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 Target: Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram
NAME: Johnathan Abram
SCHOOL: Mississippi State
JERSEY: No. 38
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
HT: 5' 11 3/8"
|Tackles||Tackles||Tackles||Tackles||Tackles||Def Int||Def Int||Def Int||Def Int||Def Int||Fumbles||Fumbles||Fumbles||Fumbles|
Johnathan Abram, playing for the Bulldogs of Mississippi State University, is considered the hardest hitting safety in college football. He's top NFL prospect, who is projected to be selected in the late 1st to early 2nd round(s) of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Johnathan Abram's biggest strength as a safety prospect is his ability to play around the line of scrimmage as a box safety, which is why he's projected to be a strong safety in the NFL. Possesses the prototypical size for the position. He also has the ability and skill set to play a hybrid safety/linebacker role as well.
Abram is at his best when he's playing downhill and sideline to sideline against the run. His size, strength, and physicality allow him to stack and shed blocks like a linebacker. Aggressive tackler who is always looking to deliver a big hit. Also shows good technique to get his head across the ball carrier's chest while wrapping up to make the tackle.
Shows adequate range and speed in coverage. Is able to flip his hips and redirect to change direction quickly, but there is some stiffness there as well. Has the size and athletic ability to match up with tight ends. Shows an understanding of route recognition. His physicality in the run game carries over into the passing game.
The biggest concern about Johnathan Abram's game is his ability, or lack thereof, in coverage. Whether it's an man or zone coverage, he struggles with his responsibilities and can be eaten alive by receivers who know what they're doing. This doesn't bode well for his transition to the NFL, which has become a heavy passing league.
His aggressive nature will get him into trouble in the passing game. Can be clunky in his transitions against good route runners. Will panic and grab when he's caught out of position, which has generated, or should have, flags being thrown. Lack of desired range will keep him from becoming a deep safety, making him a strong safety only.
Questionable ball skills. Only has two interceptions and 10 pass deflections in his career. Struggles locating the ball and doesn't show instincts or anticipation to jump routes. Can be too aggressive against the run, causing him to over pursue and create cutback lanes.
If the Dallas Cowboys are looking for a hard-hitting strong safety who excels around the line of scrimmage, then Johnathan Abram is their guy. He is a heatseeking missile when playing downhill or sideline to sideline, and would play that Kam Chancellor type role on the backend of Kris Richard's defense. He has outstanding size and speed for the position, and is a more fluid athlete then he's given credit for. More of a "traditional" throwback safety.
Abram unfortunately struggles in coverage, despite showing good range and long speed. He may be nothing more than a box safety or nickel/dime linebacker in the NFL. This could hurt his chances of landing with the Cowboys, especially if they are looking for an interchangeable safety to pair with Xavier Woods. But, if there are looking for that "enforcer" type of player, they'd probably have to take him at 58 in the second-round because it's unlikely he will still be there when they're on the clock in the third-round.
Dallas Cowboys Make Trades in this 7-round Mock Draft
Though we're still in the midst of the free agency frenzy that took hold this week, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing the grind toward the end of April as they look forward to the most important aspect of roster building for their franchise, the NFL Draft.
As we know by now, the Dallas Cowboys prefer to build their team through draft, supplement their roster with lower cost free agent signings, and retain their own players through contract extensions and resignings. As they get ready for the draft, they'll be exploring all opportunities to improve a roster that made it to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs in 2018 with the hopes of advancing even further in 2019.
This is the first installment of mock drafts that you'll see from me here at Inside The Star, and like last year, I wanted to explore what some trade options might look like for the Dallas Cowboys. For this installment, I used Draftek's big board over with Fanspeak's On The Clock Premium Simulator. It allows for trades and allows you to select whether the simulation will use the same big board or multiple big boards to create more variables. I selected multiple, because that's closer to the reality of the NFL Draft. Every team has a unique big board that they're operating from.
All trades went through Draftek's Trade Value Chart, which is what the teams use when assigning value to draft picks.
58 - TRADE
58 to San Francisco for 67 and 86
Because the Cowboys don’t have a first round pick or a sixth round pick and this draft class is deep at several positions where the Cowboys could use some reisnforcements, they’re going into the draft looking to trade back with their first pick.
The San Francisco 49ers come calling and offer picks 67 (3.3) and 104 (4.2) for the 58th overall pick.
Per the trade value chart produced by Draftek, the Cowboys gain 21 points in value from the trade. It’s not a far trade back, as it’s only nine spots. Their ability to pick up an extra fourth is huge.
67 - Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama
With their first pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, The Dallas Cowboys select Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama.
Somewhat of a forgotten man on the Alabama defense, Miller exploded for eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss in his senior season with the Crimson Tide.
Check out The Draft Network's Scouting Report on Christian Miller.
90 - Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas
Admittedly, I’m not as high on Charles Omenihu as some others might be as a second round selection, but as a third rounder, I can see the value in drafting Omenihu to help fortify your defensive line.
The Texas Longhorn product has experience playing on the EDGE, 3-Tech, and 1-tech alignments, and would probably be best suited playing 3-Tech in the NFL.
He reminds me a bit of Tyrone Crawford in that he doesn’t do anything spectacular, but he finds ways to make plays.
He was a productive player at Texas finishing with 9.5 sacks in the season.
Back in February I wrote a film review on Omenihu.
104 - TRADE
104 to the Buffalo Bills for 112 and 131
In another trade back, the Cowboys sent pick 104 in the fourth round to the Buffalo Bills for their two fourth round picks, 112 and 131. Per the trade value chart, the Cowboys picked up 25 points in pick value by trading back eight spots.
112 - Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi St.
The Dallas Cowboys could use a safety that can play in the box and Johnathan Abram from Mississippi St. could very well be the guy to line up next to Xavier Woods in the secondary.
In 2018, Abram recorded 99 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, five passes defenses, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and two interceptions.
In 2017, he recorded 71 total tackles, diver tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and five passes defensed.
Abram, who will be one of the Dallas Cowboys 30 visitors in preparation for the draft, was a splash player in the SEC.
128 - Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
Were it not for the ACL injury suffered by Oklahoma Running Back Rodney Anderson, it’s possible we’re talking about a top 60 selection in this year’s draft. Anderson’s injury history, however, has him consistently available for the Cowboys in the fourth round.
As they look for a backup to Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys would be hard-pressed to find a runner as productive and as talented as Anderson is without paying a premium price.
Like Elliott, Anderson’s a smooth runner, who is able to play through contact as well as make people miss in the open field.
For his career, Anderson averaged 6.4 yards per carry and scored 16 touchdowns. His only full season with the Sooners, he rushed for 1161 yards on 188 attempts (6.2 yards per carry), 13 touchdowns, and caught 17 passes for 281 yards, and five more touchdowns. That’s a touchdown every 11.4 touches.
Prior to being lost for the season in week two against UCLA, Anderson was averaging 10.8 yards per carry.
Read Brian Martin's Draft Preview on Rodney Anderson.
131 - Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
Parris Campbell has the speed, quickness, and athleticism to be a threat both in the slot and on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys.
Admittedly, it’s not likely that a player with his athletic traits and production would be available in the fourth round, but in the NFL Draft, there are few guarantees.
Campbell recorded 90 receptions for 1,063 yards, and 23 touchdowns in his senior season with the Buckeyes. He'd be an excellent asset in the slot and on the outside as a speed threat for the Dallas Cowboys.
136 - Ben Banogu, EDGE/LB, TCU
You can never have too many pass rushers, and that’s what the Cowboys believe as they double-up on weakside EDGE players by selecting Ben Banogu from TCU in the fourth round.
Banogu was a very productive player for the Hirned Frogs. For his junior and senior seasons, Banogu averaged 8.5 sacks and 17.25 tackles for loss.
At 6-4, 249, he brings good length to the position and has the frame to add a bit more bulk to help him set the edge in the NFL.
165 - Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA
Count me as one who’s excited about the possibility of Blake Jarwin developing into a starting tight end for the Cowboys. He certainly showed over the last half of the season that he’s capable, just needs more experience and playing time. That said, despite the addition of Jason Witten, the Cowboys should still look to add a tight end in the draft, and here’s a good one in UCLA product, Caleb Wilson.
In 11 games for the Bruins in 2918, Wilson caught 60 passes for 965 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 16.1 yards per reception in the PAC 12.
If there’s a knock on Wilson, it’s that he has had some injury struggles in his collegiate career. He has potential to be a move tight end in the NFL with his receiving ability.
241 - Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
There are few prospects that can be had around the fifth round or later that are as intriguing as Baylor Wide Receiver Jalen Hurd.
The first three years of his collegiate career, Hurd played running back for the University of Tennessee and averaged about 4.6 yards per carry. In his freshman season, he ran for 899 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 221 yards receiving on 35 catches and two more touchdowns.
When he transferred to Baylor for his senior season, the Bears coaching staff converted him to wide receiver and he flourished. In 12 games, Hurd caught 69 passes for 946 yards and four touchdowns. The Bears also used him as a runner and he gained 209 yards on 48 carries for three more touchdowns.
In his four year career, he averaged 1,070 yards from scrimmage on 193 touches for 8.25 touchdowns. That’s at two different positions and two different schools.
at 6-4, 217 pounds, Hurd has the size to play receiver in the NFL. He has the ability to play both inside and outside and can give you some snaps out of the backfield as well.
Check out Brian Martin's film review on Jalen Hurd.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
This is just one of many scenarios that could take place when the NFL Draft rolls around at the end of April. The possibilities are endless. The Cowboys have several needs on the offensive and defensive side of the football and this draft has players that can fill those areas of need throughout. Obviously, they'll look to draft the best player available when they come on the clock, and these could very well be players that end up with a star on their helmet in 2019.
How would you feel about the Cowboys drafting any of these guys?
Interview with NFL Draft Prospect, WR Kahlil Lewis
Hidden among another deep receiver class, Kahlil Lewis from Cincinnati is one who hasn’t gotten much attention. The 6'0" 200-pound receiver was among his conference's best but wasn’t recognized as such. In his four years with the Bearcats, he caught 168 passes for 2,116 yards and 21 touchdowns. Lewis improved his numbers each season he played and helped lead the team to an 11-2 record and a Military Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Lewis won’t get as much attention as many of the receivers in this class but that doesn’t appear to be stopping him. Speaking with him, he's clearly ready and motivated for the next level. All he needs is to get one look and someone will see what I saw on TV and his game film.
Me: To get ready for the draft, many prospects will get their body right. They work out harder, become strict with their diets, and some even will go in-depth with their coaches on game film to see what areas they think they need to fix for the next level. How have you been preparing for the NFL? What’s been the biggest struggle?
Lewis: I have been watching a lot of film and learning more about the game of football in my off time now that I don’t have school work. I workout and have a meal plan and only one cheat meal day a week which is Saturday for me. I barely want to cheat my diet now though because now I see how your diet can improve your performance and how you feel, recover, etc. There isn’t a lot of struggle for me in this process because I love to grind and that’s exactly what it is.
Me: At Cincinnati you played both the slot and outside receiver positions, running routes across the middle and down the seams. But where do you think you would fit best?
Lewis: I like playing both and I was fine wherever the coaches needed me, but I love the outside. I love beating press coverage.
Me: I was just about to get to that. To me, watching your film, your ability to run crisp routes and create separation has been maybe your biggest strength. What do you think your best attribute is?
Lewis: I think me being smart helps me overall. Nothing physical or what I do specifically is that much better than the other, like routes, catching; stuff like that. I just study the game and it helps me execute.
Me: What kind of receiver do you try to model your game after?
Lewis: I don’t think I model my game after anyone. I want to be Kahlil Lewis and be the best I can be, but I watch tons of receivers, even when a game is on, I just watch the receivers and DBs, but if I had to name a few Stedman Bailey, Stevie Johnson and Odell.
Me: Every season you played at Cincinnati, you finished the year with better numbers than the previous one. You were catching more passes, scoring more and became your team’s best weapon on offense. How did you develop yourself every season, and do you think that process will translate to the NFL?
Lewis: I think I am getting better every day. I try to improve on something every chance I get but like I said previously, the mind is powerful. I stopped working as hard physically, but I still was getting it in. Not to get confused but like I said, I got smarter. I couldn’t kill my body because I was getting older. I had to take care of myself, so me getting smarter, the game slowed down for me and got easier.
Me: A lot of players get motivation from either a loved one, or trauma, or wherever. It’s what fuels them to be great or even greater than they thought possible. Where does your motivation come from?
Lewis: My motivation really comes from my mom. That’s why I work hard in whatever I do, on and off the field, and it never seems like I do enough because she worked 2-3 jobs all my life and I really hate seeing her tired with a passion, but I don’t let it out. I put that energy into being successful for her.
Me: That’s honorable. Last question. As of right now, you’re a projected Day 3 prospect. Why should teams take a chance on you, and what can you give them to offer?
Lewis: I love the game, I love to compete, I’m a team guy and I love to win. Whatever I have to do for the team's success, I’m doing it with no hesitation. Outside of being a receiver, I can do multiple things on specials teams as well.
Me: Thank you for your time. Good luck with the next few months and on your career as well!
Kahlil Lewis has a lot to prove but it doesn’t appear to phase him. He’s motivated and looks ready for the challenge. Some smart GM will find this smart young man, and make a very smart move.
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