of the more well-known draft analysts out there, and he along with Mel Kiper Jr. cover the draft for ESPN in April. Unfortunately, you have to be an ESPN Insider to see McShay's first 2017 mock draft. But, fortunately for you I happen to be a member and can share with you who he believes the Dallas Cowboys will take with their first round selection.
As much as I respect the work that Todd McShay does, I'm not sure I really like who he chose for the Dallas Cowboys.
31. Dallas Cowboys: Solomon Thomas, Stanford, DE
First off, if Todd McShay's 2017 mock draft is accurate, then the Dallas Cowboys make it to the Super Bowl, but unfortunately are not coming home with the Lombardi trophy.
Secondly, I can understand why McShay might believe that the Dallas Cowboys will go this direction. They certainly need all the help they can get with their pass rush, but to me Solomon Thomas is more of a 3-technique in a 4-3 defensive scheme.
Thomas reminds me a little bit of what the Dallas Cowboys already have with Tyrone Crawford. He can play defensive end, but he's not overly explosive or dynamic as a pass rusher. He does however have the versatility to play on the outside or be kicked inside to the 3-technique.
Now, Thomas was probably the best pass rusher still on the board when the Cowboys were on the clock. McShay has five defensive ends being drafted before Thomas, and that's not even including the outside linebacker's that were drafted ahead of him as well.
With the Dallas Cowboys picking so late the first round it is going to be a tough task to find a pass rusher to come in and contribute right away.
Of course, there is no way of knowing if this is the position the organization focuses on once they are finally on the clock. The Cowboys will have a lot of needs to fill and could go a number of different directions.
They will need help at cornerback with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne in the last year of their contracts. The same can be said at safety with Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox in the last year of their deals as well.
The Cowboys also might want to look to the future and upgrade the tight end and right tackle positions. Both Jason Witten and Doug Free aren't getting any younger and there doesn't seem to be a current player on the roster ready to take over.
The point I'm trying to make here is that there is no way of knowing who the Dallas Cowboys may draft. Looking at these way too early mock drafts is just for fun and it's important to remember that.
Do you like Todd McShay's selection for the Dallas Cowboys?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.
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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