I can't wait for the 2019 NFL Draft and I'm sure you can't either. We're only a few days away from knowing how things will work out on a draft class filled with intriguing storylines, starting from the first overall pick.
I've written my second and final Mock Draft of the year, this time doing a deep dive into the second round. The Dallas Cowboys don't pick until the 58th spot, the only second round pick for which I have written a brief description. Make sure to let me know what you think about my latest Mock Draft in the comments section below or on Twitter @MauNFL!
Note: This mock doesn't include any sort of trades. Enjoy!
R1/1 - ARI: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
The Cardinals find a new QB for Kliff Kingsbury's offense. It's a wild story line, but it certainly seems like a true one. This will happen. The question is where will Josh Rosen end up?
R1/2 - SF: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Best player in the class. Nick Bosa will be a successful pass rusher in the NFL and the 49ers are very luck to see him "fall" to the second overall pick.
R1/3 - NYJ: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
If the Jets can't trade this pick away, Quinnen Williams might be the way to go. Lately, pressure in the interior has grown more and more important in the NFL. Ed Oliver could also be an option here, and his name has been making a buzz at #3.
R1/4 - OAK: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Ed Oliver has been disrespected throughout this process. Many have him falling to the teens in their mock drafts, but not me. The Raiders find an insanely talented defensive tackle at four.
R1/5 - TB: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Bucs get a premium pass rusher for their defense early in the Draft. A quarterback wouldn't surprise me, but they opt for the best player available.
R1/6 - NYG: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Time for a new era in New York. I believe that era begins with Dwayne Haskins, a QB they reportedly like and want in this upcoming Draft. That's a rumor I'm buying.
R1/7 - JAC: T.J. Hockenson, TE , Iowa
Jawaan Taylor has been the most heard name at this pick, but I believe T.J. Hockenson ends up being too good of a player to pass on here. Nick Foles succeeded in Philly with quality tight ends and the Jaguars give him one of the best prospects in the Draft in Hockenson.
R1/8 - DET: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Many doubt how far will Montez Sweat will fall but I have the Lions taking a chance on one of the best prospects in the Draft.
R1/9 - BUF: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The Bills will be tempted to go for a skill player at this pick, but Jonah Williams is a very wise selection. They get offensive line help that can play anywhere they ask him to.
R1/10 - DEN: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Joe Flacco might be the guy for 2019, but the Broncos get a young prospect for the future. Lock can make all the throws and has ton of potential.
R1/11 - CIN: Devin White, LB, LSU
Devin White is your ideal middle linebacker. He has the speed and range needed to be a quality starter in the NFL and the Bengals fill an important need.
R1/12 - GB: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
The Packers prepare for life after often-injured 30-year old Ryan Bulaga. Jawaan Taylor is a physical prospect with tons of upside at right tackle.
R1/13 - MIA: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
The Dolphins must get help at offensive line. They start by adding Andre Dillard, a player ready to step in and play.
R1/14 - ATL: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Gary has a lot of athletic talent and the Falcons will try to exploit it in Atlanta. Fourteen is great value for Rashan Gary.
R1/15 - WAS: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
The Redskins could use a QB, but Josh Rosen might be their way to address that need. Here they find one of the best defensive prospects in Devin Bush. The linebacker class won't look pretty after the top two prospects are gone.
R1/16 - CAR: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The Panthers need to help their offensive and defensive line. In this scenario the best prospect is on the defensive side. Brian Burns heads to Carolina.
R1/17 - NYG: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Wilkins might end up surprising all of us and be gone earlier than expected. The Giants find a quality interior defender who can rush the passer.
R1/18 - MIN: OL, Cody Ford, Oklahoma
The Vikings need to help their offensive line. If there's no one available, they probably should reach for one. Cody Ford provides decent value, and the Vikings get help.
R1/19 - TEN: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
At 19, Metcalf could be a steal. He's a WR1 in the NFL and the Titans will pair him up with Corey Davis.
R1/20 - PIT: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Williams has prototypical size for the NFL. The Steelers take the first cornerback off the board.
R1/21 - SEA: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Russell Wilson just got paid and the Seahawks opt to get him a weapon early in the Draft. Marquise Brown is a dangerous play-maker and should thrive with Wilson as his QB.
R1/22 - BAL: Clelin Ferrell , EDGE, Clemson
The Ravens need to invest on a pass rusher. Ferrell has a high floor for the NFL and could contribute right away.
R1/23 - HOU: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Hockenson might be the best prospect from Iowa but Fant isn't far behind. He's a very complete tight end who can block and produce in the passing game. Deshaun Watson gets a new friend at tight end.
R1/24 - OAK: Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky
Lonnie Johnson's name has been buzzing in first round rumors and the Raiders could emerge as a possible landing spot. Lonnie Johnson has a lot of traits needed to shine in the NFL and would be a good pick by Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden. Raiders scouts likely won't get a say in this one since they'll be watching the Draft at home.
R1/25 - PHI: Jefferey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Jeffery Simmons is way too good to slip out of the first round. The Eagles are a complete team that can take the risk here.
R1/26 - IND: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
The Colts could find a WR here, but they own the 34th pick. They'd be better off by securing the safety they want.
R1/27 - OAK: Irv Smith, TE, Alabama
The Raiders get another weapon for their offense in Irv Smith, a full-rounded TE. He'll contribute right away.
R1/28 - LAC: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Byron Murphy fills a need and is the best DB available here. The Chargers shouldn't overthink this one.
R1/29 - KC: Garrett Bradbury, OC, N.C. State
The Chiefs should avoid reaching for an edge rusher and wait for later instead. Garrett Bradbury would be an excellent pick. Get Mahomes a long-term center.
R1/30 - GB: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
If Daniel Jones is still on the board here, I wouldn't be surprised if the Packers do the same they did when they drafted Aaron Rodgers. Get a young player with talent for the future. Green Bay has done its homework on the QB class throughout this process.
R1/31 - LAR: DT, Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
The Rams add talent to their defensive line with Dexter Lawrence. At the end of Round 1, Lawrence is worth it. Lawrence is great against the run, but he's also able to rush the passer when needed.
R1/32 - NE: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
With the final pick of the first round, the Patriots get Tom Brady an athletic WR who can get open and has a lot of upside.
R2/33 - ARI: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
R2/34 - IND: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
R2/35 - OAK: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
R2/36 - SF: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
R2/37 - NYG: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
R2/38 - JAC: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
R2/39 - TB: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
R2/40 - BUF: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
R2/41 - DEN: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
R2/42 - CIN: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State
R2/43 - DET: Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
R2/44 - GB: Nassir Aderley, S, Delaware
R2/45 - ATL: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
R2/46 - WAS: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
R2/47 - CAR: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
R2/48 - MIA: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
R2/49 - CLE: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
R2/50 - MIN: Erik McCoy, OC, Texas A&M
R2/51 - TEN: Mack WIlson, LB, Alabama
R2/52 - PIT: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
R2/53 - PHI: Elgton Jenkins , OC, Mississippi State
R2/54 - HOU: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
R2/55 - HOU: Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech
R2/56 - NE: Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
R2/57 - PHI: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
R2/58 - DAL: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
The Cowboys biggest need lies at safety. At 58, the Cowboys aren't likely to find guys like Taylor Rapp or Jonathan Abram. Instead, I think they'll be in the range of Juan Thornhill, Amani Hooker, Darnell Savage and perhaps Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Out of this group of guys, I like Thornhill the best.
He is a great tackler, a natural ball-hawk and a smart player. He would be an excellent player to pair with Xavier Woods and take the Cowboys' defense to the next level.
R2/59 - IND: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
R2/60 - LAC: Dre'mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
R2/61 - KC: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
R2/62 - NO: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
R2/63 - KC: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
R2/64 - NE: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
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?
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Grades
Another year, another draft come and gone. The difference was that this year the Dallas Cowboys were without a first-round pick thanks to their trade for Amari Cooper with Oakland. Their de facto first-round pick would obviously earn an A+ from how well he meshed with Dak Prescott and gave this Cowboys offense another dimension.
Given how well the Cowboys have done in the first round in recent history -- all but two of their first round picks since 2011 have been in the Pro Bowl, a trend that continued with last year’s pick, Leighton Vander Esch. This season, the Cowboys only had picks from round two and on. So this year was all about finding value and hoping it would fall into their laps.
Obviously time will tell if any of these players work out or not. For the time being, we can grade the picks based on what we do know. Some picks were worth it, while others raised questions, as well as eyebrows.
58 Overall: DT, Trysten Hill
In what has been considered the best defensive line draft in decades, the Cowboys took a bit of a risk with their first “official” pick. Trysten Hill is a first round talent out of UCF, but reports questioning his love for the game had some give him a third round grade.
Dallas has already had an off-season dealing with talented defensive linemen with questions around their passion for the game (i.e. David Irving) and so obviously people didn’t love this pick.
It’s a high risk, high reward move that we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.
90 Overall: G, Connor McGovern
As far as value goes, McGovern was probably the team’s best pick. In my pre-draft rankings, Connor McGovern was my fourth overall interior lineman; a player who you can play anywhere in the interior and start immediately.
However, guard didn’t really seem like a need. This was obviously a “best player available” pick. What this pick has done instead is raise a bunch of questions.
Who’s job could be on the line?
Does this imply the team won’t re-sign La’el Collins?
Is Connor Williams going to play tackle like he did in college?
Is one of them going to get traded?
Is Travis Frederick really ready to go?
So many questions surround this pick, but there’s no questioning the player. Connor McGovern is likely a future starter on the line and Cowboys fans should be excited about that.
128 Overall: RB, Tony Pollard
If you follow me on Twitter, you know my feelings about Tony Pollard already.
Tony Pollard might be my favorite #Cowboys pick. Has experience at both the RB and WR position, plus had 7 career kick return TDs in college. He addresses all 3 needs in 1. #NFLDraft
Returner has been a need for a year now. I never liked the team trading away Ryan Switzer because it created a huge hole on special teams, as well as the receiving core.
The team also needed a backup running back to take the load off Ezekiel Elliott a bit. With Tony Pollard, they get all three positions filled in the form of a player who's 6'0" 210 pounds, ran a 4.52 40 and compiled 25 total touchdowns. Terrific value in the fourth round.
158 Overall: CB, Michael Jackson
This is the type of corner Kris Richard loves; big and tall. At 6'1" 200 pounds, Michael Jackson fits the profile.
His 2017 tape was actually better than his 2018 tape, and all four of his career interceptions came in '17. However, the team is obviously betting on his potential, especially with corner being a serious need.
With the Cowboys' four primary corners coming into contract years the next three seasons, odds are that at least one will be gone. MJ doesn’t fill in day one as a difference maker but, given some time under Kris Richard, he could be a nice player.
165 Overall: DE, Joe Jackson
Take Joe Jackson, new Cowboy, as well as Michael and Darius Jackson, and the team is just two short of a Jackson 5 reunion.
The team has been very busy trying to rebuild the depth at edge and Joe Jackson is icing on an already stacked cake. In an off-season that saw the retirement of David Irving and another suspension for Randy Gregory, the team was able to extend DeMarcus Lawrence and trade for Robert Quinn.
The edge room was already full but you can never have too many.
Joe Jackson is a fun, productive player from The U, who was teammates with the previous pick, Michael Jackson. In his career, he totaled 24 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss all in three seasons. He’s not the fastest edge rusher in the world but has plenty of power to make up for it. With the team only for sure having DeMarcus Lawrence guaranteed beyond 2019, it’s good to have as much talent as possible.
213 Overall: S, Donovan Wilson
The team really needed a safety and it enraged most people that they didn’t pick one earlier. Especially with Taylor Rapp, Juan Thornhill and Amani Hooker all available at different times.
Donovan Wilson is an interesting pick. His career has been a rollercoaster while at Texas A&M, with a highly productive 2015 season, a dip in 2016, a fractured foot in the 2017 opener, and a rebound 2018 season.
Had his career not been derailed by his injury, he’s likely gone way before the sixth round and the Cowboys are obviously betting on his potential. Meets a need, but not a plug-in right away type of pick.
218 Overall: RB, Mike Weber
Tony Pollard is going to get first crack at the backup running back spot. However, given that he’s also the team’s likely return man as well, it makes sense that they’d want to deepen the running back room to give the team a true RB2.
Mike Weber was Ezekiel Elliott’s teammate at Ohio State, but didn’t come close to the impact Elliott had. Only topping 1,000 yards once in college, Weber is likely in competition with Darius Jackson for the backup spot.
He’s not as flashy as Zeke but can pick up the slack when asked to and is a solid receiver out of the backfield. If Weber can’t beat Jackson for the backup spot, then Weber is a likely candidate for the practice squad.
241 Overall: DE, Jalen Jelks
Jalen Jelks falls into a similar boat that both Hurricanes players are in. Like Joe Jackson, he’s a good solid edge piece (fifth round draft grade), but like Michael Jackson, his prior season's tape was better than his final season.
It's interesting that the Cowboys would pick a player who seems to be better suited to play in a 3-4 as a OLB, but has plenty of starter potential. Otherwise he’s a player that’s likely headed to the practice squad that the Cowboys wanted to make sure they get first crack at. Still, a good value in terms of where he was picked.
Dallas Cowboys Overall 2019 Draft Grade: B
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