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NFL Draft

Draft Cowboys: Full First Round Mock



Draft Draft Blog - Draft Cowboys: Full First Round Mock

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]

Patrick Conn is the founder and creator of Valley Ranch Outsiders. His work has been seen on, FanSided, Yahoo and Blue Star Times. He is an avid Cowboys fan and NFL Draft analyst. He currently hosts a podcast about the Dallas Cowboys.

  • Cloice

    Casey Hampton was let go last off-season. Yes the Steelers need a NT, but you obviously have no idea WTF you are talking about by the Casey Hampton reference.

    • Patrick Conn

      I was thinking of a different player and I have updated the mock.

NFL Draft

Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts, a Pass Catching Theme Persists

John Williams



Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts a Theme Persists

The Dallas Cowboys haven't played the 2018 NFL season yet, but that shouldn't stop us from looking ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft and seeing what players the team will have their eye on this fall.

With the NFL season fast approaching, that means the college football season is as well, and as we look through these mocks, perhaps you get an idea of whom to watch with a Cowboys perspective this fall.

I scoured the internet looking for the best and brightest minds and their "way too early 2019 mocks." As I perused the mocks, one thing was clear. Many of the national writers see the Dallas Cowboys going with an offensive pass catcher in the 2019 NFL Draft. Namely a TE.

TE Noah Fant, Iowa

Noah Fant, from the University of Iowa, will be a junior in his 2019 season and as a sophomore caught 30 passes for 494 yards (16.5 yards per reception) and 11 touchdowns. The receptions and yardage may not look all that impressive, but if we think about Iowa's offense in the Big 10, we can understand that he's not going to get many opportunities to catch the ball when the team is running it as often as they do.

In fact, the Hawkeyes ran the ball 10 more times per game than they threw it and their quarterback only completed - on average - 15 passes a game.

Fant accounted for 21% of the receiving yards on the season and 42% of the passing touchdowns. He was only 36 yards away from leading the team in receiving despite catching 21 fewer passes than leader Nick Easley. No other pass catcher for Iowa had more than four receiving touchdowns.

If there's something not to like at the moment about Fant, it's his size.

At the moment, College Football Reference has him listed at 232 pounds. There are running backs that weigh more than Fant does and he'll probably need to add about 10-20 pounds in the NFL to be an effective in-line blocker.

Mocked to the Dallas Cowboys by Dane Brugler of The Draft Show on In a mock draft he did for Sports Day DFW and the Dallas Morning News, he had this to say.

"It is now the post-Witten era in Dallas and unless a tight end on the roster emerges this season, the position could be high on the wish list next offseason. His athleticism makes Fant an appealing up-and-coming prospect."

Dane Brugler - Sports Day DFW, Dallas Morning News

Eric Galko of The Sporting News selected the Iowa tight end to the Cowboys as well, seeing him as a special prospect that has the chance to fill the shoes of Jason Witten.

Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington also had Noah Fant to the Cowboys, thinking they are in need of a Jason Witten replacement.

DE Austin Bryant, Clemson

Depending on what Dallas can get out of Right Defensive Ends Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong, and Charles Tapper, it could have the Cowboys taking a defensive end in the first round for the second time in three years.

Will Brinson's mock doesn't offer much analysis on Bryant, mostly saying that Clemson is going to be good. But here's what's Brett Clancy, who covers the 49ers, had to say about Bryant:

"Clemson's Austin Bryant is the 4th EDGE off the board in this mock and 2nd from his school, but he's still well worth a mid-round pick. Bryant broke out with 8.5 sacks as a junior last year and many thought he'd go pro. I like Bryant's move to stay in school and refine his game, specifically growing a repertoire of pass rush moves to complement his strong edge-setting ability."

Brett Clancy -

Bryant was amazingly disruptive for the Clemson Tigers as a junior, racking up 50 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks. At 6-5 265, he could come in and play right defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys on day one.

DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama

We know that the Dallas Cowboys have an affinity for Power 5 prospects and Jason Garrett goes back with Nick Saban.

Despite that relationship, it hasn't led to many Alabama players being selected by the Dallas Cowboys. Perhaps, that should tell us something.

One other factor that could be in play with Davis is dependent upon who the defensive coordinator is in 2019. We all know that Rod Marinelli doesn't place premium draft value on defensive tackles, but prefers to find diamonds in the rough to develop.

If Kris Richard takes over as the defensive coordinator in 2019, the story could be a bit different. Seattle, with Richard at the defensive helm, selected defensive tackles in the second round of the 2016 and 2017 NFL Drafts.

If the Dallas Cowboys are going to spend a first on a defensive tackle, this is the guy to do it on.

He was highly productive as a sophomore for the Crimson Tide, racking up 69 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also had one interception that was returned for 19 yards. At 6-7 306 pounds, he has the size and frame to be an immediate impact player on the Dallas Cowboys interior.

If the Dallas Cowboys choose not to resign David Irving in the 2018 offseason and Maliek Collins doesn't take a step forward, then Davis becomes a real possibility.

Here's what Draftek's Cowboys analyst had to say about Raekwon Davis.

"Alabama's Raekwon Davis has played both DT and DE in the Crimson Tide's 3-man line. He can maintain his gaps against the run when needed, but his primary skill set is using his long arms and strong lower body to use a variety of pass rush moves to win with power and speed. 

"One red flag on Davis happened 8/27/17: he was struck in the leg by a stray bullet during the wee hours of Sunday morning at a Tuscaloosa bar (Bar 17) where several shootings have occurred over the past few years. Despite HC Jason Garrett's affinity for Nick Saban coached players, this incident might remove him from the Dallas board."

Long Ball -

Interestingly, Draftek did a second round in this mock and they sent Boston College Safety Lukas Denis to the Dallas Cowboys.

S Jaquan Johnson, Miami

Speaking of safeties, Dan Kadar over at SBNation sent one to the Dallas Cowboys in the form of Jaquan Johnson.

Johnson, from the University of Miami, was very productive in his junior season for the Hurricanes, racking up 96 total tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack and four interceptions. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.

Here are Kadar's thoughts on the second team All-ACC player:

"There was a lot of talk during the draft that the Cowboys were in talks to trade for Earl Thomas. If they want to address safety next draft, Johnson was a second-team all-conference player who some thought would go pro."

Dan Kadar - SB Nation

Obviously, this pick will depend on what happens with Earl Thomas over the next nine months and the development of Xavier Woods, but Johnson will be a name to watch for teams that need a safety.

Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts a Theme Persists 2

Miami Hurricanes WR Ahmmon Richards

WR Ahmmon Richards, Miami

Another Hurricane to have on your NFL Draft radars is Wide Receiver Ahmmon Richard, who is going into his junior season at Miami.

The Dallas Cowboys have begun the process of overhauling their wide receiver corp with the departures of Dez Bryant and Brice Butler in the 2018 offseason. In 2019, it's likely that Terrance Williams (contract) and Cole Beasley (age) could be next to go.

That would leave them with Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Deonte Thompson, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson as their WR depth chart. It's certainly a solid group, but adding a talent like Richards could help.

The Draft Wire's Luke Easterling believes, "Richards would be another great addition with impressive size and speed."

In two seasons at Miami, Richards has averaged 18.8 yards per reception, and 68.65 yards per game. He's got deep-threat ability which would combine well with Gallup and Hurns.

WR Collin Johnson, Texas

If Richards doesn't do it for you, then lets head a couple of hours south of Dallas to the University of Texas and Wide Receiver Collin Johnson.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has the Dallas Cowboys going with the junior wide receiver and had this to say:

"The Dallas Cowboys made interesting moves at wide receiver in the 2018 draft—trading Ryan Switzer to Oakland, acquiring Tavon Austin from Los Angeles, not selecting a receiver early—and will head into the upcoming season with a need for a playmaker down the field. Texas' Collin Johnson at 6'6" can be the downfield weapon and red-zone nightmare the Cowboys so badly want.

"Johnson does need to improve upon his production from the last two seasons and prove to scouts he can run well enough to separate from NFL defenders, but his size and hands are already getting buzzed about as teams prepare for the upcoming college season."

Matt Miller - Bleacher Report

I'll agree with Miller that Johnson will need to increase upon his production. Some believe that the quarterback limitations in Austin have been a factor, but at the moment, I'm leery of taking a wide receiver from the Big 12 that doesn't have excellent production in the first round of the draft.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

It's obvious from these mock drafts that analysts see the Dallas Cowboys continuing to invest in pass catchers for their offense and that is a reasonable thought.

Obviously, a lot will change between now and next April when the Dallas Cowboys go on the clock, but this gives us a bit of insight on who to watch in this upcoming college football season.

What names will you be watching in college football this season?

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NFL Draft

Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?

Sean Martin



Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?

Last night, it was reported that Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Marquez White has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The incident comes from a traffic confrontation that took place back in October, where White -- according to his camp -- was justified in drawing his weapon for self-defense.

A promising young player that stuck on the Cowboys practice squad in his rookie season, the sixth round pick doesn't need this case hanging over his head as training camp approaches. When considering the timing up against this week's supplemental draft, and the rare crop of defensive back talent available in it, White could soon be fighting for relevance on the Cowboys roster.

Becoming complacent in building one of the best young secondaries in the league won't be an issue for the Cowboys under new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard. The Cowboys were relying on White to be a depth option behind projected starters Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis.

White's spot on the depth chart may very well hold up, but by the end of the week he could also have added competition in Adonis Alexander or Sam Beal.

Respectively, the former Virginia Tech and Western Michigan cornerbacks are two of the most talented supplemental prospects to enter the draft in years -- both likely to be the first players drafted since 2015.

Alexander and Beal are also joined by Mississippi State Safety Brandon Bryant as another backup option for Dallas.

Supplemental Draft: CB Adonis Alexander A Depth Option for Cowboys? 1

A lengthy cornerback with the toughness to play on the boundary, Alexander is a similar player to White, and one that Richard should love for his physical traits. Whether or not this natural skill outweighs some maturity issues that saw Alexander fall from freshman starter to suspended at VT will determine if the Cowboys feel comfortable sending away a 2019 draft pick for his services.

Where Alexander's career leaves his arrow trending downward on the eve of the supplemental draft, Beal is a rising prospect that some are calling the best to ever enter this draft.

An all-conference cornerback as a Junior out of Western Michigan, Beal improved with each passing college season, determined to finish out his degree along the way. However, once Beal's eligibility for his Senior season was called into question, the feisty 6'1" CB decided to turn towards the NFL.

Beal's professional football faith is now in the hands of any team that's done their homework on him. Projected to be taken as early as the third round, teams impressed by Beal's tape could be giving away a premium pick in next year's draft to add him just before training camp.

Should this team be the Cowboys, Beal's presence would put more than just White on notice. The Cowboys are also expecting corners like Duke Thomas and Kam Kelly to fight for roster spots. In a perfect world, say the one the Cowboys were living in yesterday before this White news broke, Thomas or Kelly could replace White on the practice squad as the Florida State product took another jump in Oxnard.

Cowboys CB Marquez White Could Emerge in 2018

Dallas Cowboys CB Marquez White

As I've written before though, teams must be relentless in their search for talent. The Cowboys have drafted well, but passed on big name free agents in recent years. The result is a young roster full of potential and ready to compete.

If either Adonis Alexander, Sam Beal, or even Brandon Bryant help them do so this year, we could be right here talking about a new Cowboys rookie in the middle of July. Marquez White would be happy to see this talk overshadow his legal situation for the moment.

This won't be the case when he's competing against another player that will likely cost the Cowboys more than the sixth round pick they invested in him two years ago.

Tell us what you think about "Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

Brian Martin



Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

You may not be aware or maybe you've simply forgotten, but the Dallas Cowboys have struggled drafting players in the 2nd-round who can come in and contribute. Typically players drafted this highly are not only immediate contributors as a rookie, but are cornerstone players for years to come. That hasn't been the case for the Cowboys.

I don't know where you stand, but I was beginning to think the Dallas Cowboys were cursed with their 2nd-round draft picks. I know this was an area where they would gamble on players for some reason or another, but unfortunately it never really paid off. Hopefully, things are changing for the better.

Let's take a look back at past drafts to see what I'm talking about.

Past 2nd-Round Draft Picks Dating Back to 2006:

2018 Connor Williams
2017 Chidobe Awuzie
2016 Jaylon Smith
2015 Randy Gregory
2014 DeMarcus Lawrence
2013 Gavin Escobar
2012 (no selection) used to trade for Morris Claiborne
2011 Bruce Carter
2010 Sean Lee
2009 (no selection) traded out of 2nd-round
2008 Martellus Bennett
2007 (no selection) used to trade back into 1st for Anthony Spencer
2006 Anthony Fasano

You may be wondering why I decided to start all the way back in 2006. Well, I believe that's when the 2nd-round draft picks curse started for the Dallas Cowboys.

Anthony Fasano ended up having a solid career in the NFL, but he never lived up to his draft status as a former 2nd-round draft pick. The same can be said for Martellus Bennett, Gavin Escobar, and Bruce Carter. Shed a tear for them if you want, but I'd put them in the "bust" category.

Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The sad truth is, Sean Lee is the only 2nd-round draft pick on this list to ever see a second contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Although, I guess you can include DeMarcus Lawrence since he will be playing under the franchise tag in 2018. But, that's still not a very good hit percentage in the 2nd-round for more than a decade. Luckily, it looks as if things are changing.

DeMarcus Lawrence might end up being another "hit" for the Cowboys. It may have taken him four years to reach his potential, but there's no denying how dominant he was last season. If he can maintain that dominance this season, he could be looking at a big payday from the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys took a risk on the next two players they drafted after D-Law. They knew Randy Gregory had his off the field issues, but were willing to take a chance on his talent in the 2nd-round. That has yet to pay off, but Gregory has a chance to rebound now that it looks as if he has his life back in order.

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys took another risk in the following draft when they drafted Jaylon Smith. No one knew if he would ever be able to play again after the devastating knee injury he sustained in his final collegiate game, but it's looking as if he could make a full recovery and return to his pre-injury form. Year 3 will be big for him, but he could end up being an absolute steal.

Fortunately, the Cowboys 2017 and 2018 2nd-round draft picks (Chidobe Awuzie and Connor Williams) look to be cornerstone players for years to come. That's what you're looking for in players drafted this highly.

I say all of this because it's really looking like the Dallas Cowboys have finally broken their 2nd-round curse. Maybe it's a change in draft philosophy or maybe it's because Will McClay's voice carries more weight in the draft room, but it's definitely good news for the future of the franchise. Hopefully it continues.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys 2nd-round curse has ended?

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