As long as he can work out a contract renegotiation with the Broncos it appears that Colin Kaepernick will soon be traded to Denver by the San Francisco 49ers. If this happens there could be a ripple effect that impacts the Dallas Cowboys' upcoming draft strategy.
Let's quickly recap where teams are picking in first round. I'm going through the 15th pick as they include some other teams who could get involved. I've also included the picks from my last mock draft:
|1. Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT
2. Browns - Carson Wentz, QB
3. Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB
4. Cowboys - Myles Jack, LB
5. Jaguars - Joey Bosa, DE
6. Ravens - DeForest Buckner, DL
7. 49ers - Jared Goff, QB
8. Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB
|9. Bucs - Emmanuel Ogbah, DE
10. Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT
11. Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB
12. Saints - Laquon Treadwell, WR
13. Dolphins - Shaq Lawson, DE
14. Raiders - Eli Apple, CB
15. Rams - Reggie Ragland, LB
I've also highlighted the Saints and Rams because they could be factors in what happens. The 49ers should be going hard after a quarterback, assuming Chip Kelly's irrational evaluating doesn't have him in love with Blaine Gabbert. He can't be that stupid, right?
Oh, sorry guys.
Let's move along with the theory that Kelly wants a new quarterback in San Francisco. Here are some different scenarios that could happen which concern Dallas directly:
1. 49ers Trade Up to the 3rd Pick
In my last mock I had Goff falling to the Niners at their original 7th pick, which works great for them. However, they may have concerns that the Saints or Rams could try and move ahead of them.
New Orleans could move up into the #4-6 range using their second-round pick in addition to their first. Drew Brees is 37-years-old and his contract expires this year. Sean Payton could see this as a golden opportunity to get Brees' replacement.
Los Angeles (oh, you know I typed "St. Louis" the first time) clearly needs a new quarterback with their Foles-Keenum-Mannion poo poo platter. They may have to give up next year's first rounder to move into range for Goff or Wentz, but it wasn't long ago that they got an extra first from Washington in the Robert Griffen deal. Wanting to bring excitement to their new city, the Rams could be extra motivated to make a big move.
So, fearing trade ups from one of these QB-needy teams, the Niners may send an extra pick San Diego's way to get into that third spot. They could view any of teams from #4-#6, including the Cowboys, as potential trade partners for the Saints or Rams and work to get ahead of the pack.
Cowboys Impact: If the Niners move up to #3 to take a quarterback then, in the mock draft I posted, it pushes Jalen Ramsey down to Dallas. The consensus right now is that Ramsey is the top player on Dallas' board but he seems to be going in the top three picks in almost every projection. They will likely need help to land him and this is starting to look like the best possible scenario to get the assist.
2. 49ers Trade Up to Dallas' #4 Pick
Not expecting the Chargers to take a quarterback, the Niners could call the Cowboys to make a move. Dallas would demand, at the least, the Niners' 3rd-round pick and could probably get their 2nd-round pick in the deal.
Dropping to the 7th pick would put several useful players in range for Dallas; Ezekiel Elliott, Vernon Hargreaves, or one of the several defensive end options. There's even a good chance that Myles Jack could still be there and they'd now have an extra Friday pick to work with. How'd you like that savvy move?
3. Cowboys Trade Up to #2 Pick
If Dallas wants a quarterback then they may have to consider this deal. The Browns may be willing to move after signing RG3 and needing lots of pieces to build their team.
Even if Dallas doesn't think Cleveland is going to take a QB, they could still make this move if they're worried someone will slide up to San Diego's spot and take the guy they want. The Cowboys are only going to draft a quarterback that they truly love and they may not want to risk that guy being snatched away from them. Whether it's Goff or Wentz, Dallas may make an aggressive move to get them.
~ ~ ~
These are the three major possibilities that the Kaepernick-to-Denver trade could lead to for Dallas. While the current order could hold and things unfold about the way my mock draft said, something about wheeling-dealing Chip Kelly in San Francisco makes me think that a shake-up is coming.
How much Dallas stands to profit from any 49ers activity depends on their own desire for a quarterback. If they want one, San Francisco becomes a problem. If not, Dallas stand to profit from whatever moves Chip makes.
It's just another level of intrigue in the ever-entertaining draft process.
2018 NFL Draft: Cowboys to Hold Visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller
The Dallas Cowboys have been
frustratingly unsurprisingly quiet through the start of free agency, as their opportunity to improve at the AT&T Stadium hosted 2018 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching. Offensive line depth remains a team need for the Cowboys, one they're actively looking to address by visiting free agent Guard Marcus Martin while planning a pre-draft visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller.
I'm told UTEP Guard Will Hernandez is another of Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors. Hernandez joins Alabama WR Calvin Ridley and UCLA G/T Kolton Miller on the list of reported visitors for the #Cowboys. Since 2014, 14 of Dallas' 35 picks (40%) have been pre-draft visitors.
Protecting one of the top quarterbacks available in the draft in Josh Rosen through college, Kolton Miller absolutely blew up the Combine in Indianapolis - entering the draft as one of the most athletic available linemen.
It is this athleticism and versatility that the Dallas Cowboys should absolutely be looking for, if trying to add another "blue chip" player to an offensive line already featuring LT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, and RT La'el Collins.
Kolton Miller with the broad jump world record for an offensive lineman at 10 1 wow
Tyron Smith's health (along with the level of play the Cowboys received at his spot in his absence) and the FA status of Jonathan Cooper are both reasons the Cowboys should consider adding a new, controllable option to their dominant offensive line. Whether this is with the 19th overall pick, or later on with a prospect like Miller, will depend on how the board falls through the first 18 picks of the draft.
With ten total picks coming in, the Cowboys could be positioning themselves for a move up the board to land an impact defender, or an additional piece for Kris Richard to work with in the defensive backfield. Staying home at 19th overall and selecting a player capable of playing swing tackle would not only be a safe option for the Cowboys, but a smart one with Ezekiel Elliott returning full-time to the lineup in 2018.
Without Elliott for six games in 2017, the Cowboys still managed nine wins. This is a point lost to most of Cowboys Nation, especially those watching the entire playoffs without their team in it, only to watch the Eagles hoist the Lombardi. Elliott's impact on each's week game plan for Dallas is hard to understate, and the Cowboys' trust in him begins up front.
Testing as an elite athlete with the film to match at tackle in the Pac 12, Kolton Miller should be a welcome addition to America's Team - getting the opportunity to learn the Cowboys' way with a trip to The Star in his future.
Can Powers of Persuasion Help Make Will Hernandez a Cowboy?
There is no shortage of NFL hopefuls who would like to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft. But, not one of them have used their powers of persuasion to make their intentions known as much as former UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez.
Throughout the entire draft process, Will Hernandez has done nothing but stand out when given the opportunity. He first started to make waves at the 2018 Senior Bowl, where he pretty much dominated his competition. Then, he improved his draft stock even more by putting on a show at the Scouting Combine.
The 6'2", 330 pound offensive guard has likely cemented himself as a surefire first-round draft pick and is arguably the second-ranked OG in the entire 2018 draft class. He is a plug-and-play prospect for any team who drafts him, but he has made his intentions well known that he would love to play for the Dallas Cowboys.
Back in February, Will Hernandez was spotted hanging out with the Cowboys bookend offensive tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, to see the premiere of the movie Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis.
@PujolsFive Cowboys fans will appreciate this post!! ⭐️ Movie Premiere #Deathwish Great movie!
To see Will Hernandez rubbing elbows with a few of the Dallas Cowboys talented offensive lineman only strengthened the connection for Hernandez becoming a draft pick by America's Team. But, this wasn't the only time the former UTEP offensive guard was seen out with a Cowboys player.
In March, he was once again seen out on the town with the Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith.
All of this can probably be chalked up to a current player hanging out with an NFL hopeful, but as a Cowboys fan you want to believe it's more than just a coincidence.
The Dallas Cowboys without a doubt need a new starting left guard. It can be argued it's the team's biggest need this offseason and Will Hernandez fits the bill to a T. He would immediately upgrade the entire offensive line and solidify the unit for years to come.
The only problem is, the Dallas Cowboys have already invested quite a bit in their offensive line and taking Will Hernandez in the first round would be considered by some as overkill. I for one wouldn't be opposed to taking him at 19 if he is the top rated player when the Cowboys are on the clock.
It's hard to know if seeing Will Hernandez hanging out with Tyron Smith and La'el Collins improves his chances of being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but it definitely doesn't hurt. Offensive lines around the NFL perform at their best when they play as a cohesive unit, so developing a bond already could be viewed as a good thing.
Who knows, maybe Will Hernandez's powers of persuasion will pay off and end up being the deciding factor to help him become the next first-round offensive lineman drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.
Do you read anything into Will Hernandez hanging out with Cowboys players?
Keeping Dez Bryant Shouldn’t Stop Cowboys From Drafting Calvin Ridley
With NFL Free Agency buzz at full speed this week, Dez Bryant is one of the most intriguing names in the Dallas Cowboys world. We all know the story. We've been talking about it since last season. Bryant, who was once among the "Top WR of the league" conversation, doesn't look like an elite player anymore.
That doesn't mean he is a bad football player, but the problem is that he's getting paid big time.
The Dallas Cowboys, who have struggled with cap space for many years now, may want to avoid paying $16.5M to a player who isn't justifying his paychecks on the field. Big name and all, it certainly doesn't feel that way.
His lack of production on the field the last three years is concerning, even though he's played with quarterbacks not named "Tony Romo." There are other receivers around the league who have played with bad quarterbacks and have still been able to produce.
Even still, it wouldn't be easy to replace Bryant on the offense just like that. Right now, top free agents are already off the market, so if Dallas wants to replace him, it'd have to be via trade or via the NFL Draft.
ICYMI: A few things to consider as we wait on news about Dez Bryant's future with the Dallas Cowboys https://t.co/cCNpXmhARe
Right now, it seems that Dez is going to remain a Dallas Cowboy and after seeing the contracts other receivers in the league are about to get, who knows if a pay cut will even enter the equation.
Even if Dez keeps wearing the Star every week next season, wide receiver is still one of the team's top needs. Despite the fact that Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten are some very well-known names, the truth is this offense needs a guy who can create separation and be harmful as a deep threat.
This is a draft class with a lot of depth at wide receiver, and the Cowboys could find contributors at the second or later rounds. Even still, if they're on the clock at 19 and Alabama's Calvin Ridley is available, the front office should pull the trigger.
Yes, even if Dez is still on the team.
Despite last year's struggles, we shouldn't lose faith on the Cowboys' offense when it has a lot of talent. We believed in this group to take us to the Super Bowl. What they are missing could just be a new, dynamic wide receiver.
Calvin Ridley is by far the best WR in the Draft this year and will be an impact player anywhere he goes. Despite a poor showing in the Combine, Ridley proves to be worthy of a first round pick on tape. Ideal route-running, great ability to separate and more than enough speed for the NFL.
This would certainly take a lot of pressure off Cole Beasley's shoulders, who was constantly double-teamed last year. Sure, he's still good, but if he continues to run into double-coverage, Dak Prescott and company will probably continue to struggle another year.
It's tough to imagine Calvin Ridley being available at 19, especially with the Baltimore Ravens holding the 16th overall pick. However, some people believe there's a 50/50 chance he's available once Dallas is on the clock. If that's the case, the Cowboys shouldn't pass on this prospect.
Ridley could very well end up being the most productive receiver for the Cowboys in 2018 becoming an essential "best friend" for Dak Prescott.
We've seen how other front offices have made friendly offenses for their young QBs and if Calvin Ridley is what it takes, why even think about it?
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