The big night is upon us!
Here is the final draft board that I'm taking into this weekend's festivities. My hope is that the Cowboys will come away from the first two rounds with two of these 40 players. I wouldn't even be opposed if they traded away that second pick to snag some of the top names on the list.
Yesterday I posted my final rankings for the Cowboys biggest draft needs. This is really the foundation for my logic behind this board and how I'm prioritizing players. Referencing it would help you understand some of my decisions.
It's important to know that I have narrowed the focus of this board by leaving off certain positions. Based on their current talent, there's no way I see the Cowboys drafting any quarterbacks, running backs, or interior offensive linemen with their first two picks.
Of course, that means we hope that other teams will. We want those guys to go early and often to push some players to us.
1. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
The best DE and pass-rushing prospect in this class and one of the most exciting in this decade. If he doesn't go first overall to Cleveland then the Browns have just written the next chapter in "Brown Town: A History of Shitty Decisions." I only wish Dallas had the ammo pull off some kind of trade.
2. Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Despite the likelihood that he goes in the top three picks, Thomas feels like a major afterthought compared to Garrett. He would be the best DE prospect in just about any other draft class and whoever gets him will be very happy.
3. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St.
About as good as CB prospects get. Lattimore can fit into any scheme and will likely walk into his new team as their top corner. Nobody comes close in this class.
4. Malik Hooker, S, Ohio St.
Injuries and a lack of college experience may keep Hooker below Jamal Adams tonight. However, Hooker's upside is tremendous and would make more sense for the Cowboys with Jeff Heath also a potential starter.
5. Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Many expect Adams to hear his name in the first three picks. Guys like Eric Berry and Kam Chancellor have made safety trendy again, as has the ongoing evolution of the NFL into a passing league. Great safeties used to seem like a luxury, but they are now becoming a necessity.
6. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Some would balk about putting Harris above Barnett and other pass rushers but I think he fits the Cowboys needs perfectly. He has a polished, complete pass rush skill set that will allow him to be an immediate contributor. Any concerns about run defense aren't a problem in Dallas because they have so many other options for the rotation. Harris attacks quarterbacks, plain and simple, and that's what the Cowboys need.
7. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Barnett's college production is undeniable but I worry about his ability to attack NFL left tackles He's not a superior athlete and has some technical issues for pure, professional pass rushing. Still, he could be dynamic as the left end and likely better than anyone Dallas currently has.
8. Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
The opposite of Barnett, McKinley's raw skills are exciting but the rawness is a concern. He may need a season to really develop body and technique for playing 4-3 RDE, but the potential is tremendous.
9. Haason Reddick, LB/DE, Temple
Not quite as dynamic as Von Miller but a similar type of player, Reddick should be a major contributor for any defense. His versatility to play in space or as a blitzing LB could give the Cowboys a new edge and unpredictability.
10. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Jason Witten's retirement could come as soon as next year and none of James Hanna, Geoff Swaim, or Rico Gathers have proven much, if anything. While there's little chance of it, Howard falling to the 28th pick would be too good for Dallas to ignore. He would bring immediate juice to the offense and settle the question of Witten's eventual replacement.
11. T.J. Watt, LB/DE, Wisconsin
Some would put Watt above the pass rushers I've already listed, but I have my concerns. I think he can be productive but perhaps not a catalyst that makes everyone better. I also wonder where he'd be rated with a different last name. Still, he's clearly talented and will
12. Tyus Bowser, LB/DE, Houston
Bowser reminds you of the things Dallas liked in Randy Gregory two years ago. He has explosive physical ability but needs to work on his body and technique to become a consistent pass-rushing threat. The raw talent is there, though, and worth the 28th pick.
13. Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas St.
Like Bowser, Williams is a great athlete who needs to get coached up to really blossom as a pass rusher. He's the kind of physical specimen that a coach like Rod Marinelli would just love to get his hands on.
14. Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
While he has more name value than some of the guys I just listed, Taco doesn't seem like much of a pass rusher. He could be a strong-side DE for the next decade but the Cowboys already have that in David Irving or DeMarcus Lawrence. I'd rather they get a true edge rusher, but can see why Charlton would appeal with Lawrence potentially on the way out.
15. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
The consensus #2 corner after Lattimore, Humphrey has nice size and athleticism. There are concerns about his man play but he is expected to be great in zone, which the Cowboys use a lot of. He should have more value to Dallas than other teams.
16. Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
While a Top-5 player in this class, Allen just doesn't fit the Cowboys biggest needs. Still, if he dropped to 28, they would have to strongly consider him on sheer talent. Allen and Maliek Collins could form a DT duo for the next decade.
17. Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
The picture above shows a major reason why Dallas may want Jackson over other corners. He is a dangerous return man and could even be used on some offensive plays. While the Cowboys really need more size from their next cornerback, Jackson's ability and versatility could be too good of a package to pass on.
18. Kevin King, CB, Washington
Speaking of size, King is 6'3" and the most physically intriguing corner in the class. He may have trouble early on in tight man coverage but could be dangerous eating up space in zone, which suits the Cowboys well.
19. Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
The opposite of King, White is on the small side but is a great man defender. He could be a great replacement in the slot for Orlando Scandrick, who is potentially a cap casualty in the next season or two. In 2017 he could easily contend to be one of the team's top three corners.
20. Jordan Ross, WR, Washington
The new King of the 40-Yard-Dash, this speedster can be used in any offense. Ross would have more value than Mike Williams or Corey Davis for Dallas as he could be immediately used for his unique athletic gifts, plus what he could offer in the return game. With so many top defensive guys off the board, it wouldn't be wrong to use the pick on receiver.
21. David Njoku, TE, Miami
While not quite as dynamic as O.J. Howard, Njoku is an exceptional TE prospect and would be tough to pass up at #28. Athletic and already a solid blocker, he could be immediately useful as a second TE and has the potential to start for many years to come.
22. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Williams and Corey Davis would be much higher if the Cowboys hadn't brought back Terrance Williams, but that move negated much of the need at WR. Still, Dallas wasn't really in a big need for a receiver when they drafted Dez Bryant in 2008. Sometimes you just can't pass on talent and Williams has that in spades. He could push for the WR2 job now and eventually replace Bryant in the top spot.
23. Corey Davis, WR, W. Michigan
See everything I just said about Williams. The only reason I like Williams a little more is that he's a little taller and more of an endzone threat, which is big for a Dallas team that relies on the run to move up and down the field. Still, Davis' route-running is superior and he could easily wind up the better player of the two.
24. Malik McDowell, DE/DT, Michigan St.
McDowell has the size to play inside and the athleticism to be a big strong-side end like a Julius Peppers or Mario Williams. The questions about him are motor and locker room impact; he's apparently not the most likable fellow. Still, the physical gifts are obvious.
25. Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
I like Moreau way more than some. He has great physical tools and plenty of room to develop. He may be a reach to some but I'd rather have his upside at #28 than any of the remaining players.
26. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
A potentially elite LB talent, Foster could provide immediate insurance to Jaylon Smith's health and an eventual replacement for Sean Lee. He can rotate with both of them in the nickel scheme and would likely walk in with better coverage talent than Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, or any of the Cowboys' other linebackers.
27. Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio St.
The current issue with a rape accusation may push Conley out of the first few rounds completely, but you know NFL teams are doing their homework. As long as they feel good about his legal future, Conley could easily be drafted tonight.
28. Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Big, physical corner who fits the mold of what you've seen from the Seahawks in recent years. Wilson might wind up at safety before long if he doesn't improve some of his man coverage techniques. Plenty of talent, though, regardless of which position he plays.
29. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
A good athlete and coverage guy but has some major concerns with his tackling. That's not good in Cover 2 and is why he's at the bottom of all the corners on my board.
30. Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
Dallas could form an all-Huskies duo with former college teammates Melifonwu and Byron Jones. Listed at 6'4" and over 220 lbs while running a 4.4, Obi is a textbook "physical specimen." I've longed for one of these tall safeties since the days of Pat Watkins and maybe my dream will finally come true.
31. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Our first offensive lineman, Robinson stands out to me because he could be an elite guard or right tackle. He may be lacking some of the quickness and technique needed to take on to pass rusher on the left side, but Robinson would more than replace Doug Free as a superior run blocker. You could also consider playing him at guard and using La'el Collins at right tackle; whoever fits the positions best.
32. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Davis could be an immediate upgrade as the SAM linebacker and has the coverage skills to play nickel. As already mentioned with Reuben Foster, Dallas can feel okay about adding a LB with the concerns on Jaylon Smith and the eventual need to replace Sean Lee.
33. Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
A true coverage LB, Cunningham would be a lesser version of Foster but still a great talent to add to the group. He would immediately be the primary backup for Sean Lee on the weak side.
34. Garret Bolles, OT, Utah
35. Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin
You can really flip a coin between these two. What you like more about one over the other comes down to specific team preferences and I can't really say is clearly better. Either should be a long-time starter at offensive tackle.
36. Jabril Peppers, LB/S, Michigan
If Peppers falls to the 60th pick then I'm not sure what I'd want Dallas to do. He's a playmaker and I don't mind his position uncertainty all that much. I'd love him as a box safety and a coverage LB in passing downs. Where I'm worried is the other times when he needs to be a true cover safety. If he can't do that, is a utility player really worth a 2nd-round pick?
37. Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown St.
The next tier of pass rushers would be decent but ultimately disappointing in the second round. Rivers has the potential to become a good rotation pass rusher but would need work.
38. Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
Lawson reminds me of a poor man's Anthony Spencer. He could become a solid pass rusher on the left side as long as there's an attention-grabber playing on the other end. Unfortunately, Dallas is still looking for that catalytic guy in this draft.
39. Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio St.
Offering much of the same explosive potential as John Ross, Samuel would be a useful offensive weapon worthy of a 2nd-round pick. He also has return man potential and that gives him the value bump to appear on this list.
40. Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
While part of me loathes the idea of another 2nd-round pick going to the TE position, Shaheen is physical freak who would have a year, at least, to develop and learn from one of the best to ever play the position. He's the only remaining TE prospect who think Dallas should consider. After Shaeen, I'd just stick with the current roster and see what happens.
Cowboys Draft: Looking at West Virginia WR David Sills
Although the Dallas Cowboys won't be on the clock in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they essentially invested their first pick in Amari Cooper. However, wide receiver remains a need for the team, specially with Cole Beasley heading for free agency. Out of West Virginia, Wide Receiver David Sills is an interesting potential target for Dallas. A quarterback-turned-wide-receiver story, Sills is one of those guys who constantly shows up when you watch his football team play. That's what you want in a receiver.
Let's dive in.
During his time playing for the West Virginia Mountaineers, David Sills was a scoring machine. He scored 35 career touchdowns (15 in 2018, 18 in 2017) and caught over 980 yards in each of his two seasons as a starter. The Big 12 is known for its lack of good defensive backs, which will naturally raise skepticism when discussing how good Sills really is but it shouldn't.
Sills is 6-foot-4 and weighs 210 pounds. His frame is constantly criticized but thanks to his size and his excellent ability to high point the football that shouldn't be an issue. He's one of the best in this draft class when it comes to 50-50 jump balls. He shines the most as a vertical threat, including over the middle of the field, which should be an interesting trait for the Dallas Cowboys. Throughout his career, he was almost indefensible when given the opportunity at deep over the shoulder passes.
Although he doesn't have the best acceleration, Sills' build-up speed can be lethal for opposing defensive backs. Paired with this is his skill to adjust for deep balls, slowing down when necessary to take on defenders.
What I personally like the most about Sills is his play in goal line situations. Whether it's playing inside on a slant or running a fade route, the Mountaineer wide receiver surely made a lot of opposing defenses suffer. Thanks to his background as a quarterback, his understanding of defensive coverages is pretty solid. He manages to find the defense's soft spots and get open constantly.
But why isn't he valued as a top prospect on this year's NFL Draft? Well, unfortunately, there are a few reasons for this.
First off, David Sills had some problems in the "drops" department. He has plenty of body catches that aren't necessary. When balls weren't on target, he often didn't make the play despite counting with a pretty good catch radius. He can greatly improve in his route running abilities and he was challenged by true press cornerbacks, struggling to release early.
For the Dallas Cowboys, Sills could be a solid contributor as a vertical threat and in the red-zone, where the offense struggled so much last season. With the class being quite loaded at wide receiver this year, Sills should be a realistic target even in the fourth round.
Cowboys Receive 4th-Round Compensatory Pick in 2019 NFL Draft
The Dallas Cowboys will receive an extra fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after the league awarded compensatory picks today.
The pick will be 136th overall, which is one spot below were Dallas drafted Dak Prescott in 2016.
And in other news... NFL awarded compensatory draft picks today - Patriots and Rams each received two third-round picks. The full list, per sources:
We have Anthony Hitchens to thank for this extra pick. The former Cowboys linebacker signed a five-year, $45 million deal with the Chiefs last offseason which far surpassed any of the deal that Dallas made with their own free agent acquisitions.
Only free agents whose contracts expired, not those released in the offseason by their previous team, count towards the compensatory pick formula. Therefore, Allen Hurns' deal was not a mitigating factor.
As mentioned already, the fourth round of the NFL Draft recently gave Dallas its starting quarterback. Other notable fourth-round picks in the modern era have been Hitchens, Doug Free, Marion Barber, and Chris Canty.
Last year, Dallas drafted DE Dorance Armstrong and TE Dalton Schultz with fourth-round picks.
Already short their first and sixth-round picks this year from previous trades, the Cowboys are certainly happy to have this extra selection for April's draft.
7-Round Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Edition
I thought it would be a good idea to get out another 7-round Dallas Cowboys mock draft before the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine kicks off next week. Not only will the Combine shakeup a lot of people's big boards and draft rankings, but it will also be the first opportunity a lot of us will get to see some of these players firsthand.
For this Cowboys mock draft I used Matt Miller's big board on Fanspeak.com. I don't necessarily agree with where he has some of these players ranked right now, but that's part of the fun of doing these kind of exercises. With that said, he is still one of my favorite draft analysts.
Without further ado, here is my Pre-Combine 7-round Dallas Cowboys mock draft.
TE, Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M (2nd-round)
*189th on Matt Miller's Big Board
First off, I think Matt Miller has Jace Sternberger ranked way too low on his Big Board. I don't think he will make it out of the second round and may not even be available for the Dallas Cowboys when they are on the clock with the 58th overall pick. But if he is, I'm writing his name down on the draft card and not looking back.
The Cowboys have made it pretty clear they want to upgrade their TE position, but in order to do that they're going to have to draft one pretty early in my opinion. Sternberger may be a one-year wonder at Texas A&M, but he is exactly what Quarterback Dak Prescott needs in the passing game. He would change the dynamic of this whole offense.
At 6'4", 250 pounds, Sternberger has the size the Cowboys look for in their starting tight ends. His biggest asset right now is his natural receiving ability and how dangerous he is after the catch. He runs and moves like a big receiver. He's decent as an in-line blocker as well, but it's an area of his game that is still improving.
OT, Bobby Evans, Oklahoma (3rd-round)
*89th on Matt Miller's Big Board
It's a little surprising it hasn't been brought up more this offseason, but with Tyron Smith's continued back problems and La'el Collins entering a contract year, the Dallas Cowboys could be looking into drafting another offensive tackle. I know it may be an unpopular pick in the third-round, but I couldn't pass up on Bobby Evans.
At 6'5", 300 pounds, Bobby Evans has the prototypical size teams look for in their starting offensive tackles. He is a smooth athletically gifted lineman who does his best work in the running game. He projects best in a zone blocking scheme where he can use his athleticism to his advantage. He will struggle a little bit in pass protection until he cleans up his hand technique.
With the Cowboys he could compete with La'el Collins for the starting RT position as a rookie, but at the worst be the teams swing tackle in 2019. Since he has the ability to play either tackle position, he would make a good insurance policy if Tyron Smith has to miss time again because of his back issues. Again it may be an unpopular pick, but a necessary one.
OLB, Christian Miller, Alabama (4th-round)
*161st on Matt Miller's Big Board
With the Dallas Cowboys needing more depth at linebacker and defensive end, I decided to select Christian Miller with their first fourth-round draft pick. He unfortunately hasn't been able to showcase his skill set on a regular basis due to being buried on the depth chart at Alabama and some unfortunate injuries, but he has immense potential.
I think a lot of teams will look to draft him as a outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but I really like the variety of roles he could play in the Cowboys 4-3 defensive scheme. I think he could replace Demian Wilson as their strong side linebacker, provide depth at defensive end, and be a special-teams demon as a rookie.
The Cowboys of course will have to be comfortable with his injury history, but in the fourth-round I don't think that would be a problem. If he can stay healthy he has Pro Bowl potential as a pass rusher because of his size (6'4", 247), athleticism and fluidity to bend and torque his body. This might be my favorite pick in this Cowboys mock draft.
DT, Daylon Mack, Texas A&M (4th-round comp pick)
*178th on Matt Miller's Big Board
The Dallas Cowboys could definitely use some more defensive tackle help, especially after all but washing their hands of David Irving. They currently just have Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins on the DT depth chart, unless you want to count Tyrone Crawford. That's why I returned to Texas A&M for the second time in this Cowboys mock draft and selected Daylon Mack.
Daylon Mack is a former five-star recruit who never really lived up to his billing at Texas A&M. Don't let that fool you though, he has the talent to earn a starting job with the Cowboys as a rookie at either the one or three-technique. He is the kind of prospect Rod Marinelli would love to work with.
At 6'1", 327 pounds, Mack would provide some much-needed beef to the Cowboys defensive front. He has surprising athletic ability for his size and has a devastating first step to be the kind of disruptive DT Marinelli prefers along his DL. I really love his violent hands and raw athletic ability, and I believe he could be an absolute steal in the fourth-round even though Matt Miller has him ranked much lower.
WR, Jalen Hurd, Baylor (5th-round)
*159th on Matt Miller's Big Board
Outside of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, the wide receiver position in Dallas is pretty dreadful. There are some young WRs who show some promise, but they still need more depth regardless. That's why I decided to take Jalen Hurd in the fifth-round in this Cowboys mock draft. He is one of the more intriguing prospects in the entire 2019 draft class.
The most intriguing aspect of Hurd's game is his background as a running back. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and was once considered a top RB prospect during his time in Tennessee before deciding to transfer to Baylor in order to switch to wide receiver.
At 6'4", 227 pounds, he has the prototypical size teams look for in a WR prospect. He reminds me a little bit of Cordarrelle Patterson, but is much more natural catching the ball. His route running is a little raw, but he has the ability to play in the slot or on the outside, something he did at Baylor. I think he could help replace some of Cole Beasley's lost production.
RB, Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State (7th-round)
* 206th on Matt Miller's Big Board
I reached a little bit with this pick, but if Bruce Anderson is available this late in the draft I would do everything within my power to bring him aboard if I was the Dallas Cowboys. I really think he could be the lightning to Ezekiel Elliott's thunder in the Cowboys backfield. I personally have him in the 3rd-5th round range, but can understand why he's ranked so low on Miller's Big Board right now.
Unfortunately, the draft process hasn't been very kind to Bruce Anderson so far. He was originally expected to open a lot of eyes in Mobile at this year's Senior Bowl, but unfortunately sustained an injury that kept him from competing. To make matters worse, he was a surprise snub at the Scouting Combine, meaning he only has private workouts and his Pro Day to impress scouts.
I for one am a big fan of Anderson's though. I believe he is exactly the kind of RB the Cowboys need behind Zeke. I personally see a poor man's Alvin Kamara when I watched his game film because of the different ways he can be utilized as both a runner and receiver. But, he can also contribute on special teams as a return specialist.
How do you feel about this 7-round Dallas Cowboys mock draft?
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