The closer we get to the end the 2016 NFL season, the more we know about the playoff picture. Also at this time of year, we are starting to learn which college prospects will decide to enter the draft, which is why we are starting to see more mock drafts surfacing around the Internet.
Luckily, one of my favorite draft analyst, Matt Miller, released a three round mock draft after polling his twitter followers, asking them if they would rather have him release his top 50 big board or a three round mock draft. Obviously, the mock draft won out.
I don't know about you, but I love looking at all of these different mock drafts, especially to see who they have the Dallas Cowboys selecting.
I personally haven't started really looking at potential prospects yet, choosing instead to enjoy the way Cowboys are playing this season. But, I do have to say I like who Matt Miller has chosen for the Dallas Cowboys and would be ecstatic if this was the way things turned out.
Below are the players Miller believes the Dallas Cowboys could possibly come away with in the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. By the way, you may notice that he has the Cowboys drafting 32nd over in the first round, the Super Bowl slot.
32. Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois
My analysis: The Dallas Cowboys desperately need to improve their pass rush, so Matt Miller's selection of a defensive end in the first round makes sense.
At 6'3", 255 pounds, Dawuane Smoot has the size and speed to play DE in the Cowboys 4-3 defensive scheme. He plays with power at the point of attack and has an extra gear to finish when making plays in the backfield.
Smoot has been the definition of consistent over the last few seasons. In 2015, he had seven QB sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss, then he finished the 2016 season with five QB sacks and 15 tackles for a loss.
He is exactly the type of disruptive player that the Cowboys could use along the defensive line if he is indeed available and I would love to see him wearing the star in 2017.
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64. Adoree' Jackson, CB/WR, USC
My analysis: With Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne in the last year of their contracts, the Dallas Cowboys are going to have to address the cornerback position at some point in the draft. Fortunately, Anthony Brown looks to be a future starter, so the Cowboys don't have to reach for a CB out of need.
Adoree' Jackson is first and foremost a tremendous athlete, which is evident by the way he was utilized in a number of different roles while playing at USC. The Trojans used him as a cornerback, wide receiver, and a kick/punt returner. He made impact plays in all four of these areas.
At 5'11", 185 pounds, Jackson isn't the biggest defensive back, but he knows how to mirror WRs down the field and has tremendously leaping ability/awareness to make plays on the ball. He also isn't afraid to step up and make plays in the running game.
Jackson is a player that could help the Cowboys in a number of different ways, just like he did at USC. This would be a great addition to the organization if he is available.
Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scotttakade/ (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/ScottTakade Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scotttakade/ USC CB/WR/KR/PR Adoree' Jackson Junior 5'11 185 lbs Check out my backup channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT48sLMEjRc40Ts-cm70E3w Intro song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k1FRzJn5VI (All rights go to University of Southern California, ESPN, xosdigitalsports, USC Athletics, PAC-12 Network, PAC-12 Conference, Universal Music Group, the NCAA & it's broadcasters.
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96. Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
My analysis: Just like the cornerback position with the expiring contracts of Carr and Claiborne, wide receivers Terrance Williams and Brice Butler are in the last year of their contracts as well, making it a position of need. So, it's not surprising that Matt Miller would select a WR for the Cowboys with their third round selection.
This is what I love about mock drafts, because I honestly have never heard of Cooper Kupp before this, but he is definitely on my radar now.
Kupp has the size that the Dallas Cowboys prefer in their wide receivers (6'2", 195) and was definitely a fun player to watch on film.
He played in the slot and as an outside receiver at Eastern Washington. He is a good route runner and is a natural hands catcher. He knows how to go up and attack the ball at the highest point and has a vice grip like hands to secure the catch.
Kupp has played in 50 games during his career at Eastern Washington and has recorded 412 receptions for 6,156 receiving yards and 70 touchdowns.
Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/ScottTakade (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scotttakade/ Eastern Washington WR Cooper Kupp Junior 6'1 195 lbs Check out my backup channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT48sLMEjRc40Ts-cm70E3w Intro & Outro song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k1FRzJn5VI (All rights go to Eastern Washington University, ESPN, xosdigitalsports, T3MediaSports, Fox Sports, The Big Sky Network, Eastern Washington Athletics, the Big Sky Conference, Universal Music Group, the NCAA & it's broadcasters.
What do you think of Cooper Kupp?
What do you think of Matt Miller's selections for the Dallas Cowboys?
Please for free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.
Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys
As the 2018 NFL Draft draws closer, teams are beginning to hold their official visits with prospects of their own choosing. The Cowboys have already met with a few different prospects thus far, and they've reportedly added a linebacker to that list this week.
Multiple reports are saying the Cowboys will meet with Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this week, adding him to the list of 30 potential visits.
BoiseState LB Leighton Vander Esch will be a pre-draft visitor for the #Cowboys. Add him to your list of 30, per Tony Pauline.
Vander Esch is a bit of a controversial prospect in the draft world. As I've stated before, he tested like a freak athletically, and his combine profile alone would put him in the discussion on day one. The problems I have with Vander Esch have nothing to do with his athleticism, however, and everything to do with his actual football-playing ability.
On film, I see a player who struggles to get off blocks and will have trouble finding a home with the Cowboys. Still, I wouldn't mind the Cowboys drafting Vander Esch - that pick cannot come in the first round though.
Vander Esch is a long, rangy, and athletic linebacker who is at his best playing laterally and tracking down plays. As a blitzer, Vander Esch has some rather clear issues. He often runs directly into blocks and is unable to shed at the point of attack. I also don't think he is as instinctual a player as some of the other linebackers in this class, such as BYU's Fred Warner or Alabama's Rashaan Evans.
The way things are looking, however, Vander Esch is going to be a first round pick. And if not, he'll almost certainly be a top 50 pick. I wouldn't be very comfortable taking him at 19, and I'd have to think twice before even taking him at 50 for that matter.
2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
With more pressing needs on offense at guard and wide receiver, and defensively at DE or LB, the Cowboys' concerning lack of proven ability at safety has taken a backseat in this offseason's roster build. With the expectation that new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard will elevate the play of the entire Cowboys' secondary, the team is doing their due diligence on safeties available in the 2018 NFL Draft - starting with Texas' DeShon Elliott.
It appears Texas S DeShon Elliott is visiting the #Cowboys today
With 63 tackles and six interceptions in his final season at Texas, Elliott took full advantage of being a starter in the Big 12 for the first time in his career, flying onto the NFL Draft scene.
Elliott is a well-balanced, average athlete with the upside to be targeted late in April's draft and make a difference.
If they had to play a game tomorrow, the Cowboys would be rolling with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier at safety.
Finding an expanded role this season for Frazier should be a priority in Dallas, as should supplementing Heath and Woods with additional talent. DeShon Elliott would fit this group well, along with the Cowboys' scheme, given his range and disruptive ability.
Should Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and now Byron Jones help the Cowboys reach their full potential at CB, the Cowboys safeties will not be tested in single coverage up the field often. This is an area that Elliott was exploited in at Texas plenty of times, performing better as a true free safety or second-level player.
Continuing to add young talent at the right price is key to the Cowboys' ongoing rebuild on defense, now visiting with a local safety prospect that should be available to them in the later rounds. Texas' DeShon Elliott is officially a name to consider come draft week in Dallas.
Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”
Last week, I detailed what the Cowboys tend to look for when drafting a wide receiver. In terms of a combine profile, Dallas clearly has a "type" of wide-out they like to target.
The Cowboys certainly need to upgrade their receiving corps, but with the plethora of other holes to fill, they may not be able to do so until the 3rd or 4th round. Luckily for the Cowboys, there is at least one receiver which both fits their profile and should be available early on day three.
That player is Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.
Working on something for @InsideTheStarDC... here's the height, weight, 40 time, and 3 cone for every WR DAL has taken since 2010.
First, let's re-examine what the Cowboys like to look for. As you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys draft targets all seem to fit a similar profile. If we treat Dez Bryant as their "ideal" draft pick, the trends become even clearer. Dallas wants to find a wide-out who is about 6'1" 205 pounds, runs nearly a 4.5 40 yard dash, and about a 6.9 three come time.
DeaSean Hamilton, coincidentally, is 6'1" 203 pounds, ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the Penn State pro day, and ran a 6.84 three cone at the combine. Penn State's all time receptions leader stole the show at the 2018 Senior Bowl, putting all of "Draft Twitter" on notice to his talent.
An efficient and smooth route runner, Hamilton looks natural coming in and out of breaks, creating separation with his precise routes. The Cowboys don't have many receivers on their roster who can win with their route running, and adding a player like Hamilton would greatly help third year quarterback Dak Prescott moving forward.
With the ability to play in the slot, as well as potentially being a Z receiver for the Cowboys and a replacement for Terrance Williams, Hamilton would be an excellent draft target in the third or fourth round. And, keeping in mind how nicely he fits their typical draft profile, I'd expect Dallas to target Hamilton during the 2018 NFL Draft.
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