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NFL Draft

Haynie 2017 Mock Draft: Complete First Round

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Blog - Top Rated Defensive Players - Pre Combine

The big night is almost upon us!  As such, I am long overdue for getting out my first mock draft of 2017.

After the narrow scope of the fourth-overall pick last year, it’s been harder to sink my teeth into this year’s draft and the 28th pick. So many variables, both in this draft class and in the Cowboys’ needs, have made projection difficult.

Nevertheless, I did my best to come up with a draft that I think closely resembles what you’ll see on Thursday night.  Here are my standard disclaimers:

  • 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 mock 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.
R1/1 – CLE: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

With this draft class being unfriendly for QB-needy teams, Cleveland takes one of the most exciting defensive line prospects in the last decade. They will hope for a QB to fall to them #12.

R1/2 – SF: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford

Switching to a 4-3 defense this year, 49ers take Thomas for immediate talent infusion and insurance in case other guys struggle with the transition.

R1/3 – CHI: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Malik Hooker may have more upside but also has risks. The Bears take the surer thing in Adams, who will bring immediate improvement and leadership.

The jacksonville jaguars helmet logo
R1/4 – JAC: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory aren’t getting it done as a tandem. With QB Blake Bortles on the hot seat, the Jaguars give him some help with Fournette’s potentially elite talent.

R1/5 – TEN: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St.

Things align perfectly for the Titans to fill their biggest need with the best CB prospect in the class.

R1/6 – NYJ: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio St.

Hooker’s upside is right there with the best talents in the class, making it impossible for the Jets to pass on him. They need upgrades in the secondary.

R1/7 – LAC: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

Allen can be a stalwart as a 3-4 DE for the next decade. Needs to add power but that’s what NFL strength coaches are for.

R1/8 – CAR: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

After Garrett and Thomas, Taco is probably most ready to come in and help a 4-3 defense right out of the gates. Carolina needs immediate talent infusion if they want to get back to contender status.

R1/9 – CIN: Haason Reddick, DE/LB, Temple

The Bengals have need at both DE and LB and Reddick’s versatility serves both. Comparable to Khalil Mack, he will bring immediate help to their pass rush.

R1/10 – BUF: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Howard gives Tyrod Taylor a new weapon as he fights to keep the starting QB job. If he fails, Howard becomes some new young QB’s best friend.

R1/11 – NO: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

I’ve been thinking for a while they would take Drew Brees’ understudy at their #32 pick. If that’s the plan and then Trubisky is available here, how can they say no?

R1/12 – CLE: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

I think the Browns will give Cody Kessler a shot and wait for a better QB class to add talent if needed. They add another significant defensive talent here with Foster.

R1/13 – ARI: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

Mahomes’ college scheme makes him an ideal fit for Bruce Arians’ offense. Arizona starts preparing in what is likely Carson Palmer’s last year.

R1/14 – PHI: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida St.

Cook isn’t a power runner but that’s normal for the Eagles’ offense. He is a great fit for them, so long as they trust his character.

R1/15 – IND: Takkarist McKinley, DE/OLB, UCLA

McKinley may be best suited to convert to a 3-4 OLB of the available pass rushers, which makes him ideal for Indy.

R1/16 – BAL: Corey Davis, WR, W. Michigan

It’s been five years since the Ravens’ Super Bowl win and Flacco hasn’t been given much offensive help since. Davis could form a championship duo with Breshad Perriman.

R1/17 – WAS: Christian McCaffrey, RB/WR, Stanford

Matt Jones was solid but did not break out last year as many hoped. McCaffrey solidifies the backfield and gives them an option at WR also, where Washington is also thin.

R1/18 – TEN: John Ross, WR, Washington

With Marcus Mariota’s ability to move around and extend plays, Ross’ speed could make them a dangerous pair in the wide-open AFC South.

R1/19 – TB: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Noah Spence was a steal last year but the rest of the Bucs’ pass rushers are old men. Barnett gives them one of them best young DE combos in the game.

R1/20 – DEN: David Njoku, TE, Miami

The Broncos help their young quarterback, whoever it turns out to be, with the draft’s other exceptional TE prospect.

R1/21 – DET: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Matthew Stafford needs another weapon and Williams falling to this spot is a major gift. He’s not Megatron, but Mike could be great with Stafford as his QB.

R1/22 – MIA: Forrest Lamp, OL, W. Kentucky

Able to play any OL position, Lamp can fill one of the Dolphins’ many needs up front as they look to get back to the playoffs.

R1/23 – NYG: Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama

The Giants add Robinson, hopefully keeping Eli’s “game worn” jerseys from getting too dirty.

R1/24 – OAK: Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan St.

McDowell’s raw talent keeps him in the first round despite the concerns about scheme fit and locker room chemistry.

R1/25 – HOU: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

The pick is late enough that Watson doesn’t have to start Week One to justify it, which is ideal for the Texans as they let Deshaun compete with Tom Savage.

R1/26 – SEA: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida

He should become a star as a 4-3 tackle, which is what the Seahawks need as they rebuild their front lines.

R1/27 – KC: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

The pick would’ve been Sidney Jones if not for his recent Achilles injury. The Chiefs are looking to compete and Humphrey should be ready to contribute now.

R1/28 – DAL: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

Dallas gets the edge rusher they desperately need. If Harris is gone, Dallas might go cornerback here as the next tier of pass rushers isn’t as enticing.

R1/29 – GB: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

A perfect replacement for Sam Shields, White should flourish in the Packers’ man-heavy scheme.

R1/30 – PIT: Jabril Peppers, LB/S, Michigan

The last great Pittsburgh safety, the one with the big hair, was only 5’10”. Pittsburgh will move Peppers around and let him make plays.

R1/31 – ATL: Garrett Bolles, OL, Utah

The reigning NFC Champions look to keep their infrastructure solid with the conservative, but often profitable, o-line pick.

R1/32 – NO: Budda Baker, S, Washington

The Saints badly need a safety and Baker is the consensus as the #3 prospect after Adams and Hooker.

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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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3 Comments
  • http://alpalfantasy.wordpress.com alpalfantasy

    I agree with a lot of your early picks, but don’t think McCaffrey, Williams, or Barnett will drop that far. Here is mine: https://alpalfantasy.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/nfl-mock-draft-2-0/

  • BigD

    I worry about Smiths athleticism and the fact he gets dominated in the run game. Seems like Watt, Bowser, or a CB (King) would make more sense IMO.

    • Jess Haynie

      Did you mean Harris?

NFL Draft

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

Sean Martin

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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!

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NFL Draft

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

Brian Martin

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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?

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NFL Draft

The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition
James D. Smith / Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys football team has a lot of needs on both sides of the ball. Sure, that’s pretty sad to say as a die-hard Cowboys fan, but it should make for a very interesting offseason. This front office needs to find a way to add talent in the draft, and probably in free agency as well, all while finding ways to keep Anthony Hitchens, DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving, and extending Zack Martin.

Maybe they’re not able to achieve everything, but as long as they don’t lose all of these guys, they should be fine. We may even see a surprising release or trade. It sure would be interesting to see this team release Dez Bryant, for example.

Last year, Dallas lost Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr and Ronald Leary… among others. But what do these four guys have in common? They all resulted in compensatory picks for the Dallas Cowboys’ 2018 NFL Draft.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Including the expected Compensatory Picks that the Cowboys will receive for their Free Agents that signed with other teams in 2017, the Cowboys should have the following picks in the 2018 Draft:

The Cowboys got two additional fourths and two fifths. After trading up to get Xavier Woods in 2017, Dallas had no original fifth rounders for this year’s draft.

This is a front office that avoids making “big splashes” in free agency and in the draft lately, but I wonder if they’ll at least explore trading possibilities this time.

With three fourth-round picks and two fifths, they should have more than enough ammunition.

Will McClay Discusses 2016 Cowboys Draft Class, Looks Ahead to 2017

Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, Will McClay

This team has done a nice job in the last few drafts, and with Will McClay staying for at least one more year, they might as well try to get everything they can out of their draft picks. After all, Dak Prescott himself was a fourth-round compensatory pick.

Even still, I would like to see this team do something out of the ordinary.

Whether it’s trading up to get a well-fitting player who might otherwise go before their pick, or if it’s to get another team’s player, it would be interesting to see this front office pull the trigger on an interesting trade.

Sometimes it’s surprising what NFL teams can get with late round picks.

The Buffalo Bills traded away Marcell Dareus for only a sixth-round pick less than a year ago. I mean, how would you have felt if Dallas had gotten Dareus for just a sixth rounder? I would’ve been completely fine with it, to be honest.

The Cowboys have enough ammunition to consider pulling a trade-off in free agency or the NFL Draft.

We may not like the coaching, but in the past few years, this front office has done a good job when it comes to team-building.

We were all frightened when we saw the defensive players that were leaving in the secondary, and a season later, the young defensive backs are one of the reasons why we’re very optimistic about this team’s future.

So if they decide to keep their picks to themselves, I’d say it’ll be worth it, too.

After a sad season, at least we have an intriguing offseason ahead of us to keep us entertained.

Tell me what you think about “The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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