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.
2020 RB Options for the Cowboys if Things Turn Ugly With Ezekiel Elliott
The Dallas Cowboys could have a Le'Veon Bell-type situation on their hands in regards to Ezekiel Elliott. It's been reported Zeke is contemplating a holdout until his financial demands are met by way of a contract extension. This could put the Cowboys between a rock and a hard place.
Ezekiel Elliott is technically still under contract for two more seasons because of the fifth-year option he carries as a former first-round draft pick. Threatening to hold out seems a little premature, but Zeke has the Cowboys by the short hairs right now, meaning the leverage is on his side.
This is a situation that could, unfortunately, turn ugly, and quickly.
Check out Ep. 6 of Cowboys Weekly - Segment 1 for more discussion from Inside The Star on Ezekiel Elliott's Hold-Out situation:
The Cowboys have several other mouths to feed and Zeke may not be at the top the list considering his continued immaturity issues off the field. His on-field production is undeniable, but so are the red flags that keep popping up. It may be time for Dallas to look for his successor and fortunately, the 2020 running back draft class is a pretty good place to start.
Let's take a look…
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
Jonathan Taylor (5'11", 219) would probably be the ideal candidate to replace Ezekiel Elliott for the Dallas Cowboys. He is one of the more productive collegiate running backs expected to enter the 2020 NFL Draft and has the intangibles that are eerily similar to Zeke as far as size, speed, and power are concerned. Unfortunately, that likely makes him a top 10 selection, putting him out of reach of the Cowboys.
Taylor doesn't come without his warts though. As a true Junior, he's seen a lot of action in his three years as the starting RB for the Badgers. That wear-and-tear is a cause for concern because it could lead to durability issues once in the NFL. He also has struggled with his ball security. He's put the ball on the ground 12 times in the last two seasons, which will need to be cleaned up at the next level. But, there's no denying his talent.
D'Andre Swift, Georgia
D'Andre Swift (5'9", 215) is one of my favorite RB options in the 2020 draft class to replace Ezekiel Elliott if things turn ugly with the Dallas Cowboys. He doesn't have the same kind of production as Jonathan Taylor and is still somewhat under the radar because he's been stuck in a committee with the Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Elijah Holyfield the last two years. But mark my words, he will be the next great RB to enter the NFL out of Georgia. Swift could be as ideal of a candidate to replace Zeke as there is.
Dallas likes an inside runner with zone vision as well as someone who can be a threat in the passing game, and D'Andre fits the bill. Despite being a little smaller in size than Zeke, he still possesses the power to run inside. Then throw in his receiving ability, 32 catches for 297 yards and three touchdowns last season, and you have someone who is more than capable of replacing #21's offensive production. He's projected to be a late first-round pick, which could put him within striking distance of the Cowboys.
J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
J.K. Dobbins (5'10", 214) could be someone who is already on the Dallas Cowboys' radar as a potential Ezekiel Elliott replacement. They seem to have a liking for Ohio State running backs (Zeke, Rod Smith, Mike Weber) and could turn to another Buckeye to carry the rock. Dobbins, an all-purpose back and native Texan (Houston, TX) checks all of the boxes the Cowboys typically look for in their featured back.
Dobbins has the size, speed, and vision to be a featured back in the NFL. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards his last two seasons while splitting time with Mike Weber and has averaged about 200 receiving yards during that time span as well. He's not the most physical back, but he keeps moving his feet upon contact. He also needs to improve in pass protection in order to become a true three-down RB in the NFL. But his vision, shorter area quickness, elusiveness, and patience as a runner are all top-notch.
Travis Etienne, Clemson
The breakout season of Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, unfortunately, overshadowed the Heisman-worthy year Travis Etienna (5'10", 200) had in 2018. In his first year as a starter, he rushed for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns, all the while averaging an impressive 8.1 yards per carry. If he can follow that up in 2019 he could become the most coveted back in the 2020 draft class and become a really intriguing option for the Dallas Cowboys.
Etienne will probably need to add a little bit more "good weight" and muscle to his frame if he wants to be considered a featured back in the NFL. If he can accomplish that and not lose any of his elusiveness or speed he should climb up draft boards. If not, he may not be of much interest to the Cowboys because they already have a similar RB in Tony Pollard. He does possess plug-and-play talent though, making him a potential Ezekiel Elliott replacement.
Najee Harris, Alabama
Najee Harris (6'2", 230) is yet another big, physical running back who has had to remain patient and wait his turn at Alabama, but 2019 could be his breakout season. With Bo Scarbrough, Josh Jacobs, and Damien Harris ahead of him on the depth chart the last two years, Najee saw limited playing time. But, when he did receive the opportunity to showcase his skill set he didn't disappoint. His physical talent could make him a top-5 running back come draft time.
Despite his limited playing time last the two seasons, he averaged over 6 yards a carry. He rushed for a career-high 783 yards and four touchdowns on just 117 carries in 2018 and should easily surpass those totals this season. In doing so he should become one of the more sought after RBs in the 2020 draft class. With the Cowboys, as Zeke's potential replacement, his physicality would pair nicely with Tony Pollard's slashing style. A Harris/Pollard duo could be just as productive as the Cowboys running game has been in the past.
The above five running backs are all potential Ezekiel Elliott replacements who I really like and will likely receive the most national attention due to the programs in which they play. But, they are only a few in what looks like a really strong 2020 RB draft class. Here a few honorable mentions you should also keep a close eye on as well.
- Cam Akers, Florida State
- Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
- Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
- Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
- Kylin Hill, Mississippi State
I believe any of these running backs mentioned above at any point in the article could be in play for the Dallas Cowboys if they choose to play hardball with Ezekiel Elliott over his want for a contract extension. The 2020 running back draft class has a plethora of potential starters and this could be in the back of the Cowboys mind when they're determining where they want to spend their money. Paying top dollar for an RB might not fit in their budget, even for one as talented as Zeke.
Do you like any of these potential RBs as replacements for Ezekiel Elliott?
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?
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