Connect with us

NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys: A Way Too Early 7-Round Mock Draft V 1.0

Published

on

Draft Blog - Dallas Cowboys: A Way Too Early 7-Round Mock Draft V 1.0 1

The 2015 NFL season isn’t over, but the Dallas Cowboys, at 4-10, have no hope of making the playoffs. If the season ended today, the Cowboys would have the fifth pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. For a team that has the overall talent to make a deep playoff run, the Cowboys will be in perfect position to add a foundational piece to their roster. Using Fanspeak’s mock draft simulator, I completed my first mock draft for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Disclaimer: This mock draft does not contain compensatory draft picks, as they have not been released yet. To know what compensatory draft picks the Cowboys will likely receive, refer to my notes on them from yesterday – What Compensatory Draft Picks Will They Get?

1. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Obviously, drafting a quarterback in the Top 5 like Paxton Lynch or Jared Goff makes sense given Tony Romo‘s age as well as his health, but the Cowboys are in win-now mode and having a top-5 pick means that they need to bring in someone that can immediately help the team.

Joey Bosa is just that guy. Over the past few years at Ohio State, it’s been a known fact that Bosa would go on to be a top-5 pick. Some have compared Bosa to J.J. Watt. I don’t necessarily know that he meets that comparison, but a guy at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds with his speed paired with a coach like Rod Marinelli equals success.

2. Desmond King, CB, Iowa

One of the biggest cinderellas of college football this season has been the Iowa Hawkeyes. When you look at the Hawkeyes, the key to success for them is their dynamic running game paired with their vaunted defense. A key cog on that defense was Desmond King.

The futures of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr in Dallas are up in the air. If both end up elsewhere this summer, the Cowboys will need to replace them. Orlando Scandrick will be back, but Byron Jones will likely make the switch to free safety. King is a player that can come in and succeed if he’s put in the right role.

King has the ability to shut down a side of the field given his combination of athleticism, ball skills, as well as his ability to play both zone or man. A secondary consisting of Jones, Scandrick, and King provides for some foundational talent to build around.

3. Rashard Higgins, Colorado State

If you know me, you know that I’m a huge disbeliever in Terrance Williams. For three seasons now, Williams has never learned how to catch the ball using his hands with consistency. He’s not an established route-runner, and even though he faces single coverage consistently across from a double-covered Dez Bryant, Williams doesn’t always win battles.

Dallas needs a true playmaker opposite Bryant.

Rashard Higgins is a player that makes sense in Dallas. Because of Jim McElwain leaving to be the head coach at Florida and quarterback Garrett Grayson going pro, Higgins’ stock has dropped immensely. Nevertheless, if the right quarterback is in place, Higgins makes a ton of sense.

At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, with a 4.5 40-yard dash, Higgins doesn’t have impressive size or speed, but he has great hands and he knows how to use his body. He’s “slippery” after the catch, showing the ability to score six with the ball in his hands. Higgins is a matchup-nightmare, as he has the ability to play both inside or outside.

The Cowboys will benefit greatly from having a playmaker like Higgins on their roster.

4. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech

It needs to be said that I’m a big fan of Darren McFadden. He’s been terrific in the starting role, even though he’s faced stacked boxes. In the one complete game with Romo at quarterback, the Cowboys got back to their old ways by running the football 29 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. I’m excited for the combination of McFadden and Romo next season. However, after the 2016 season, McFadden’s contract is up and I’m not a fan of bringing running backs back after the age of 30.

That said, it’s time for the Cowboys to start developing their running back of the future. I was a huge fan of David Johnson last year, and a guy who I’m really liking this year is Kenneth Dixon. Out of Louisiana Tech, Dixon and Florida transfer Jeff Driskel made quite the offensive duo.

At 5-foot-10, 215 pounds, Dixon is a fierce runner who is extremely difficult to bring down. Defenders struggle to tackle him and his elusiveness can be perfect for a three-down back. Dixon’s stock will continue to rise as the draft nears, but the Cowboys should be one team that will have interest.

5. No Pick (Brice Butler Trade)

The Cowboys might end up getting this pick back if they choose to cut Brice Butler before this weekend’s game against the Buffalo Bills, but I don’t see that being the case as Butler does have a future in Dallas. The Oakland Raiders will only get this pick if Butler dresses for six games of the season. Right now, he’s only dressed for five.

6. Gunner Kiel, QB, Cincinnati

As I said earlier, it’s time for the Cowboys to draft their successor to Romo. However, this draft may not be the one for the Cowboys to use a first-round pick on a quarterback. Because Dallas is in win-now mode, I have them waiting till the end of the draft to nab their quarterback.

A transfer from Notre Dame, Gunner Kiel is a player that has the intangibles to succeed in the NFL. Kiel is a true gunslinger. At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Kiel has the right stature to play quarterback in the NFL. He has a rocket for an arm. He shows accuracy with passes to each level of the defense and he displays the anticipation skills that are needed to succeed at the professional level. Kiel needs some time to develop, and two or three seasons behind Romo will do just that.

7. No Pick (Christine Michael Trade)

Because Christine Michael was on the active roster for at least three games, the Cowboys will have to give up their seventh-round pick to Seattle. In retrospect, this trade turned out to be a horrible idea, as Michael didn’t do much during his time in Dallas, a big reason for that being the coaching staff’s stubbornness.

Dallas has a ton of talent on their roster. However, there are many spots that need to be upgraded. This draft will do an excellent job at making the Cowboys better in the “now”, but also setting them up for success in the future at the same time.

ADVERTISEMENT

An online sports writer for about three years now, Ryan is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. He writes about his favorite team on Inside The Star. Ryan also writes for other publications like Roster Watch, Rant Sports, and Cuse Nation. Ryan is a freshman at Syracuse University majoring in Information Management and Technology. You can follow him on Twitter @RyanRattyNFL.

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, it’s pretty clear defensive tackle is toward the top of the Dallas Cowboys’ needs. Dallas has invested multiple draft picks and resources into the secondary, linebackers, and defensive ends, but their interior defensive line still needs to add depth and talent. One potential target to fill this need is Michigan Wolverines Defensive Tackle Maurice Hurst.

Over at Slant Sports I completed a full scouting report on Hurst, giving him a first-round grade and ranking him atop this defensive tackle class.

At 6’2″ and about 280 pounds, Maurice Hurst clearly projects as a three technique at the professional level. Hurst played the under-tackle most of the time at Michigan, but he did kick down over the center or inside the guards at times. Still, I wouldn’t expect a team to draft Hurst to be their one tech of the future.

Hurst is an explosive beast at defensive tackle.

Playing with a nonstop motor, Hurst won off the ball often, but also created effort and hustle plays behind the line of scrimmage during his college career. Hurst’s first step, quick hands, ability to win with leverage, and overall explosiveness shine through on film.

nfldraft2018 maurice hurst 5 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

“Here’s an example of that explosive first step. Hurst is lined up as the 3-technique on the far side. Winning with his first-step quickness and burst, Hurst gives the offensive linemen absolutely no chance to block him. He then powers through the recovery attempt by the lineman to make the tackle in the backfield.” ~Slant Sports

Hurst clearly doesn’t have the prototypical size of a defensive tackle in the NFL, but his play style suits his body well.

His explosiveness and burst off the ball make him incredibly dangerous, and his quick hands, low pad level, and strong lower body help him to win against any offensive lineman.

He obviously isn’t at the same level, and may not deserve eye-to-eye comparisons with this player, but Maurice Hurst’s play style and body type remind me of a young Aaron Donald. (I’m not saying he’s better than Aaron Donald, save the comments).

nfldraft2018 maurice hurst 8 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

In terms of his fit with the Cowboys, Hurst would compete with Maliek Collins for playing time at three technique.

Respected draft guru Dane Brugler, has mocked Hurst to Dallas in his latest mock draft, but the way they handle both Collins and impending restricted free agent David Irving will play a huge role in determining if Hurst would even fill a need.

Regardless, Maurice Hurst is a name deserving of first-round buzz, and Cowboys Nation should keep their eyes on him this offseason.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys

Sean Martin

Published

on

Sean's Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller A Needed Weapon For Cowboys
AP Photo / Jessica Hill

Slotted to pick 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in position to add a first-round talent to a team that fell just short of the playoffs at 9-7 in 2017. Faltering entirely on offense without RB Ezekiel Elliott too many times this season, it’s hard to argue this asset is not best spent on new talent at WR.

The Cowboys haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round since 2010, trading up for Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant. Frequent injuries and the inability to develop with QB Dak Prescott have diminished Bryant’s status as a star receiver in Dallas, and it may be time to overhaul the position entirely.

After scouting Memphis WR Anthony Miller, he may be just what the Dallas Cowboys need. Let’s take a closer look at his fit in the Cowboys’ offense in the first draft-season edition of Sean’s Scout.

WR Anthony Miller 2 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

With 96 receptions for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns in his final season at Memphis, Senior WR Anthony Miller is one of the top players at his position in the 2018 NFL Draft. These inflated numbers in the Tigers’ pass-happy offense do little to highlight Miller as a next level prospect…

This film clip and quote from my full scouting report on Miller shows the pure play-making ability Miller has. Miller wouldn’t fill the Cowboys need for an over-the-top burner at WR, but he has no problem tracking the ball with ease and adjusting in the air to make big plays down the field.

…Miller is as tough of a cover as you’ll find thanks to his explosive and concise release off the line.

Anthony Miller is certainly a “Dak-friendly” pass catcher, as he possesses the catch radius to snag passes away from his frame using his exceptionally strong hands. Even when he is covered, Miller is open vertically.

With that said, Miller has more than enough ability to separate with good initial quickness and elite balance through his routes.

WR Anthony Miller 4 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

…he wastes no time accelerating through the secondary, and running with a powerful stride that makes it difficult to bring him down.

There may be better technical route runners in this draft class, but few set up defenders as consistently well as Miller — who has the production to match these NFL traits.

A willing run blocker too, Miller could walk into Dallas and immediately earn snaps as an X, Z, or Y receiver. Miller’s best fit to start his career is likely as a Z receiver, drawing less attention in coverage while being allowed to run a full route tree.

…Miller gets on cornerbacks in a hurry, setting them up with his fluidity and size to track the football through contact.

A potential replacement for Terrance Williams with the Cowboys, Miller is somewhat of a similar player in the way he wins with mostly size.

The Memphis product would still be an upgrade over Williams though, as it is much easier to get the ball in Miller’s hands. Add in the red-zone ability that Anthony Miller has to box out defenders, and the run-after-catch burst as an inside target, and Miller is a weapon the Cowboys could desperately use.

WR Anthony Miller 1 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

…I found myself constantly impressed with the speed at which Miller gets up the field when taking the ball underneath.

Miller will have nothing but opportunities to raise his draft stock over the coming months. He will be at this month’s Senior Bowl, receiving NFL-level coaching to refine his game. The Scouting Combine will also be critical for Miller’s testing numbers to confirm the athlete seen on tape dominating at Memphis will take the next step.

Earning a second round grade on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, there is a chance the Cowboys have to use their first round pick if they truly want Anthony Miller in Silver and Blue. A very complete player that fills a need, Miller as the Cowboys first pick could make plenty of sense in April.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Luxury or Need for Cowboys to Draft Another 1st-Round OL?

Brian Martin

Published

on

Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Due to growing concerns about Tyron Smith‘s availability and future health, due to reoccurring back injuries, there seems to be a growing consensus among Dallas Cowboys fans that there’s a need to draft an offensive lineman with the first-round pick. But, is it actually a need, or would it be more of a luxury?

There is legitimate concern about Tyron Smith and his future health.

Back injuries have a way of flaring up at the most inopportune times. It’s also not an injury that’s going away anytime soon, if ever. This is the unknown the Cowboys are faced with heading into the off-season, and it could end up having a major impact on the direction they go in the 2018 NFL Draft.

There seems to be a growing consensus around Cowboys Nation that the Dallas Cowboys should seriously consider selecting the best available offensive tackle with the 19th overall pick.

There are probably two reasons for this:

  1. Tyron Smith’s health concerns, and
  2. the need to upgrade the swing tackle position after watching Byron Bell and Chaz Green play in 2017.

But, the question remains: is drafting yet another offensive lineman in the first-round a luxury or need for the Dallas Cowboys?

Personally, I can see both sides of this argument. So, let’s break it down a little and examine each.

Luxury

Zack Martin

Dallas Cowboys RG Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys have already invested an enormous amount of resources to build arguably the best offensive line in the NFL.

They’ve spent three first-round draft picks to acquire Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin, two of which have already received long-term extensions with Martin waiting in the wings.

That’s a lot of money devoted to one position, which ultimately means the Cowboys have to go cheaper in other areas in order to fit under the salary cap. This is the money that would be used in free agency to acquire some of those higher-priced free agents fans are always hankering for.

It also can be used to re-sign some of the Cowboys players at other positions, such as DeMarcus Lawrence.

But, it’s not only the money that makes drafting a first-round OL a luxury.

Four out of five of the Cowboys OL are already pretty much set in stone. The left guard position is really the only unoccupied position right now, but that could be filled rather easily. This, of course, is assuming Tyron Smith stays healthy, but regardless, he is the starting left tackle when the 2018 season begins.

Need

Byron Bell

Dallas Cowboys OL Byron Bell

There’s no reason to believe Tyron Smith will be able to play an entire 16-game season going forward. The last two seasons he has had to sit out several games due to injuries, and unfortunately his back issues aren’t going away anytime soon.

To make matters worse, Dallas doesn’t have an adequate backup, which was proven on more than one occasion in 2017. Hence the need.

With the exception of the quarterback, the left tackle position is arguably the most important on offense. They protect the QB’s blindside and are largely responsible for keeping him healthy and upright.

There’s a reason they are drafted so highly and paid so handsomely: they are that important to a team’s success.

There was also a reason the Dallas Cowboys offense started to sputter once Tyron Smith started missing time. Opposing defenses no longer respected the Cowboys LT, and started putting their best pass rusher on that side to get after Dak Prescott.

Prescott ended up having happy feet and it had a ripple effect throughout the entire offense, and not in a good way.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Quite honestly, I think it would be a luxury to draft any kind of offensive lineman with the Cowboys’ first-round selection, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if that’s the direction they went. There are positives and negatives to both sides of the argument.

But, if they stick to the draft board and an OL is their highest rated player there, I say go for it.

The only thing we can do is have faith that the Dallas Cowboys know more about Tyron Smith’s health and his availability to play then we do as fans. If they decide to draft an offensive lineman early, I think we should all take that as an indication that they are worried about Smith, at least a little bit.

Luxury or Need: Do the Cowboys draft a first-round OL?

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Advertisement
Advertisement
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