Here is my full first round mock. Only picks 1-20 will have descriptions. This will be my last mock draft until March when roster moves have been completed to get under the salary cap.
1. Houston Texans - Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville
Bridgewater is the best quarterback in the NFL Draft and the Texans are in need of a franchise quarterback. Bill O'Brien coming in as the new head coach and I think he will want this kid to lead them from worst to first in the AFC South. Quarterback isn't the only hole but if O'Brien wants to stay in Houston for a long tenure he needs to find his guy to run the offense.
2. St Louis Rams (From Washington) - Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
Rams could easily go with quarterback here dependent upon how they feel about Sam Bradford moving forward. Personally feel that the Rams will allow him one more season. If they are confident in Bradford drafting protection is the right move. Matthews is the best tackle on the board with a NFL pedigree. He is the guy you want protecting your quarterbacks blindside.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Blake Bortles QB Central Florida
The Jaguars have tried the Blaine Gabbart experience as well as Chad Henne but neither seem to be franchise quarterbacks just stop gaps. Bortles could be their guy and he won't have to go far to play in the NFL being in the state already. Many scouts think Bortles could be as highly regarded as Bridgewater and Jacksonville will gladly take him. This pick could make the AFC South fun to watch for years to come.
4. Cleveland Browns - Derek Carr QB Fresno State
Another offseason and another coaching change in Cleveland. If it is Josh McDaniels I don't think history will repeat itself (Tebow), he will get a smart quarterback. Carr is my top senior quarterback in the draft and perfect for a franchise looking for their guy. Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer should be competing to backup Carr.
5. Oakland Raiders - Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
With the Raiders needs on the defensive line and Clowney being among the top prospects this is a great fit. With an early run on quarterbacks Clowney to Oakland isn't out of the realm of possibility. Clowney will help sure up this line and be a great start to finding play makers on that side of the ball. Even with the need for quarterback you can't be the team that passed on Clowney and watch him contribute elsewhere.
6. Atlanta Falcons - Greg Robinson OT Auburn
Falcons need help on both lines and Robinson makes sense if they want to protect Matt Ryan. Since I don't predict trades in a mock draft this is the best projection for them. I would expect them to possibly make a trade with St Louis to get Clowney otherwise.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
Watkins is my top wide receiver in the draft and this young team with a new head coach will be looking to add weapons for Mike Glennon, provided the new coach feels like he is their franchise guy. Their defense could use help here as well but Watkins is a guy you do not want to over look.
8. Minnesota Vikings - Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
Manziel is a guy that you could see going anywhere from top five to top 15. The Vikings are only one season removed from the playoffs and a quarterback is what they need most. With their weapons on offense a play making quarterback will make all the difference. In the NFC North you need an offense to keep up with Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago.
9. Buffalo Bills - Anthony Barr LB UCLA
The Bills are in need of a pass rusher that can provide help to Mario Williams. They also could go with an inside linebacker but really need to improve pass rush.
10. Detroit Lions - Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
Lions need to address secondary with the other wide receivers in the division. Dennard fits that bill and the Lions should be very familiar with Dennard having played in their backyard.
11. Tennessee Titans - Cedric Ogbuehi OT Texas A&M
David Stewart could walk after the season and Ogbuehi could step right in and contribute. With Chance Warmack from last season, this offensive line is becoming a strength for this team.
12. New York Giants - Eric Ebron TE North Carolina
Offensive line could be the target here as well as wide receiver but this team has no pure threat at tight end. Ebron is one of the top three tight ends and would fit in well in New York. This also gives Manning a weapon he didn't have this season.
13. St Louis Rams - Hasean Clinton-Dix FS Alabama
TJ McDonald isn't the guy that needs to be playing in this system. Clinton-Dix is a better cover safety and fully expect him to take over that role. Need cover safeties in the NFC West with Seattle, Arizona and San Francisco talent at wide receiver.
14. Chicago Bears - Khalil Mack LB Buffalo
The Bears are in need of premier pass rushers with the age of Julius Peppers and the way this defense played. Mack can play linebacker and move to nickel rusher on passing downs. Mack is very versatile and a top 15 pick.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Louis Nix III NT Notre Dame
Steve McLendon wasn't as big of a disruptive force as this defense needs. It would be the right pick as Nix would fit in with Dick Lebeau's scheme. This defense is aging and needs some youth if they want to continue to compete in the AFC North.
16. Dallas Cowboys - CJ Mosley LB Alabama
The Cowboys were hit hard by the injury bug this year at linebacker as well as defensive line. Mosley is one of the most instinctive linebackers that I have ever watched. Should Sean Lee get hurt again he can easily step in at mike linebacker and not miss a beat.
17. Baltimore Ravens - Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
Evans is a big bodied receiver who can be a huge match-up nightmare for corners and safeties. The Ravens need a wide out who is more than just a speed guy.
18. New York Jets - Marquise Lee WR Southern California
The Jets look like they have found a quarterback in Geno Smith and the offense needs production. Santonio Holmes isn't the player he once was and Lee can be that guy. Lee could have a monster season provided Smith continues to get better.
19. Miami Dolphins - Cameron Erving OT Florida State
Ryan Tannehill needs protection and Erving can help provide that help. With Martin and Incognito gone I expect the Dolphins to go offensive line early on in this draft.
20. Arizona Cardinals - Cyrus Kouandijio OT Alabama
Cardinals need to sure up protection and with no first round worthy quarterbacks left, this makes sense. He will also help in the run game with one of the best young running backs in Andre Ellington.
[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"]21. Green Bay Packers - Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech
22. San Diego Chargers - Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
23. Philadelphia Eagles - Vic Beasley OLB Clemson
24. Kansas City Chiefs - Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State
25. Cincinnati Bengals - Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
26. Cleveland Browns (From Indianapolis) - Davante Adams WR Fresno State[/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"]
27. New Orleans Saints - Allen Robinson WR Penn State
28. New England Patriots - Stephon Tuitt DE Notre Dame
29. San Francisco 49ers - Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State
30. Carolina Panthers - Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
31. Denver Broncos - Jason Verrett CB Texas Christian
32. Seattle Seahawks - Kony Ealy DE Missouri[/vc_column][/vc_row]
Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise
Throughout the post draft media process, the Cowboys' decision makers have been adamant that they found multiple draft-able players in undrafted free agency this year. Each of which, of course, will have an opportunity to compete for a roster or practice squad spot this summer.
One of those players who almost certainly had a draft-able grade despite fall through all seven rounds, is Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise.
At 6'3" and 290 pounds, Wise projects as a 3-technique in the NFL, and should compete for that very role on the Cowboys defense. Wise is not an overly bendy or athletic player, but he has a good initial quickness which allows him to penetrate gaps well. Wise plays with excellent effort, having the type of motor that I'm sure Rod Marinelli valued highly during the pre-draft evaluations.
A strong and powerful interior presence, Wise can offer some upside as a pass rusher as well. He has quick, active, and heavy hands. When combining his hands with his get-off, Wise is a real threat as a pass rusher. Maybe his most impressive pass rushing quality, however, is the effort which he plays with. Never giving up on a play, you'll have to block Wise until the final whistle or he will threaten for effort sacks.
In college, Wise was often asked to be a two-gap defender from the 5-technique, but that's just not where he'll be at his best. Rather, he should be used in the role the Cowboys likely envision for him, allowing him to play with power at the point of attack and disrupt the running game.
But what are Daniel Wise's chances of even making the team?
The Cowboys made a concerted effort to improve their defensive line this offseason, specifically on the interior. By adding free agents like Kerry Hyder and drafting Trysten Hill 58th overall, Dallas has improved what was considered a weakness during the postseason a year ago.
Not all of these talented defensive tackles will make the team, though, it's simply a numbers a game. And cutting an undrafted free agent will certainly be easier to do than cutting someone who will be owed real money, or was acquired through premium draft capital.
Regardless, Daniel Wise will have the chance to prove his worth during training camp and the preseason. And based on how he projects through his college tape and physical attributes, he'll likely make those final decisions very difficult on the Cowboys' staff.
Pre-Draft Visitors Highlight Dallas Cowboys 2019 Rookie Class
The Dallas Cowboys are "officially" adding 21 rookies to their roster, eight of which they drafted and the remaining 13 are undrafted free agents. The number of rookies the Cowboys are bringing in isn't all that surprising, but what did surprise me was how many of them were pre-draft visitors.
You may or may not know, but the NFL allows 30 allotted pre-draft visits for each team around the league. Teams don't have to use all 30 visits of course, but the majority of them take advantage of the opportunity and generally use up all 30 visits. It's a chance to introduce these rookies into the atmosphere they could be playing in and work them out in more of a one-on-one basis.
The Dallas Cowboys of course are known as a team who take their 30 pre-draft visits very seriously. Over the past several years they've drafted several players who were brought in for pre-draft visits, and 2019 was no exception.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, paying attention to the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visits is a good idea because the odds of them drafting one or more of them is pretty high. That's why I decided to run a pre-draft tracker this year, and because of it I was able to confirm 27 of the possible 30 pre-draft visitors for the Cowboys.
Here are 2019 pre-draft visitors currently on the Cowboys roster:
- DT, Trysten Hill
- RB, Tony Pollard
- RB, Mike Weber
- WR, Jon'Vea Johnson
- CB, Chris Westry
If you're doing the math, 5 out of 30 equates to 17% of the players the Dallas Cowboys brought in as pre-draft visitors. But, if Dallas only brought in 27 that percentage rises to 19%. To say that the Cowboys value these pre-draft visits would be an understatement, at least as far as 2019 is concerned.
The first three of Trysten Hill, Tony Pollard, and Mike Weber were of course all draft picks and have the best chance to stick around on the final 53-man roster, but I wouldn't rule out Jon'Vea Johnson and Chris Westry. Both were draftable players, but somehow fell through the cracks right into the lap of the Cowboys as UFAs.
I don't really know if it's a good idea the Dallas Cowboys are so transparent with how valuable the treat these 30 pre-draft visits. We've seen teams time and time again trade up right in front of them to draft a player the Cowboys could've possibly been eyeing, and this year was no exception.
After drafting Running Back/Wide Receiver Tony Pollard with the first of their fourth-round draft picks, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys had their sights set on small school Defensive End/Defensive Tackle John Cominsky out of Charleston with their second pick in the fourth. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Falcons traded up a spot ahead of them to draft Cominsky.
This of course isn't the first time the Falcons have done this, which begs the question as to how they knew the Cowboys could have possibly been targeting Cominsky. We can throw a conspiracy theory out there that Atlanta might have been inside source, but that's highly unlikely. More plausible theory is they were paying attention to Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors as well.
It may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to deploy a little more smoke and mirrors when it comes to who they bring in for pre-draft visits in the future. But regardless, there's no denying the Cowboys pre-draft visitors highlight their 2019 rookie class.
Are you surprised the Dallas Cowboys added so many pre-draft visitors to the roster?
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Grades
Another year, another draft come and gone. The difference was that this year the Dallas Cowboys were without a first-round pick thanks to their trade for Amari Cooper with Oakland. Their de facto first-round pick would obviously earn an A+ from how well he meshed with Dak Prescott and gave this Cowboys offense another dimension.
Given how well the Cowboys have done in the first round in recent history -- all but two of their first round picks since 2011 have been in the Pro Bowl, a trend that continued with last year’s pick, Leighton Vander Esch. This season, the Cowboys only had picks from round two and on. So this year was all about finding value and hoping it would fall into their laps.
Obviously time will tell if any of these players work out or not. For the time being, we can grade the picks based on what we do know. Some picks were worth it, while others raised questions, as well as eyebrows.
58 Overall: DT, Trysten Hill
In what has been considered the best defensive line draft in decades, the Cowboys took a bit of a risk with their first “official” pick. Trysten Hill is a first round talent out of UCF, but reports questioning his love for the game had some give him a third round grade.
Dallas has already had an off-season dealing with talented defensive linemen with questions around their passion for the game (i.e. David Irving) and so obviously people didn’t love this pick.
It’s a high risk, high reward move that we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.
90 Overall: G, Connor McGovern
As far as value goes, McGovern was probably the team’s best pick. In my pre-draft rankings, Connor McGovern was my fourth overall interior lineman; a player who you can play anywhere in the interior and start immediately.
However, guard didn’t really seem like a need. This was obviously a “best player available” pick. What this pick has done instead is raise a bunch of questions.
Who’s job could be on the line?
Does this imply the team won’t re-sign La’el Collins?
Is Connor Williams going to play tackle like he did in college?
Is one of them going to get traded?
Is Travis Frederick really ready to go?
So many questions surround this pick, but there’s no questioning the player. Connor McGovern is likely a future starter on the line and Cowboys fans should be excited about that.
128 Overall: RB, Tony Pollard
If you follow me on Twitter, you know my feelings about Tony Pollard already.
Tony Pollard might be my favorite #Cowboys pick. Has experience at both the RB and WR position, plus had 7 career kick return TDs in college. He addresses all 3 needs in 1. #NFLDraft
Returner has been a need for a year now. I never liked the team trading away Ryan Switzer because it created a huge hole on special teams, as well as the receiving core.
The team also needed a backup running back to take the load off Ezekiel Elliott a bit. With Tony Pollard, they get all three positions filled in the form of a player who's 6'0" 210 pounds, ran a 4.52 40 and compiled 25 total touchdowns. Terrific value in the fourth round.
158 Overall: CB, Michael Jackson
This is the type of corner Kris Richard loves; big and tall. At 6'1" 200 pounds, Michael Jackson fits the profile.
His 2017 tape was actually better than his 2018 tape, and all four of his career interceptions came in '17. However, the team is obviously betting on his potential, especially with corner being a serious need.
With the Cowboys' four primary corners coming into contract years the next three seasons, odds are that at least one will be gone. MJ doesn’t fill in day one as a difference maker but, given some time under Kris Richard, he could be a nice player.
165 Overall: DE, Joe Jackson
Take Joe Jackson, new Cowboy, as well as Michael and Darius Jackson, and the team is just two short of a Jackson 5 reunion.
The team has been very busy trying to rebuild the depth at edge and Joe Jackson is icing on an already stacked cake. In an off-season that saw the retirement of David Irving and another suspension for Randy Gregory, the team was able to extend DeMarcus Lawrence and trade for Robert Quinn.
The edge room was already full but you can never have too many.
Joe Jackson is a fun, productive player from The U, who was teammates with the previous pick, Michael Jackson. In his career, he totaled 24 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss all in three seasons. He’s not the fastest edge rusher in the world but has plenty of power to make up for it. With the team only for sure having DeMarcus Lawrence guaranteed beyond 2019, it’s good to have as much talent as possible.
213 Overall: S, Donovan Wilson
The team really needed a safety and it enraged most people that they didn’t pick one earlier. Especially with Taylor Rapp, Juan Thornhill and Amani Hooker all available at different times.
Donovan Wilson is an interesting pick. His career has been a rollercoaster while at Texas A&M, with a highly productive 2015 season, a dip in 2016, a fractured foot in the 2017 opener, and a rebound 2018 season.
Had his career not been derailed by his injury, he’s likely gone way before the sixth round and the Cowboys are obviously betting on his potential. Meets a need, but not a plug-in right away type of pick.
218 Overall: RB, Mike Weber
Tony Pollard is going to get first crack at the backup running back spot. However, given that he’s also the team’s likely return man as well, it makes sense that they’d want to deepen the running back room to give the team a true RB2.
Mike Weber was Ezekiel Elliott’s teammate at Ohio State, but didn’t come close to the impact Elliott had. Only topping 1,000 yards once in college, Weber is likely in competition with Darius Jackson for the backup spot.
He’s not as flashy as Zeke but can pick up the slack when asked to and is a solid receiver out of the backfield. If Weber can’t beat Jackson for the backup spot, then Weber is a likely candidate for the practice squad.
241 Overall: DE, Jalen Jelks
Jalen Jelks falls into a similar boat that both Hurricanes players are in. Like Joe Jackson, he’s a good solid edge piece (fifth round draft grade), but like Michael Jackson, his prior season's tape was better than his final season.
It's interesting that the Cowboys would pick a player who seems to be better suited to play in a 3-4 as a OLB, but has plenty of starter potential. Otherwise he’s a player that’s likely headed to the practice squad that the Cowboys wanted to make sure they get first crack at. Still, a good value in terms of where he was picked.
Dallas Cowboys Overall 2019 Draft Grade: B
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