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2016 Mock Draft: Haynie Picks 1-34

Jess Haynie

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Fantasy Football Blog - Fantasy Football Mock Draft 1.0: What Cowboys Went Where?

I like to wait until the dust settles from free agency before doing mock drafts. Well, it would seem that time has come.

A couple of things you should know before you start reading:


  • Please comment with your thoughts on my picks. If you're a fan of another team I really value your insider perspective and will use it to make my next mocks better.
  • These are predictions of what teams WILL do and not necessarily what they SHOULD.
  • I don't get into predicting trades. It's too much of a crapshoot to spend mental energy on.

1. Titans

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

It's not often that a pick is this easy when it doesn't involve a quarterback, but Tennessee and Tunsil are a virtual lock.

2. Browns

 Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.

The Browns signed RG3 but are still likely to bring in a rookie for competition and their long-term prospects. Wentz has more upside than Jared Goff.
The san diego chargers helmet logo

3. Chargers

Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida St.

Ramsey is the consensus as the best overall defensive player in the draft and fills a big need for San Diego.

4. Cowboys

Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

The Jason Garrett/Stephen Jones era is all about acquiring the best talent over filling needs. Despite their issues at DE, Dallas takes Jack with the long term in view.

5. Jaguars

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.

Jacksonville pairs Bosa with last year's pick, Dante Fowler, for a hopefully dynamic duo.

6. Ravens

DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon

Buckner has the potential to be a freak as a 3-4 DE, which Baltimore just so happens to play.

7. 49ers

Jared Goff, QB, California

Colin Kaepernick is still there but the situation seems too toxic to last. The Niners will be happy to land Goff and move on.

8. Eagles

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.

To the chagrin of Cowboys fans everywhere, Philly takes the elusive Elliott to help them chase that elusive Super Bowl win.

9. Bucs

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

Tampa's front office seems to like numbers and Ogbah has them where it counts; 22.5 sacks the last two years and a 4.63 40-yard dash.

10. Giants

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

New York has an older quarterback to protect and an average group of running backs to work with. They follow the Cowboys' example and take their third offensive lineman in four years.

11. Bears

Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

Chicago will be thrilled to have Hargreaves slide to them at this pick. He's better than many people think and fills their biggest need.

12. Saints

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

New Orleans' receivers have plenty of speed already but no size, which makes Treadwell a good counterbalance.

13. Dolphins

Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

Miami replaces Olivier Vernon with a kid who will probably be far more productive than Vernon ever was.

14. Raiders

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

Liking bigger and more physical corners, Oakland takes Apple and tries to teach him how to avoid penalties.

15. Rams

Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

I'm not sold on Paxton Lynch and I don't think Jeff Fisher will be, either. Ragland fills the void left by James Laurinaitis' departure.

16. Lions

A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

Having lost their top two defensive tackles to free agency over the last few years, Detroit gets some big help with Robinson.

17. Falcons

Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

Needing help all over their defense, Atlanta takes the linebacker who who had the fastest 40 at the combine.

18. Colts

Jack Conklin, OL, Michigan St.

After a miserable 2015 season, Indy gets back to basics and builds around Andrew Luck in the most fundamental way possible.

19. Bills

Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

The Ryan boys are desperate and don't mind taking chances on suspect characters. Nkemdiche is this year's Randy Gregory but doesn't have to wait as long to hear his name.

20. Jets

Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia

They will be ecstatic in New York to land Floyd this far down the board. Some have him going in the #8-12 range.

21. Washington

Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

Aaron Donald has helped lift the stigma a little on smallish defensive tackles, helping a guy like Rankins get taken this high.

22. Texans

Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

After putting up a reported 4.38 40-yard time at his pro day, the 6'3" Thomas zooms past the other receivers on the board.

23. Vikings

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Minnesota seems sure to take a receiver and will have good ones to pick from. Doctson has the best upside of the remaining options.

24. Bengals

Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

The knock on Dodd is that he benefited from playing opposite Shaq Lawson in college. Teaming him up with Carlos Dunlap should alleviate that concern.

25. Steelers

William Jackson, CB, Houston

Cornerback is clearly their biggest need and Jackson provides good value for Pittsburgh at this spot.

26. Seahawks

Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

Jason Spriggs may have more upside but Seattle needs someone ready to help right away. Decker is a strong run blocker and that's the key to Seattle's offense.

27. Packers

Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

They love ballhawks in Green Bay and Fuller is that. He could be a steal this far down the board coming off an injury year.

28. Chiefs

 Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

This is a little high for Alexander for KC needs a corner badly and would be waiting too long for their next pick.

29. Cardinals

Keanu Neal, S, Florida

There's a steep drop off from Neal to the next best safety, so Arizona covers a big need here.

30. Panthers

Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

Good upside for the 30th pick. Michael Oher was their worst offensive lineman last year and an upgrade is needed.

31. Broncos

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Until Denver makes some other move at quarterback this offseason you have to go with Lynch.

32. Browns

Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

Combining Fuller's speed with the hopeful return of Josh Gordon could do wonders for their offense.

33. Titans

Noah Spence, DE, Eastern KY

After helping their own QB in the first round, Tennessee looks to attack opposing QBs with their next pick.

34. Cowboys

Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State

Nassib's leadership and work ethic are things that tickle Jason Garrett's fancy. Leading the nation in sacks last year doesn't hurt, either. Nassib's size gives him inside-outside flexibility, which Dallas also likes.

 

And there you have it!  I'll be looking at the Cowboys picks in more detail over the next few days, going in depth as to why I made the decisions that I did. Be on the lookout for those articles.


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Land CB in Matt Miller’s way-too-early 2020 NFL Mock Draft

Brian Martin

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Matt Miller's 2020 Mock Draft Predicts Cowboys Strengthen Their Secondary

What better way to kick off the 2019 NFL regular-season and the start of college football then a way-too-early 2020 mock draft? Well, you're in luck. Matt Miller, one of my favorite draft analysts, just released his latest 2020 NFL Mock Draft for Bleacherreport.com and you may be surprised as to who he selected for the Dallas Cowboys.

One of the reasons I enjoy Matt Miller's work above many other so-called "draft analysts" is because he has his ear to the ground and has a pretty good connection with scouts around the league. That kind of information is pretty invaluable, but he also has a solid understanding of team "needs". Add all of that up and you get a really solid guesstimate of who could be on a certain teams radar, in this case the Dallas Cowboys.

Let's take a look at who Matt Miller predicted the Dallas Cowboys could draft in the 2020 NFL Draft with their first-round selection. Miller set this particular mock draft according to current Super Bowl odds from Caesar's Palace.

25. Dallas Cowboys

Bryce Hall

Virginia Cavaliers CB Bryce Hall

The Pick: CB Bryce Hall, Virginia

Matt Miller predicting the Dallas Cowboys select Cornerback Bryce Hall with there first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft definitely seems like a plausible possibility. He knows the Cowboys can't afford to pay everyone and he even said as much. With Byron Jones and Anthony Brown entering a contract year in 2019 and with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis having expiring contracts after 2020, Dallas' secondary could definitely need addressing.


The Cowboys know this as well which is why they probably attempted to add some developmental depth to the CB position through the 2019 NFL Draft when they took Mike Jackson in the fifth-round. Jackson has the attributes they look for in their corners, but in no way has he looked like he'd be ready for a starting role next season. That makes Miller's Bryce Hall selection a definite possibility.

According to Miller's 2020 mock draft Bryce Hall is the fourth secondary player to come off the board. There were three cornerbacks selected ahead of him and one safety. He does fit the mold Kris Richard prefers in his CBs (6'1", 200) and also has the physical playing style in press coverage Richard likes as well. All in all, this is a very solid prediction for the Dallas Cowboys.

Whether or not the Dallas Cowboys would choose to select a CB this early is unknown at this point. But, it certainly seems like a high possibility considering all the corners with expiring contracts in a year or two. I think the Cowboys could look into taking a tight end or a safety with their first-round pick as well, but again it's way too early to have any kind of clue as to how their draft board will look like when the 2020 NFL Draft rolls around.

I don't know about you, but I'll be keeping a closer eye on Bryce Hall this season just in case Matt Miller is correct. I'd like to get a head start to see just how well he would fit, or not, with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you like the Bryce Hall selection for the Dallas Cowboys?


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2020 RB Options for the Cowboys if Things Turn Ugly With Ezekiel Elliott

Brian Martin

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2020 RB Options for Cowboys if Things Turn Ugly With Ezekiel Elliott

The Dallas Cowboys could have a Le'Veon Bell-type situation on their hands in regards to Ezekiel Elliott. It's been reported Zeke is contemplating a holdout until his financial demands are met by way of a contract extension. This could put the Cowboys between a rock and a hard place.

Ezekiel Elliott is technically still under contract for two more seasons because of the fifth-year option he carries as a former first-round draft pick. Threatening to hold out seems a little premature, but Zeke has the Cowboys by the short hairs right now, meaning the leverage is on his side.

This is a situation that could, unfortunately, turn ugly, and quickly.

Check out Ep. 6 of Cowboys Weekly - Segment 1 for more discussion from Inside The Star on Ezekiel Elliott's Hold-Out situation:

The Cowboys have several other mouths to feed and Zeke may not be at the top the list considering his continued immaturity issues off the field. His on-field production is undeniable, but so are the red flags that keep popping up. It may be time for Dallas to look for his successor and fortunately, the 2020 running back draft class is a pretty good place to start.

Let's take a look…

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Jonathan Taylor

Wisconsin Badgers RB Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor (5'11", 219) would probably be the ideal candidate to replace Ezekiel Elliott for the Dallas Cowboys. He is one of the more productive collegiate running backs expected to enter the 2020 NFL Draft and has the intangibles that are eerily similar to Zeke as far as size, speed, and power are concerned. Unfortunately, that likely makes him a top 10 selection, putting him out of reach of the Cowboys.

Taylor doesn't come without his warts though. As a true Junior, he's seen a lot of action in his three years as the starting RB for the Badgers. That wear-and-tear is a cause for concern because it could lead to durability issues once in the NFL. He also has struggled with his ball security. He's put the ball on the ground 12 times in the last two seasons, which will need to be cleaned up at the next level. But, there's no denying his talent.

D'Andre Swift, Georgia

D'Andre Swift

Georgia Bulldogs RB D'Andre Swift

D'Andre Swift (5'9", 215) is one of my favorite RB options in the 2020 draft class to replace Ezekiel Elliott if things turn ugly with the Dallas Cowboys. He doesn't have the same kind of production as Jonathan Taylor and is still somewhat under the radar because he's been stuck in a committee with the Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Elijah Holyfield the last two years. But mark my words, he will be the next great RB to enter the NFL out of Georgia. Swift could be as ideal of a candidate to replace Zeke as there is.

Dallas likes an inside runner with zone vision as well as someone who can be a threat in the passing game, and D'Andre fits the bill. Despite being a little smaller in size than Zeke, he still possesses the power to run inside. Then throw in his receiving ability, 32 catches for 297 yards and three touchdowns last season, and you have someone who is more than capable of replacing #21's offensive production. He's projected to be a late first-round pick, which could put him within striking distance of the Cowboys.


J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

J.K. Dobbins

Ohio State Buckeyes RB J.K. Dobbins

J.K. Dobbins (5'10", 214) could be someone who is already on the Dallas Cowboys' radar as a potential Ezekiel Elliott replacement. They seem to have a liking for Ohio State running backs (Zeke, Rod Smith, Mike Weber) and could turn to another Buckeye to carry the rock. Dobbins, an all-purpose back and native Texan (Houston, TX) checks all of the boxes the Cowboys typically look for in their featured back.

Dobbins has the size, speed, and vision to be a featured back in the NFL. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards his last two seasons while splitting time with Mike Weber and has averaged about 200 receiving yards during that time span as well. He's not the most physical back, but he keeps moving his feet upon contact. He also needs to improve in pass protection in order to become a true three-down RB in the NFL. But his vision, shorter area quickness, elusiveness, and patience as a runner are all top-notch.

Travis Etienne, Clemson

Travis Etienna

Clemson Tigers RB Travis Etienna

The breakout season of Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, unfortunately, overshadowed the Heisman-worthy year Travis Etienna (5'10", 200) had in 2018. In his first year as a starter, he rushed for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns, all the while averaging an impressive 8.1 yards per carry. If he can follow that up in 2019 he could become the most coveted back in the 2020 draft class and become a really intriguing option for the Dallas Cowboys.

Etienne will probably need to add a little bit more "good weight" and muscle to his frame if he wants to be considered a featured back in the NFL. If he can accomplish that and not lose any of his elusiveness or speed he should climb up draft boards. If not, he may not be of much interest to the Cowboys because they already have a similar RB in Tony Pollard. He does possess plug-and-play talent though, making him a potential Ezekiel Elliott replacement.

Najee Harris, Alabama

Najee Harris

Alabama Crimson Tide RB Najee Harris

Najee Harris (6'2", 230) is yet another big, physical running back who has had to remain patient and wait his turn at Alabama, but 2019 could be his breakout season. With Bo Scarbrough, Josh Jacobs, and Damien Harris ahead of him on the depth chart the last two years, Najee saw limited playing time. But, when he did receive the opportunity to showcase his skill set he didn't disappoint. His physical talent could make him a top-5 running back come draft time.

Despite his limited playing time last the two seasons, he averaged over 6 yards a carry. He rushed for a career-high 783 yards and four touchdowns on just 117 carries in 2018 and should easily surpass those totals this season. In doing so he should become one of the more sought after RBs in the 2020 draft class. With the Cowboys, as Zeke's potential replacement, his physicality would pair nicely with Tony Pollard's slashing style. A Harris/Pollard duo could be just as productive as the Cowboys running game has been in the past.

Honorable Mention

The above five running backs are all potential Ezekiel Elliott replacements who I really like and will likely receive the most national attention due to the programs in which they play. But, they are only a few in what looks like a really strong 2020 RB draft class. Here a few honorable mentions you should also keep a close eye on as well.

  • Cam Akers, Florida State
  • Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
  • Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
  • Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
  • Kylin Hill, Mississippi State

I believe any of these running backs mentioned above at any point in the article could be in play for the Dallas Cowboys if they choose to play hardball with Ezekiel Elliott over his want for a contract extension. The 2020 running back draft class has a plethora of potential starters and this could be in the back of the Cowboys mind when they're determining where they want to spend their money. Paying top dollar for an RB might not fit in their budget, even for one as talented as Zeke.

Do you like any of these potential RBs as replacements for Ezekiel Elliott?


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Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft: 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.


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