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Jason’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft – Round 1, v2.0

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Draft Blog - Jason's 2015 NFL Mock Draft - Round 1

Tamp Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, FSU

Winston is the best QB prospect in this draft and the Bucs need a franchise QB, so this isn’t a hard one to match up.

Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DT, USC

Many have the #2 QB in this draft – Marcus Mariota – going in this spot, however, I don’t see logic behind the Titans coming out and endorsing Zach Mettenberger then taking a QB.

The Titans defense has been horrible for a while so they could certainly use a blue chip player like Williams added to it.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr, EDGE, Florida

There are a ton of top pass rushers in this draft, half of the top 8 could very well be EDGE players, so the Jags have a lot of options here. I believe Fowler is the 2nd best defensive player in the draft, so he would be a good choice here.

Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

I had Kevin White in this spot in my previous mock, but it recently came out that Cooper actually ran the same 40-time as White at the combine.

A major reason I initially pegged White ahead of Cooper is because he ran faster, while also being bigger than Cooper. If both are just as fast, it's really a toss-up as both have great tape. Cooper is a better route runner and White has the size advantage, so it's really going to be up to the team's preference.

The Raiders definitely could use a top WR for their young QB Derek Carr, and Cooper has true #1 potential.

*TRADE* Cleveland Browns: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

I'm going to mock a trade at the top for Mariota because I have a feeling it's bound to happen. I don't believe the Jets for a second when they say they aren't interested in Mariota. I personally don't think he makes it past #6.

This trade would make sense; if the Browns were willing to trade a 1st round pick for Sam Bradford, it obviously means they aren't happy with the position. Now if they like Mariota they could just keep him, but another scenario, if they really like Bradford, would be to trade the rights to Mariota for Bradford and the Eagles' first two picks, or 1st this year and next.

Washington gets pick #43 to move down 7 spots; with their current roster I'm sure they would take the opportunity to add two potential starters to their team opposed to one.

New York Jets: Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson

Beasley was certainly this combine’s workout warrior.

He showed incredible strength with 35 reps @ 225 and amazing speed running a 4.53 40 at 6’3 246lbs, BOTH tops among all DL/LBs!

Good tape is always great to have but a lot of the time it’s combine studs that tend to get taken high. The Jets are stacking up on defense and adding a stud pass rusher would make them scary.

Chicago Bears: Kevin White, WR, WVU

After White ran a 4.35 40 at 6’3 215lbs at the combine he quickly shot up draft boards. Playing across from the 6'3 216lb Alshon Jeffery would give Chicago a ridiculous duo that would be difficult to cover.

Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray, EDGE, Missouri

The Falcons signed a couple of pass rushers in free agency but they need all the help they can get after last season. Here they're in position to take 2 of the top 4 in Ray or Randy Gregory. With Gregory failing a drug test at the combine, along with showing up at a thin 235lbs, he's falling down draft boards. Ray gives new head coach, Dan Quinn, a new, explosive edge rusher.

New York Giants: Landon Collins, S, Alabama

The Giants only have 2 back up safeties on their current roster; they can re-sign Stevie Brown but that still leaves a hole on the strong side. Collins is the lone safety with a 1st round grade in this draft class, which could lead to him going quickly. Collins would be a big help in run support and help stop New York from getting burned so often.

St. Louis Rams: Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa

The Rams need a lot of help on their offensive line. They released LT Jake Long and C Scott Wells this offseason so they basically just have T Greg Robinson (last year's #2 overall pick) and T/G Rodger Saffold.

They just signed last year's back up C Tim Barnes to a one year deal so I'm guessing he's the favorite for that position, and I'm sure they're hoping to re-sign RT Joe Barksdale, but that would still leave a big hole at G. In this situation, with the top ranked OL Scherff available, I can't see them going any other way.

Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan St.

Waynes is the top rated corner is this draft and backed it up with a stellar combine performance. Xavier Rhodes has been a great CB for the Vikings but they could use a starter across from him. Rhodes and Waynes would make a great young duo for Minnesota.

*TRADE* Washington Redskins: Randy Gregory, EDGE, Nebraska

Gregory is one of the best pure pass rushers in this draft. I discussed earlier why he might drop, but based on how talented he is, and the need for pass rushers around the league, he shouldn't fall out of the top half of the 1st round.

Washington drafted Trent Murphy in the 2nd round last year but he seems to be more of a role player than a replacement for Brian Orakpo. Gregory, along with Ryan Kerrigan, could give Washington a young pass rushing duo.

New Orleans Saints: La’el Collins, OL, LSU

The Saints signed both Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller to 4 year deals this offseason and look interested in making an effort to run the ball more. Collins is a college tackle that has been consistently making his way up draft boards and has a lot of NFL people talking. Many think he has Pro Bowl potential inside.

After trading away Ben Grubbs this offseason, it's a hole that needs filling and Collins would be a great fit.

Miami Dolphins: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

The Dolphins shipped out Mike Wallace and lost Brian Hartline this offseason, they did trade for Kenny Stills though, and last year's rookie Jarvis Landry was great in the slot. They lack a true #1 though. Parker would provide Miami with a big and athletic target for Ryan Tannehill.

San Francisco 49ers: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

A lot of people see Shelton going much higher than this, but in every draft nose tackles seem to drop. The 49ers, once an extremely deep team on defense, now find themselves with several holes. Shelton would be a great value here and provide them with a true stud nose tackle.

Houston Texans: Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon

The Texans need a franchise QB and a replacement for Andre Johnson, but by this time the top two QBs are long gone and so are the top 3 WRs. They could also really use a new ILB, but there aren't any in this draft with a mid first round grade, in my opinion.

At 6'7 292lbs, Armstead is a long, athletic DT with a lot of upside. If he can tap into his potential playing beside Vince Wilfork and J.J. Watt, it would give Houston a scary front.

San Diego Chargers: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

I see this pick more and more in mock drafts and I just don't agree with it - the Chargers need a lot of help on defense, but San Diego's GM Tom Telesco came out a few days ago saying his team didn't "need" to add a RB.

I've learned to believe the opposite of what teams say before the draft usually, and his comments seem to me like someone hoping a player drops.

Gurley is a top 15 talent that will only fall due to an ACL tear in November, but if his knee checks out, he could provide a huge upgrade from Branden Oliver and Donald Brown.

Kansas City Chiefs: Andrus Peat, OL, Stanford

The Chiefs took Eric Fisher with the #1 pick in 2013, but he hasn’t nearly played up to expectations. At the same time, KC needs to upgrade the RT position. Peat could provide competition for Fisher and also fill the hole on the right side.

Cleveland Browns (from BUF): Malcom Brown, DT, Texas

The Browns have a horrible defensive line. Luckily - with two first round picks - they could address their QB situation and also land a top DT. Brown is a big boy who could play nose or end in their 3-4.

Philadelphia Eagles: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri

With Jeremy Maclin heading to Kansas City, Chip Kelly needs another WR. Green-Beckham is a top talent who will fall in the draft due to character concerns. He was dismissed from the Missouri football program after being suspended twice, so the concerns aren’t without merit, but he’s massive at 6’5 237lbs and yet still runs fast posting a 4.49 40 at the combine.

He has special potential, but could also be Josh Gordon.

Cincinnati Bengals: Bud Dupree, EDGE, Kentucky

The Bengals had the least sacks in the NFL this past season, so their need for a pass rusher is evident. Dupree is a physical freak that's big enough to play DE in a 4-3, still raw, but with some coaching, he could become a force.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Peters is a prospect with a ton of talent but - like Green-Beckham - also with big character concerns that could go anywhere from top 10 to out of the first round. Some even see Peters as the top corner in the draft, so he would be a nice value for the Steelers, who currently have only one serviceable starter: William Gay.

Detroit Lions: D. J. Humphries, OL, Florida

Humphries is a great LT prospect whose biggest concern has been his lean frame, playing at only 285lbs last season. However, Humphries showed up to the combine (amazingly) at 307lbs, so that should definitely entice a lot of OL needy teams.

The Lions need to provide better protection for Matthew Stafford, and many analysts believe Humphries is the best pass blocker in this draft and can start at LT day 1. This could allow Detroit to move Riley Reiff to the right side or shuffle some other personnel around, and provide a big upgrade to that unit.

Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

This pick would make a lot of sense to me with the departure of Antonio Cromartie. The need is obvious. Collins is a raw prospect but who better to learn from than one of the best corners in the league and LSU alum, Patrick Peterson? Collins is a big, long, athletic corner that – with coaching and development – could become a star.

Carolina Panthers: T.J. Clemmings, OL, Pittsburgh

This pick HAS to be for the offensive line for the Panthers; they have the worst unit in the NFL. Luckily, this is a very deep draft for top caliber tackles. Clemmings is a very athletic tackle that has a lot of scouts talking. He needs some development but could give Carolina their LT of the future.

Baltimore Ravens: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona St.

It seems every year the Ravens stand pat and take the best player available. If they do that again, I could definitely see this pick being Melvin Gordon. Even though Baltimore just signed Justin Forsett to a 3 year deal, he's going to be 30 and they don't really have anyone behind him.

I'm going to mock Strong in this position, however, because with the departure of Torrey Smith, the Ravens can't rely solely on 35-year-old Steve Smith. Whether it's the 1st round or not, Baltimore definitely needs to draft a wide out early, Strong would be a good value in this position and provide Joe Flacco a much-needed big bodied weapon.

Dallas Cowboys: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

I’m sure everyone knows the Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray to the Eagles this offseason. It would be Dallas’ best-case scenario for one of the top 2 backs to fall to #27.

Gordon would be an ideal replacement for Murray as he's a talented workhorse that can handle a load. If the Ravens were to select Gordon - like I discussed for their pick at #26 - it would definitely make this choice tougher.

In this hypothetical situation, there would be two really good 1 techniques available in Eddie Goldman and Jordan Phillips, however, I know Dallas doesn't believe in taking that position high. There's also a couple of good LBs in Denzel Perryman and Eric Kendricks.

A choice that would make a lot of sense though, is CB Kevin Johnson, with the position being what it is right now.

Denver Broncos: Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami

As Peyton Manning enters his final years, the Broncos need to get him the best protection they can. Flowers would be an immediate upgrade at RT, not only providing protection for Manning, but he’s an absolute bruiser in the run game. Would be a big help in bolstering Denver’s run offense, which they seemed to rely on more and more last season.

Indianapolis Colts: Cameron Erving, OL, FSU

Here the Colts land the best center prospect in the draft and get Andrew Luck the protection he needs inside. This draft’s class of offensive linemen is much like last year’s class of cornerbacks: there’s a bunch of guys at the top and it’s going to be tough to peg which order they go.

Green Bay Packers: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

The Packers lost CBs Tramon Williams and Davon House this offseason, Kevin Johnson is a seasoned corner that could come in and help Green Bay day 1.

New Orleans Saints (from SEA): Eli Harold, EDGE, Virginia

The Saints have re-tooled their defense this offseason but are still in need of another pass rusher across from Junior Galette. Harold is an edge setter that would be a nice value here and a great fit for New Orleans' 3-4.

New England Patriots: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida St.

The Patriots lost a huge body in Vince Wilfork this offseason. Here they can replace it with another. Mammoth at 6’4 336lbs, Goldman could provide the Pats with a true NT. Some like last year’s 1st round selection Dominique Easley as the favorite for that position, but he’d be very undersized at 6’2 290lbs to play the 0.



26 years old. Cowboys fan since I can remember. Love anything to do with the NFL, but I'm especially a fantasy football and draft junkie. Always up for a good football debate on Twitter - @bigbackjay.

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1 Comment
  • http://twitter.com/azhoover25 Eric Hoover

    looks like he misspelled Gurley also….

NFL Draft

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

John Williams

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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 DallasCowboys.com. 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 Draftek.com'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 - Draftek.com

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 - Dratek.com

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

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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 Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

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

Brian Martin

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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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