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NFL Draft

Matt Miller’s Early Mock Draft Predicts Cowboys Land Talented DE

Brian Martin



Matt Miller's Early Mock Draft Predicts Cowboys Land Talented DE

I know it's way too early to start jumping into the 2018 mock drafts, but I still find it interesting to see who people are predicting the Dallas Cowboys will draft approximately a year from now. That is why I thought I would go ahead and share with you Matt Miller's 2018 mock draft and the talented defensive end he predicts the Dallas Cowboys will select.

In Miller's 2018 mock draft, he has a Dallas Cowboys slotted at the 26th spot in the first-round, and he has predicted they will draft defensive end Sam Hubbard, out of Ohio State. Below is his assessment of the Sam Hubbard selection for the Cowboys.

"Drafting a defensive end without any in the off-field issues would be an upgrade for the Dallas Cowboys. Selecting one with the power and technique of Sam Hubbard would give them a legitimate rookie starter.

The 6'5", 265-pounder might not test exceptionally well for an edge-rusher, but his strength and ability to shoot through or around blockers at the line to make splash plays against the run and pass make him interesting as a weak- or strong-side defensive end.

The Cowboys have played loose with character-flag players, and the defensive line is paying for it now. Adding a high-character, high-impact defensive end should be a no-brainer."

Matt Miller certainly makes Sam Hubbard sound like he would be an upgrade at the defensive end position for the Dallas Cowboys. It is certainly a position of need, even though they invested in a first-round DE (Taco Charlton) in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Now, I'm not one to disbelieve anything Matt Miller says about an NFL prospect, especially since he's one of my favorite draft analyst, but I wanted to see how Sam Hubbard performed for myself. The only thing I really know about Hubbard is he plays at Ohio State, so I decided to watch the few games of his available You're more than welcome to head there yourself, but I thought I would share with you a few plays of Hubbard's that caught my eye.

Sam Hubbard against the run - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

One of the main things rookie defensive ends struggle with in the NFL is holding up against the run. In the video above you see Sam Hubbard use proper technique and his strength to control the offensive tackle while working down the line to take down the RB in the open field for a tackle for a loss.

This may look like a routine play, but DEs have to be able to set a strong edge in the NFL if they want to get on the field. This is an area of Hubbard's game where he excels and it could earn him a starting role as a rookie.

The next play I want to share with you is how he remains disciplined and once again uses proper technique to make a play behind the line of scrimmage.

Hubbard stays disciplined - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

You may notice that in this video Jabrill Peppers is lined up at QB in the wildcat formation. It is a read option play were Peppers is watching to see what Sam Hubbard does at the DE position. Hubbard plays this play perfectly.

Hubbard keeps his shoulder squared to the line of scrimmage and slow plays Peppers, which isn't easy to do because Peppers is one of the more dynamic players with the ball in his hands. Hubbard however uses proper technique and discipline in order to work down the line of scrimmage and get just enough of Peppers to get the tackle for a loss.

These first two videos are proof of why Sam Hubbard will likely get on the field early as a rookie and how he could help the Dallas Cowboys, but I know most of you are concerned with whether or not he can get after the QB. Well, he does have 10 QB sacks so far in his career at Ohio State, 6.5 in 2015 and 3.5 and 2016.

In the games I watched, he is typically a step or even a half step away from taking down the QB, but he does show promise. He has a limited pass rushing repertoire, but most incoming rookie pass rushers do.

Hubbard pass rush - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

In the video above, you see exactly what I mean about Hubbard being just a step away from getting the QB sack. He does an excellent job of quickly getting up the field at the snap of the ball and not allowing the offensive tackle to get his hands on him. But, the lack of natural bend didn't allow him to get to the QB before he got rid of the ball.

Sam Hubbard's lack of bend and press rushing repertoire are a work in process, but he has the natural gifts to work with. I believe defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli would love a player like Hubbard and could do wonders developing his natural ability.

Overall, I think this is a good solid pick for the Dallas Cowboys and agree with Matt Miller that Sam Hubbard would be an upgrade at the DE position. The 2018 NFL Draft is still a long ways away, so we don't really know who will be available or where, but it's still fun to speculate.

Would you be on board with Sam Hubbard as the Dallas Cowboys 2018 first-round draft pick?

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.

1 Comment
  • Thorin

    Didn’t we draft a similar player(Taco), I’ll rather see what Charles Tapper does. He’s a prototypical Edge Rusher. I prefer Brandon Chubb, Much Faster. If I was drafting today, I’ll look at Receiver and Outside Linbacker

NFL Draft

Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys

Kevin Brady



2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

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.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

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.

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NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

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.

Josh Norris on Twitter

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.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”

Kevin Brady



Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

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.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

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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