How Many Ohio State Players Will The Cowboys Draft?

The Dallas Cowboys recently sent a conglomeration of coaches/scouts to Ohio State’s Pro Day to get a firsthand look at the numerous amount of draft prospects that could be on their radar when the 2016 NFL Draft kicks off in April.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, running back coach Gary Brown, and quarterback coach Wade Wilson even put a few of the players through private workouts while they were there in order to take advantage of the opportunity.

Fortunately for the Cowboys, there was no shortage of players that could be beneficial to the team in 2016. There are approximately 15 draft eligible players that could hear their name called in Chicago, so that got me thinking just how many might end up with the Cowboys?

I used the CBS Big Board to determine where each player will most likely be drafted and broke it down a little further into which days they should hear their names called.

Here is how everything broke down according to CBS’s rankings:

Day 1: Friday, April 28 (Round 1)

Position Height, Weight Projected Round
Joey Bosa DE 6’5″, 269 1
Ezekiel Elliott RB 6’0″, 225 1
Darron Lee LB 6’1″, 223 1
Eli Apple CB 6’1″, 199 1
Taylor Decker OT 6’7″, 310 1

Day 2: Saturday, April 29 (Rounds 2-3)

Position Height, Weight Projected Round
Michael Thomas WR 6’3″, 212 2
Von Bell SS 5’11”, 199 2
Joshua Perry LB 6’4″, 254 2
Adolphus Washington DT 6’3″, 301 2
Braxton Miller WR 6’1″, 201 2-3
Nick Vannett TE 6’6″, 257 3

Day 3: Sunday, April 30 (Rounds 4-7)

Position Height, Weight Projected Round
Cardale Jones QB 6’5″, 253 4-5
Tyvis Powell FS 6’3″, 211 6
Jalin Marshall WR 5’11”, 200 7-FA
Chase Farris OG 6’5″, 310 7-FA

As you can see, there is no shortage of Ohio State players available for the Cowboys to choose from on each day of the draft, but the question is do any of them make sense to add to the roster?

Day 1 Ohio State players of interest:

Joey Bosa is a player that has been linked to the Cowboys at #4 for a while now and could very well be wearing a star on his helmet 2016. He plays a position that the Cowboys are extremely thin at depth wise and the fact that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli personally put him through individual drills tells you all you need to know about the Cowboys interest.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott is another player that has been linked to the Cowboys numerous times and probably the only player in the entire draft that would have the biggest impact for the team. Elliott is a plug-and-play player that would excel behind the Cowboys dominant offensive line. There really isn’t any weakness to his game and even though the Cowboys look set at the RB position, don’t rule out their interest in him.

Of the remaining Ohio State players expected to be drafted in the first round only corner back Eli Apple would be likely to be drafted by Dallas. I don’t expect the Cowboys to draft a linebacker (Darron Lee) or offensive tackle (Taylor Decker) this early in the draft, but someone like Apple may be too good to pass up. He has the size and speed that NFL teams covet and would have the added benefit of being brought along slowly and learning how to play the position at the NFL level.

Day 2 Ohio State players of interest:

Wide receiver Michael Thomas fits the criteria that the Cowboys like in their WRs (6’3″, 212) and he would likely be an immediate upgrade over the inconsistent Terrance Williams. I believe Thomas is somewhat underrated. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that the Buckeyes had so many weapons on offense that he wasn’t featured as much to showcase his skills. I think the best is yet to come for him and he could possibly develop into a #1 WR in the NFL.

The Cowboys are looking to upgrade the safety position and Von Bell could possibly step in and make Barry Church have to except a backup role. Bell is listed as a strong safety, but I think he is versatile enough to start next to last year’s first-round draft pick, Byron Jones, and give the secondary a pair of interchangeable players. This would probably give the Cowboys the best young safety duo in the entire NFL for years to come.

Linebacker Joshua Perry is more of a classical thumper, but I believe he is athletic enough to be an every down player. He could back up Rolando McClain and not only provide insurance at the middle linebacker position, but take over as soon as next season.

Adolphus Washington is an athletic penetrating defensive tackle that Rod Marinelli covets in his defensive line rotation. Washington could split reps with Tyrone Crawford at the 3 tech, but he could play the 1 tech as well.

Braxton Miller is an interesting prospect. It may take a little time for him to develop, but he has the skill set required to become a very good WR in the NFL. The Cowboys coaching staff were able to work with him one-on-one during Senior Bowl practices and would know if the risk is worth the reward.

Tight end Nick Vannett is a player that I really like. The Cowboys brought back James Hanna to be the #2 TE behind future Hall of Famer Jason Witten, but Dallas would be in trouble if they had to rely on Hanna as a #1 TE. Vannett would benefit from learning from Witten and he has all the qualities you look for to develop into a starting tight end.

Could the Cowboys strike gold in the third round by drafting Vannett, much like they did with Witten back in 2003?

Day 3 has a few draftable Ohio State players, and a couple that could possibly be priority free agents.

Cardale Jones could possibly be that QB that they want to develop to replace Tony Romo in the future. He has a cannon arm and is more athletic than people give him credit for, especially for his size.

Tyvis Powell could be a developmental safety that provides valuable depth, while also contributing on special teams.

Both Jalin Marshall and Chase Farris would have to be priority free agents because the Cowboys don’t currently have any seventh round draft picks. They could be brought in to compete and add depth to the roster.

Well, there you have it. I could easily see several of these Ohio State players in a Cowboys uniform in 2016, although more than one of them is unlikely.

Who do you think the Cowboys could be most interested in?

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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