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 2nd best defensive player in the draft so he would be a good choice here.
Oakland Raiders: Kevin White, WR, WVU
After White ran a 4.35 40 at 6'3 215lbs at the combine he quickly shot up draft boards. The Raiders certainly could use a weapon for their young QB Derek Carr; White would be a big help to that offense.
Washington Redskins: Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson
Beasley was certainly this combine's workout warrior. Showed incredible strength with 35 reps of 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. Washington drafted Trent Murphy in the 2nd round last year but he seems to be more of a role player than a Brian Orakpo replacement. Beasley could start across from Ryan Kerrigan and help get after opposing QBs.
New York Jets: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
The Jets have made a ton of moves this offseason and could very well be an adequate QB away from making the playoffs. Geno Smith has shown he's not the answer, Mariota dropping to New York would be a dream for them.
Chicago Bears: Randy Gregory, EDGE, Nebraska
Gregory is seen by many as the best pure pass rusher in the draft. The Bears are transitioning to a 3-4 defense and could definitely use a player like Gregory if he fell to them.
Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray, EDGE, Missouri
Ray is the last of the top group of pass rushers. Unfortunately he wasn't allowed to participate at the combine due to a foot injury. His Pro Day is on March 19th, however, so he'll be able to show what he's got then and his draft stock could rise or fall after. Whomever it may be, the Falcons desperately need a pass rusher so I don't see any of the top 4 getting past here.
New York Giants: Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
The Giants need to get better protection for Eli Manning, and they already have some pieces in Justin Pugh, Will Beatty and Weston Richburg. Scherff has flexibility that could allow him to start at either G or RT (moving Pugh inside) then possibly move to LT and send Beatty to the right side.
St. Louis Rams: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
The Rams need a lot of help on their offensive line, however, with a top talent like Cooper falling to them like this, and a lack of a true #1 WR, they would have to take him or possibly trade down for some nice compensation.
Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan St.
Waynes is the top rated corner is this draft and backed it up with a stellar combine. Xavier Rhodes has been a great CB for the Vikings but they could use a starter across from him. They would make a great young duo for Minnesota.
Cleveland Browns: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
I'm sure the Browns are kicking themselves for not taking a single wide out in last year's draft, which was one of the best for the position in history. With Josh Gordon being an incredible waste of talent getting suspended for all of next season, the Browns need to grab a receiver in this draft. Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins are nice 2 and 3 guys but they need a true #1; Parker could fill that role. I could even see Cleveland trading up for one of the top two guys.
New Orleans Saints: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
The Saints defense was horrible last season. Their pass defense, especially, got burned. They just signed a big corner in Brandon Browner, but in the modern NFL receivers are getting bigger and bigger, and that's certainly the case in the NFC South. New Orleans could use a young talent with Collins' skill set. He's a big, long, athletic corner that - with coaching and development - could become a star.
Miami Dolphins: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Collins is widely believed to be the only safety in this draft with a 1st round grade, which could lead to him going quickly. The Dolphins SS, Louis Delmas, tore his ACL week 14 and is a free agent with an injury history. Collins is a versatile defender with a high floor, fast and great in run support. Would be a nice addition for Miami.
San Francisco 49ers: La'el Collins, OL, LSU
Guard Mike Iupati will be a big loss for the Niners if they can't replace him. Collins played G and T at LSU and could play either in the NFL, but many think he has Pro Bowl potential inside.
Houston Texans: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
The Texans have nobody to pair on the other side of DeAndre Hopkins after releasing Andre Johnson. 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 yet still runs fast posting a 4.49 40 at the combine. He has special potential, but could also be Josh Gordon.
San Diego Chargers: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
The Chargers had a terrible run defense last season. A lot of people see Shelton going much higher than this, but in every draft nose tackles seem to drop. He would be a great value at this point plus he fills a big need for SD.
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 bad receiving corp and also land a top DT. Brown is a big boy who could play nose or end in their 3-4.
Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Peters, like Green-Beckham, is a prospect with a lot of talent, but 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 Eagles whose biggest weakness has been their horrible CB play.
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, and with some coaching, he could be a force.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Harold, EDGE, Virginia
Jason Worilds surprisingly retired and Jarvis Jones hasn't lived up to expectations, the Steelers can't rely on James Harrison coming out of retirement again. Although he needs to put on some weight, Harold is a great pass rusher and would certainly help the Steelers' reeling defense.
Detroit Lions: T.J. Clemmings, OL, Pittsburgh
The Lions are going to miss Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley but at least they landed Haloti Ngata. They could go DT here but there is so much depth at OL in this first round and they could use better protection for Matthew Stafford. Clemmings is a big athletic tackle that's still raw but has all the tools to be great.
Arizona Cardinals: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
A running back wasn't taken in the first round in each of the last two drafts, but this year's class has two great backs that could go in the first. Andre Ellington is an explosive RB, but he's just not a back that can carry the ball 20+ times a game like the Cardinals want. Gordon is that type of back and would immediately provide them the workhorse they haven't had for a while.
Carolina Panthers: D.J. Humphries, OL, Florida
This pick HAS to be offensive line for the Panthers, they have the worst unit in the NFL. Luckily, as I've said, this is a very deep draft at the top for tackles. Humphries could step in at LT for Carolina day 1 and provide an upgrade in protection for Cam Newton.
Baltimore Ravens: Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon
The Ravens have two very good young defensive linemen in 2013's 3rd round pick NT Brandon Williams and last year's 2nd rounder DT Timmy Jernigan, however, they just lost a stud in Haloti Ngata. Armstead could come in and give Baltimore a great young trio. At an athletic 6'7 292lbs, Armstead provides a big pass rushing threat in the middle.
Dallas Cowboys: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
I'm sure everyone knows the Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray to the Eagles. It would be Dallas' best case scenario for one of the top 2 backs to fall to #27. As I've written in my draft notes for Todd Gurley, he is a top talent that only has a chance to fall due to injury concerns. With Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams, and Joseph Randle, Dallas can certainly afford to take Gurley and not bank on him having to start week 1.
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 in the draft and get Andrew Luck the much-needed protection he needs inside. This draft's class of offensive linemen is much like last year's class of cornerbacks as 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: Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami
The Packers released A.J. Hawk this offseason and will need a replacement. I'm sure they'd also like to kick Clay Matthews back outside where he belongs. Perryman is a traditional type LB - not a flashy athlete - and he's solid against the run. He would be a big help to GB.
New Orleans Saints (from SEA): Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
This one seems pretty easy, the Saints traded Jimmy Graham and here are in position to take this draft's best TE. Of course Williams is no Graham, nobody is, but he is a good athlete and great pass catcher. Large catch radius that fills an obvious need.
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 have 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.
Cowboys Draft: Reviewing 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.
Pre-Draft Visitors Highlight Dallas Cowboys 2019 Rookie Class
The Dallas Cowboys are "officially" adding 21 rookies to their roster, eight of which they drafted and the remaining 13 are undrafted free agents. The number of rookies the Cowboys are bringing in isn't all that surprising, but what did surprise me was how many of them were pre-draft visitors.
You may or may not know, but the NFL allows 30 allotted pre-draft visits for each team around the league. Teams don't have to use all 30 visits of course, but the majority of them take advantage of the opportunity and generally use up all 30 visits. It's a chance to introduce these rookies into the atmosphere they could be playing in and work them out in more of a one-on-one basis.
The Dallas Cowboys of course are known as a team who take their 30 pre-draft visits very seriously. Over the past several years they've drafted several players who were brought in for pre-draft visits, and 2019 was no exception.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, paying attention to the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visits is a good idea because the odds of them drafting one or more of them is pretty high. That's why I decided to run a pre-draft tracker this year, and because of it I was able to confirm 27 of the possible 30 pre-draft visitors for the Cowboys.
Here are 2019 pre-draft visitors currently on the Cowboys roster:
- DT, Trysten Hill
- RB, Tony Pollard
- RB, Mike Weber
- WR, Jon'Vea Johnson
- CB, Chris Westry
If you're doing the math, 5 out of 30 equates to 17% of the players the Dallas Cowboys brought in as pre-draft visitors. But, if Dallas only brought in 27 that percentage rises to 19%. To say that the Cowboys value these pre-draft visits would be an understatement, at least as far as 2019 is concerned.
The first three of Trysten Hill, Tony Pollard, and Mike Weber were of course all draft picks and have the best chance to stick around on the final 53-man roster, but I wouldn't rule out Jon'Vea Johnson and Chris Westry. Both were draftable players, but somehow fell through the cracks right into the lap of the Cowboys as UFAs.
I don't really know if it's a good idea the Dallas Cowboys are so transparent with how valuable the treat these 30 pre-draft visits. We've seen teams time and time again trade up right in front of them to draft a player the Cowboys could've possibly been eyeing, and this year was no exception.
After drafting Running Back/Wide Receiver Tony Pollard with the first of their fourth-round draft picks, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys had their sights set on small school Defensive End/Defensive Tackle John Cominsky out of Charleston with their second pick in the fourth. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Falcons traded up a spot ahead of them to draft Cominsky.
This of course isn't the first time the Falcons have done this, which begs the question as to how they knew the Cowboys could have possibly been targeting Cominsky. We can throw a conspiracy theory out there that Atlanta might have been inside source, but that's highly unlikely. More plausible theory is they were paying attention to Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors as well.
It may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to deploy a little more smoke and mirrors when it comes to who they bring in for pre-draft visits in the future. But regardless, there's no denying the Cowboys pre-draft visitors highlight their 2019 rookie class.
Are you surprised the Dallas Cowboys added so many pre-draft visitors to the roster?
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Grades
Another year, another draft come and gone. The difference was that this year the Dallas Cowboys were without a first-round pick thanks to their trade for Amari Cooper with Oakland. Their de facto first-round pick would obviously earn an A+ from how well he meshed with Dak Prescott and gave this Cowboys offense another dimension.
Given how well the Cowboys have done in the first round in recent history -- all but two of their first round picks since 2011 have been in the Pro Bowl, a trend that continued with last year’s pick, Leighton Vander Esch. This season, the Cowboys only had picks from round two and on. So this year was all about finding value and hoping it would fall into their laps.
Obviously time will tell if any of these players work out or not. For the time being, we can grade the picks based on what we do know. Some picks were worth it, while others raised questions, as well as eyebrows.
58 Overall: DT, Trysten Hill
In what has been considered the best defensive line draft in decades, the Cowboys took a bit of a risk with their first “official” pick. Trysten Hill is a first round talent out of UCF, but reports questioning his love for the game had some give him a third round grade.
Dallas has already had an off-season dealing with talented defensive linemen with questions around their passion for the game (i.e. David Irving) and so obviously people didn’t love this pick.
It’s a high risk, high reward move that we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.
90 Overall: G, Connor McGovern
As far as value goes, McGovern was probably the team’s best pick. In my pre-draft rankings, Connor McGovern was my fourth overall interior lineman; a player who you can play anywhere in the interior and start immediately.
However, guard didn’t really seem like a need. This was obviously a “best player available” pick. What this pick has done instead is raise a bunch of questions.
Who’s job could be on the line?
Does this imply the team won’t re-sign La’el Collins?
Is Connor Williams going to play tackle like he did in college?
Is one of them going to get traded?
Is Travis Frederick really ready to go?
So many questions surround this pick, but there’s no questioning the player. Connor McGovern is likely a future starter on the line and Cowboys fans should be excited about that.
128 Overall: RB, Tony Pollard
If you follow me on Twitter, you know my feelings about Tony Pollard already.
Tony Pollard might be my favorite #Cowboys pick. Has experience at both the RB and WR position, plus had 7 career kick return TDs in college. He addresses all 3 needs in 1. #NFLDraft
Returner has been a need for a year now. I never liked the team trading away Ryan Switzer because it created a huge hole on special teams, as well as the receiving core.
The team also needed a backup running back to take the load off Ezekiel Elliott a bit. With Tony Pollard, they get all three positions filled in the form of a player who's 6'0" 210 pounds, ran a 4.52 40 and compiled 25 total touchdowns. Terrific value in the fourth round.
158 Overall: CB, Michael Jackson
This is the type of corner Kris Richard loves; big and tall. At 6'1" 200 pounds, Michael Jackson fits the profile.
His 2017 tape was actually better than his 2018 tape, and all four of his career interceptions came in '17. However, the team is obviously betting on his potential, especially with corner being a serious need.
With the Cowboys' four primary corners coming into contract years the next three seasons, odds are that at least one will be gone. MJ doesn’t fill in day one as a difference maker but, given some time under Kris Richard, he could be a nice player.
165 Overall: DE, Joe Jackson
Take Joe Jackson, new Cowboy, as well as Michael and Darius Jackson, and the team is just two short of a Jackson 5 reunion.
The team has been very busy trying to rebuild the depth at edge and Joe Jackson is icing on an already stacked cake. In an off-season that saw the retirement of David Irving and another suspension for Randy Gregory, the team was able to extend DeMarcus Lawrence and trade for Robert Quinn.
The edge room was already full but you can never have too many.
Joe Jackson is a fun, productive player from The U, who was teammates with the previous pick, Michael Jackson. In his career, he totaled 24 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss all in three seasons. He’s not the fastest edge rusher in the world but has plenty of power to make up for it. With the team only for sure having DeMarcus Lawrence guaranteed beyond 2019, it’s good to have as much talent as possible.
213 Overall: S, Donovan Wilson
The team really needed a safety and it enraged most people that they didn’t pick one earlier. Especially with Taylor Rapp, Juan Thornhill and Amani Hooker all available at different times.
Donovan Wilson is an interesting pick. His career has been a rollercoaster while at Texas A&M, with a highly productive 2015 season, a dip in 2016, a fractured foot in the 2017 opener, and a rebound 2018 season.
Had his career not been derailed by his injury, he’s likely gone way before the sixth round and the Cowboys are obviously betting on his potential. Meets a need, but not a plug-in right away type of pick.
218 Overall: RB, Mike Weber
Tony Pollard is going to get first crack at the backup running back spot. However, given that he’s also the team’s likely return man as well, it makes sense that they’d want to deepen the running back room to give the team a true RB2.
Mike Weber was Ezekiel Elliott’s teammate at Ohio State, but didn’t come close to the impact Elliott had. Only topping 1,000 yards once in college, Weber is likely in competition with Darius Jackson for the backup spot.
He’s not as flashy as Zeke but can pick up the slack when asked to and is a solid receiver out of the backfield. If Weber can’t beat Jackson for the backup spot, then Weber is a likely candidate for the practice squad.
241 Overall: DE, Jalen Jelks
Jalen Jelks falls into a similar boat that both Hurricanes players are in. Like Joe Jackson, he’s a good solid edge piece (fifth round draft grade), but like Michael Jackson, his prior season's tape was better than his final season.
It's interesting that the Cowboys would pick a player who seems to be better suited to play in a 3-4 as a OLB, but has plenty of starter potential. Otherwise he’s a player that’s likely headed to the practice squad that the Cowboys wanted to make sure they get first crack at. Still, a good value in terms of where he was picked.
Dallas Cowboys Overall 2019 Draft Grade: B
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