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Would You: Draft Paxton Lynch In The First Round?

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Cowboys Headlines - Re-hashing Paxton Lynch 2

News broke early last week that the Cowboys brass have had great visits with Paxton Lynch, and that they plan to speak with him again prior to the draft, which is now only a little over a month away. In light of this, we thought it would be a good idea to take another in-depth look at Lynch.

The first thing you see with Lynch is his size. This is a guy who's 6'7", 244lbs and has 10.25" hands. He's a huge specimen. Build-wise, he reminds me of Joe Flacco. Side note, I shook Joe Flacco's hand a few months back and he's got 9.63" hands and they were huge. Lynch's are over half an inch bigger, meaning he's got gigantic hands and should be able to hold on to the ball easier when in the face of pressure.

When I study guys, I don't just look at their tape. You can't. If you do that, you're only a little bit better than your friend who tells you someone's amazing when all they do is watch highlight tapes on YouTube. Not cool. So what else do I do? I watch interviews on the guy. I read up on his background. I do whatever I can to learn where these guys come from. Everyone knows that you can tell where someone's going by looking at where they've been.

After watching some of his interviews, he certainly seems like a good guy. Smiles a lot and says the right things. A lot of scouts and executives don't like hearing prospects name a team they'd like to play for (even the team the prospect names). When Lynch has been asked the same question, he politely side steps it and says he'd like to play for any of the 32. He's a guy who's willing to come in and start for a team on day one, or sit behind a veteran passer and learn for a year or two (cough cough).

He's from an athletic family, which is always a positive. His father played college basketball and his brother plays baseball.

As recently as last week, I had Paxton Lynch rated as my top quarterback in this draft. Honestly, he may still be there. His combination of athleticism and traits make him such an intriguing prospect for a quarterbacks coach to mold. If he could sit behind Romo for a year or two and soak up as much as he can about the position, he could be dangerous.

Paxton Lynch: Positives

This is a guy who knows what improvement means. He's the only one out of the top three quarterbacks this season to have played every game his last three years, AND improve in every major category. Courtesy of sports-reference.com, the table below shows the increase in all categories, something coaches love. Something they love more? Well, it's already been highlighted.

NFL Draft - Re-hashing Paxton Lynch

He's got a cannon of an arm. He's very underrated when you're talking about his athleticism. He has the ability to move within the pocket, and take off to run when the play breaks down. He's got a solid ability to throw on the run, although sometimes the passes can be off-target, and he has the awareness to reset his feet when rolling out to the left when he has time to. Fantastic ability to set his feet in the pocket and deliver a strike with his entire body. I absolutely love his accuracy. His bad throws seem to be more a product of pressure and throwaways. I love his ability to keep his eyes down field throughout the play. Regardless of whether he's in the pocket or rolling out, he seems to always scan the field to make a throw. He's able to hit his receivers in stride and allow them to pick up yards after the catch with ease.

You can see in the play below how the play calls for him to read the right defensive end and right corner. The wide receiver, seeing that the corner is playing deep, is taught to run his post across the face of the defensive back. As soon as he hits his back foot, Lynch sees that the DE has sunken too far into the flat. He shoots the ball into his receiver, anticipating that the route will be run correctly. The crisp throw allows the WR to pick up an additional 5-10 yards on the play. Solid throw.Cowboys Headlines - Re-hashing Paxton Lynch

Here's a great example of his accuracy on the run. One of the things I like most about this play is the zone that he's able to float the ball into. Unlike the first play where he guns the ball into his wide receiver, on this play, Lynch shows the touch he's able to add to his passes.

On a designed roll-out to the right, his first read is the linebackers, and whether they bite on the play action or not. If they do, he knows to keep his eyes downfield on the safeties because he's got his two receivers running parallel post routes. Because of this, he has a good feeling that the outside receiver is going to draw the safeties up the field, and he should have a good chance at a throw underneath to #83. If the linebackers don't bite on the play action, you probably see him dump the ball off to the fullback in the flat, or try to run for a few yards.

My favorite part about the play is the touch he puts in the ball without setting his feet. It's sort of an Aaron Rodgers-like dump pass where he just knows he can fit the ball right over the linebacker's head, and before the safeties.

Cowboys Headlines - Re-hashing Paxton Lynch 3

Paxton Lynch: Negatives

I'd like to see him step up in the pocket more. There are too many plays where he prematurely takes off to run, and rolls out to the right. There are a lot of yards he leaves on the field because he tries to do too much with his legs.

In the play below, he gets nervous when he sees the man coverage. He's too quick in dismissing his outside receiver running up field from the right. If he's able to keep his eyes up and be prepared to throw, since the corner covering the crossing receiver peels off at the end of the run to tackle the quarterback, Lynch may have had the ability to toss the ball to the receiver in the middle of the field.

Cowboys Headlines - Re-hashing Paxton Lynch 4

Here's a still image illustrating my point. He could've led the receiver to the middle of the field. Keep in mind that the receiver is still running to the middle of the field, but the corner has stopped to come back to tackle the quarterback. It's certainly a tight window, but those are the types of plays you're going to have to make on the next level. He does a great job of escaping the collapsing pocket, but he needs to finish it off my making the throw in the face of pressure.

Cowboys Headlines - Re-hashing Paxton Lynch 6

Some other negative observations include the scheme he played in at Memphis. Very rarely did he take a snap under center. In fact, I can't recall a good play he had from any sort of under center formation. A lot of his throws are pre-determined reads or screens. I'd like to see him use his eyes and scan the field more. I think this is where Wentz and Goff have a lead over him.

He's got a little bit of a wind up in his throwing motion, causing him to take a little longer to get rid of the ball. Because of his longer wind up and long limbs, he's going to have to be careful on his drop-backs. Defensive ends and outside linebackers are going to lick their chops if he doesn't step up in the pocket because they'll be able to force fumbles at the top of the drop-back.

Overall, I think Paxton Lynch is a first round quarterback all day long. You draft a guy based on his traits, not his production. Lynch's measurables are off the charts, and he possesses the arm and accuracy that quarterback coaches love.

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Latest #WouldYou Poll/Article is out. Check it out at (https://t.co/Bem1Vhvrzm) and make your selection...

So, in light of recent events, would you draft Paxton Lynch in the first round?



Dallas Cowboys fan since the Drew Bledsoe "era." I love Tony AND Dak. I like to think that I'm the most objective that a fan can get, while still being a diehard, which I truly believe is the 8th wonder of the world. Go Cowboys!!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Evaluating the Need for a Tight End

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Blake Jarwin, Giants

Tight end has become a very intriguing position in Dallas. For the first time in 15 years, the Cowboys went through a season without Jason Witten lining up with the offense in 2018. Instead, Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz took over and didn't contribute much to a struggling offense. They both had a few flashes here and there, but TE production wasn't really special for the Cowboys last season. Now, Witten is back from retirement and he'll work with the younger guys to upgrade the offense.

However, tight end still feels like a team need at this point. Jason Witten will be 37 years old when the season begins. His speed was a problem during the last years of his career and that problem will likely show on the field now that he's back. The Cowboys made a good decision bringing him back, but he's clearly not a long-term answer.

Jason Witten, FOX Sports, and the Future at Tight End for the Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten (James D. Smith / Dallas Cowboys)

It seems like Witten will get the starts, but don't expect Blake Jarwin to have no say on who's the most important TE on the team. Jarwin didn't have the best stats in 2018 but, how could he? There were only three games last season in which he was targeted more than three times. In those games, he had 229 yards, including a three touchdown performance versus the New York Giants (when he was targeted eight times).

With Kellen Moore taking over as the offensive coordinator, tight ends might be more involved on the Cowboys offense than in previous years. If that's the case, the Cowboys will have Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz on the roster. All three of these guys will be able to contribute. Schultz is the one who's still unproven, but he did a decent job as a rookie both as a blocker and as a receiver on the rare occasions a ball was thrown his way.

We talk about drafting a tight end for the future when the Cowboys might see their future in Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz. These two along with Jason Witten are virtual locks to make the roster. The Cowboys would need to carry four tight ends for it to make sense to draft one in the first place.

Fortunately, the Cowboys have done something at pretty much every position of need this offseason, giving them flexibility to take a "best player available" in April. I truly won't be surprised if the front office doesn't prioritize the need for a young TE. If they do, let's hope they get a very good one.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Draft: Evaluating the Need for a Tight End" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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NFL Draft

Is Defensive End a 2nd Round Need for Cowboys?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Randy Gregory

It seemed as if defensive end wouldn't be a concern for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. DeMarcus Lawrence did an amazing job last season keeping up his level of play and making a statement on why he's one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Randy Gregory had a tremendous comeback season with six sacks in only 14 games. It felt like the Cowboys didn't have to worry about the position this offseason. Unfortunately, Randy Gregory received an indefinite suspension by the NFL for violating the league's Policy and and Program for Substance Abuse. The 26 year old defensive end had just been reinstated prior to the season after sitting out most of his career.

Now the Cowboys are in search of a defensive end to play opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence (who by the way, has yet to reach an agreement with the team for a long term deal), who's reached elite status after the last couple of seasons.

Often, the positions that come to mind when discussing the team's current needs are defensive tackle, safety and before the front office signed Randall Cobb, wide receiver. However, I'm convinced defensive end is right up there and I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys draft one in the second round with the 58th overall pick.

Of course, the focus right now seems to be in trading for Miami Dolphins' DE Robert Quinn. I honestly believe that'd be a great move by the Cowboys' front office. Quinn will be 29 years old when the season begins and he still has a ton of gas left in the tank. In the past two seasons he's racked up 15 sacks and four forced fumbles. He'll be a good pass rusher for whoever he plays with once the season begins.

If a trade for Quinn doesn't take place and the team fails to upgrade the position via free agency, defensive end should be considered a top priority in the 2019 NFL Draft. There's bound to be quality prospects when the Cowboys get in the clock for the first time in April.

Right now the defense counts with Dorance Armstrong, Taco Charlton, Tyrone Crawford (who is currently under investigation by the NFL after getting in trouble at a bar) to take care of the position. Add to the mix recently signed free agents Christian Covington and Kerry Hyder, two players who could end up playing in the interior as well. The team definitely needs some additional help. When push comes to shove, the team is deep along the defensive line. What the Cowboys are missing are guys who can be unquestioned starters instead of rotational players.

As all eyes lay on a possible trade for Robert Quinn, keep an eye out for a defensive end's name being called by the commissioner when the Cowboys make the 58th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Tell me what you think about "Is Defensive End a 2nd Round Need for Cowboys?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys Trade Back in this 7-Round Mock Draft

John Williams

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Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

Last week we took a gander at one potential scenario that could come to pass during the 2019 NFL Draft for the Dallas Cowboys. It involved trades, and we explored the idea that trading back is probably the best course of action for the Dallas Cowboys unless there is a player that they love that is sitting there at 58.

With so much depth in this draft at positions where the Dallas Cowboys could use some reinforcements, it makes sense for them to look to add to their cache of draft picks. Sitting with six picks and no first rounder gives them little leeway unless someone wants to trade up into pick 58.

Using Fanspeak.com's On The Clock Premium simulator, I selected Matt Miller's big board, from Bleacher Report, while allowing the computer to use multiple big boards to better simulate the variations that can take place from team to team.

Today, we're going to look at another mock draft scenario that involves two trade downs from the Dallas Cowboys.

58 - TRADE

The New York Jets call Jerry Jones in the Dallas Cowboys war room and offer picks 68 and 93 for the Cowboys pick in the second round.

Sure it’s a 10 pick trade back, but the value they’re offering is too good to pass up. Per the Trade Value Chart, Dallas earns a net of 76 points, which would be the equivalent of pick 109. This draft is deep at defensive line, safety, and wide receiver so with options on the board that I really like, I’m moving back and picking up an extra third rounder in the process.

New York Jets get pick 58.
Dallas Cowboys get picks 68 and 93 (two third round picks).

68 - TRADE

Sensing that Jerry is in the wheeling and dealing mood, the Washington Redskins come calling and offer picks 76 and 96 for the Cowboys pick -- acquired from the New York Jets -- at 68. Again the Cowboys pick up a net value of 76 points here and there are still several players on the board well liked by the team.

Washington Redskins get pick 68.
Dallas Cowboys get picks 76 and 96 (two third round picks).

Through the two trade backs that the Cowboys accepted, the Cowboys now have four 3rd round picks to work with.

76 - Gerald Willis III, DL, Miami

Via Trade with the Washington Redskins

This year's edition of the NFL Draft features a really deep class of defensive lineman. The Dallas Cowboys, though they've shored up their defensive interior with the signings of Christian Covington and Kerry Hyder (who can play on the edge or inside), the Cowboys will still look for long-term answers at the 3-tech position on the defensive line.

Maliek Collins likely pencils in as the starter heading into 2019 at the 3-tech spot, but is only under contract through the 2019 season and has struggled with consistency while battling offseason injuries that have limited his preparation.

Gerald Willis III is a player that profiles as a 3-tech with his athleticism and strength. He had four sacks and 18 tackles for loss for the Miami Hurricanes. He's a raw player that only played one full season at division one, but under the wings of defensive line guru Rod Marinelli, could be the solution to the Cowboys interior pass rush.

Read Kevin Brady's scouting report on Gerald Willis III.

90 - Darnell Savage Jr., S, Maryland

The Dallas Cowboys have yet to truly address the safety position in free agency despite having visits with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. Darnell Savage is a very interesting player that reminds me a lot of Xavier Woods.

Like Woods, Savage is a versatile player who is physical and aggressive in run support and plays coverage very well. If there's something he lacks, it's size standing only 5-10 and weighing in at 198.

He plays the ball well in the air and is an aggressive down hill tackler. He would match well with Woods in that you could keep the offense off-balance with your safety looks. Savage has the speed, athleticism, toughness, and range to be a plug and play safety in the box or as the deep safety for the Dallas Cowboys.

Read my full scouting report on Darnell Savage Jr.

93 - Andy Isabella, WR, UMass

Via Trade with the New York Jets

Though the Dallas Cowboys have brought back Wide Receivers Allen Hurns and Tavon Austin along with signing Randall Cobb, none of those three players has a contract behind 2019. The Cowboys would be wise to continue to look at the NFL Draft to add talent to their wide receiver pool. Andy Isabella has elite production, speed, and athleticism to be an excellent slot receiver in the NFL.

Read Brian Martin's scouting report on Andy Isabella.

96 - Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma

Via Trade with the Washington Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line looks set for 2019 with the expected return of Travis Frederick, a full offseason of strength and conditioning for Connor Williams, the return of Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins, and excellent depth with Joe Looney, Cam Fleming, and Xavier Su’a-Filo.

The problem is that the Cowboys will probably let Collins walk in free agency next offseason and will look to replace him through the draft. Collins will likely demand a big pay-day as a right tackle who will have started three seasons at the position for one of the league’s best running games.

Enter Bobby Evans from the University of Oklahoma who was a member of one of the best offensive lines in college football. The Sooners offensive line provided Quarterback Kyler Murray with tons of time to drop back to pass and gave huge running lanes to running backs Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks.

Evans has good athleticism, strength, and arm length that could allow him to play either side of the offensive line. He would start out as a backup and potential swing tackle, but with development could be your replacement for La'el Collins at right tackle.

128 - Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

If you read this space on a regular basis, you know that I'm all about Rodney Anderson in the fourth round for the Dallas Cowboys. If he's available, the Cowboys have to think long and hard about selecting him.

Yes, he's had some injury issues during his career at OU, but he's a potential bell-cow running back if something were to happen to Ezekiel Elliott.

He's a smooth runner who is able to change direction quickly and has the physicality to run inside. He runs with patience and can make defenders miss while possessing enough speed to break away from the defense.

If the Dallas Cowboys are serious about extending Ezekiel Elliott, and it appears they are, they need to find a guy who can ease some of the burden that Elliott's carried through his first three seasons in the NFL. Elliott's a great back, but even the great ones need to be spelled from time-to-time.

Read Brian Martin's scouting report on Rodney Anderson.

136 - Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M

The Cowboys tight end situation doesn't look nearly as serious today as it did a month ago. Prior to the return of Jason Witten, the Cowboys were looking like a team that would seriously attack the tight end position in the draft. With Witten's return, the Cowboys could look to go into the season as is hoping that Blake Jarwin and/or Dalton Schultz take a step forward in their development, making any snaps from Jason Witten icing on the cake.

But, that's hedging your bets a little. As much of a believer as I am in Blake Jarwin, hope is not a plan. If for some reason he's not the player you thought he'd be, then you need to grab one of the tight ends from this deep group of players.

Jace Sternberger is the guy that I like the best after the third round trio of Noah Fant, TJ Hockenson, and Irv Smith. Sternberger offers a ton of athleticism and is a downfield threat that the Cowboys haven't had in years from the tight end position.

165 - Khalen Saunders, DL, Western Illinois

As I mentioned earlier, though the Dallas Cowboys have addressed the defensive interior, but need to have to take into account that they won't have several of those guys after the 2019 season.

Khalen Saunders could be a nice fit in the 1-tech defensive tackle rotation despite being short relative to the position. His size, strength, and athleticism remind me of Poona Ford from last year's draft who dropped down draft boards because of his height. Ford had a very productive rookie season for the Seattle Seahawks in 2018.

Don't make the same mistake on Saunders.

 

241 - Jordan Brailford, EDGE, Oklahoma State

When you're looking at the seventh round of the draft, you're trying to find those diamonds in the rough. Jordan Brailford from Oklahoma State may just be that guy this season.

Brailford is a player that profiles as a weakside defensive end in a 4-3 or a 3-4 outside linebacker. For Oklahoma State, he had 10 sacks in 2018, though he tailed off toward the end of the season.

All 10 of his sacks came in his first eight games of the season, but he recorded three sack games against Boise State and Kansas. In addition to his 10 sacks, he recorded 17 tackles for loss and 55 total tackles.

He's a plus athlete that could contribute on special teams and provide depth on the edge. Both of those things are worth taking a chance on in the seventh round.

We are now only a little more than a month away from the 2019 NFL Draft and you know the Dallas Cowboys will find some players to add to their roster for this season. They've become one of the better teams in the league at drafting. Not only do they hit on their first rounders (Taco Charlton, TBD), they've found starters and valuable depth pieces throughout the draft.

This is just another scenario that could take place come draft weekend.



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