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NFL Draft

Mauricio’s Mock Draft 3.0: Two Rounds Edition

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Mauricio's Mock Draft 3.0: Two Rounds Edition
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

One of the most exciting days in the NFL calendar year, is without a single doubt, the NFL Draft. Teams are ready to make tough decisions that will impact franchise history, fans are eagerly waiting in front of the TV to see who's the player that the NFL Commissioner will announce when they're favorite team is picking.

This time, in the AT&T Stadium, the NFL Draft will be an exciting one from the moment it begins. Many quarterbacks will be drafted, many trades will occur, and many top-end talent will slide due to the amount of QBs drafted early.

It'll be fun and hopefully, teams will get better.

Welcome to my third and final Mock Draft of the year. In this simulation, only one trade was simulated (even though we know a lot will take place). The Buffalo Bills put their future at risk and hand four total picks in order to land the #2 overall selection to find their signal-caller of the future.

Here it is, two rounds, 64 selections. I hope you enjoy and reach out to me @PepoR99 to share your thoughts!

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R1/1 - CLE: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

The first overall pick in the Draft will come down to Josh Allen or Sam Darnold. The Browns can't afford to take the risk of passing on Darnold's play-making ability and opt for him instead of a QB who can be great, but still has a lot of work to do.

R1/2 - BUF: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

(Mock Trade: The Bills send their #12, #22, #53 for the Giants' #2 pick)
The Bills send a ton of selections to New York to land their QB. Josh Rosen is the best quarterback from a passing technique perspective and will be a great pocket-passer in the NFL. Some have Rosen falling, but I believe he goes earlier than expected.

R1/3 - NYJ: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

After giving the Colts three second-rounders, the Jets find their guy, Baker Mayfield. Although his height is far from ideal, Baker's arm and pocket awareness will give defenses a headache when playing against him. The Jets get a hell of a leader and a fierce competitor.

R1/4 - CLE: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

If the Browns are to play under a rookie quarterback like Darnold, adding a running back as good as Saquon Barkley (and boy, is he good) will go a long way into taking the pressure of the QB's shoulders. Cleveland shouldn't overthink this one, Barkley is a franchise-changing player.

R1/5 - DEN: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Denver stays put and takes the best arm in the NFL Draft. With Case Keenum on the roster, Allen won't have to start from week 1, which is great for him. Allen can grow into a franchise quarterback and make all the throws he has to to be succesful on Sundays.

R1/6 - IND: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State

The Colts need to fill a lot of spots on their roster. Moving to a 4-3 defense this season, they get themselves a quality pass rusher in Bradley Chubb. Chubb has a ton of talent and is a very smart rusher with very good technique.

R1/7 - TB: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Fitzpatrick could play as a safety or as a cornerback for any NFL team. The Buccaneers need help at both positions and the only reason Minkah is available at this point is the amount of quarterbacks taken in the first picks. At just pick #7, Fitzpatrick is already a steal.

R1/8 - CHI: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Quenton Nelson might be the best player in the class and with Chicago needing to protect their young signal-caller Mitchell Trubisky, drafting Nelson is a no-brainer.

R1/9 - SF: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia

Tremaine Edmunds is a rangy linebacker who can grow into one of the best in the league in a short period of time. The 49ers should be looking to add talent at LB, specially after the concerning news regarding Reuben Foster.

R1/10 - OAK: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

I won't be surprised if a team like the Arizona Cardinals want to jump over the Dolphins and take Lamar Jackson in the top 10, but in this scenario, Oakland stays put and drafts Denzel Ward, arguably the best CB in the Draft.

R1/11 - MIA: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Roquan Smith is still available at #11 and Miami doesn't hesitate to add a defense-changing player like himself. Miami's roster is thinner than many like to admit, they have a chance to draft a captain LB here.

R1/12 - NYG: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

(Mock Trade: The Bills send their #12, #22, #53 for the Giants' #2 pick)
The Giants continue to add talent to their OL, even after signing Nate Solder in free agency. If they are trusting Eli Manning for a couple of years, then giving him a quality OL is a priority.

R1/13 - WAS: Derwin James, S, Florida State

Derwin James somehow falls all the way to the 13th overall pick and the Redskins add an incredible talent that can play in many spots over the secondary. Washington needs defensive backfield help and few prospects will be able to deliver such thing as much as James.

R1/14 - GB: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

Harold Landry is a very talented rusher and despite missing a lot of time due to injuries in 2017, he finds his way inside the top 15 picks and gets taken by the Packers, who desperately need a pass rusher.

R1/15 - ARI: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Some may consider this early for Lamar Jackson, but I truly believe he'll become a franchise QB in the NFL. The Cardinals benefit from teams passing on him and find him at 15. I won't be surprised if they make a trade to make sure they land him, because they can't be comfortable with Sam Bradford as their only potential starter in 2018.

R1/16 - BAL: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Calvin Ridley may not be an "X" receiver, but he doesn't need to be one to have the impact needed on offense. He simply has a natural ability to get open, the Ravens should get one more weapon for Joe Flacco by adding this talented receiver.

R1/17 - LAC: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

The Chargers add talent for their offensive line in Connor Williams, whose stock has taken a hit over the last few months but should still be able to succeed as a tackle or a guard in the NFL.

R1/18 - SEA: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

I may be higher on Mike Hughes than most, but I truly believe he'll be a very special player and may become a lock-down type of cornerback down the road. He also adds a weapon as a returner.

R1/19 - DAL: Vita Vea, DT, Washington

The Cowboys have a ton of needs and will find talent for basically every position they could use at 19. Vita Vea would help the defense a lot, wrecking chaos in the middle of the line of scrimmage. With talented players like DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving, the Cowboys could have a top defensive line for the 2018 season.
If they don't find Vea, they could target a WR like Sutton or Moore. Offensive guard might be an option as well, specially with Hernandez and Wynn still on the board. Rashaan Evans and Leighton Vander Esch will also be in consideration, but I don't like either at 19 compared to the other prospects, to be honest.

R1/20 - DET: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

I won't be surprised if a running back goes in this pick, but the Lions need defensive talent and in this mock, they draft Rashaan Evans. He's a linebacker who still needs time to develop, but can contribute early with his talent.

R1/21 - CIN: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia

After basically adding a tackle with their 12th pick (which was traded to the Buffalo Bills), the Bengals' offensive line still needs help. Isaiah Wynn provides a quality starting guard and could also play as a tackle if needed. However, playing him at guard should be the plan.

R1/22 - NYG: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA

(Mock Trade: The Bills send their #12, #22, #53 for the Giants' #2 pick)
This time, the Giants add a raw but talented edge rusher in Marcus Davenport. His athleticism can turn him into one of the best in the league after some playing experience. This is very good value for the Giants at 22.

R1/23 - NE: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

The Patriots lost Nate Solder during free agency and try to replace him with a big guy like UCLA's Kolton Miller. Day 1 starter to protect Tom Brady. The GOAT is not retiring anytime soon.

R1/24 - CAR: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Carolina needs to fix the cornerback position as soon as possible and Jaire Alexander is the way to go at 24. A top-20 talent, Alexander will be a difference maker from the moment he steps on the field. His intelligence on the field is quite outstanding.

R1/25 - TEN: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

Will Hernandez is a great prospect who can get even better, specially at pass protection. The Titans add a very tough guy in the trenches. Excellent value.

R1/26 - ATL: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Besides DT, is difficult to predict which direction Atlanta is heading with the 26th overall pick. In this scenario, Da'Ron Payne makes it there. A very good defensive tackle who can get after the QB is what Atlanta needs.

R1/27 - NO: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.

The Saints have a chance to add a dynamic pro-ready tight end to help Drew Brees' offense find success during the QB's final years in the NFL. Dallas Goedert may not come from a top school, but the traits are there to turn him into a great player at the next level.

R1/28 - PIT: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Vander Esch is going to be good, there's no question about that. What we don't know is how long will it take him to develop? I struggle to see him as a first-round prospect, but he'll probably won't fall past the Steelers, who definitely need a LB.

The jacksonville jaguars helmet logo

R1/29 - JAC: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland

The Jaguars are betting on Blake Bortles, which means it's time to give him the most help they can. In this case, they find DJ Moore, who can be an "X" or a "Z" receiver. Moore at the 29th pick is a steal for the Jags.

R1/30 - MIN: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

The Vikings secondary is already good enough, but now they add even more talent in Josh Jackson, who has what it takes to become a very successful defender in press coverage.

R1/31 - NE: Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Ohio State

It might be a little to early for Sam Hubbard, but the Patriots will be able to develop him into a very productive pass rusher, something they desperately need.

R1/32 - PHI: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

The Eagles could use a running back to give the offense a more threatening rushing attack and Derrius Guice is still on the board. If he's able to stay healthy, Guice will be a very productive RB for the Super Bowl Champions.

R2/33 - CLE: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

R2/34 - NYG: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

R2/35 - CLE: Justin Reid, S, Stanford

R2/36 - IND: James Daniels, OL, Iowa

R2/37 - IND: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

R2/38 - TB: Ronald Jones, RB, USC

R2/39 - CHI: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

R2/40 - DEN: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

R2/41 - OAK: Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia

R2/42 - MIA: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

R2/43 - NE: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

R2/44 - WAS: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

R2/45 - GB: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

R2/46 - CIN: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

R2/47 - ARI: Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon

R2/48 - LAC: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford

R2/49 - IND: Brian O'Neil, OT, Notre Dame

R2/50 - DAL: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

The Cowboys address the WR situation in the second round by taking a guy who provides the offense with a deep threat. Washington needs to polish his route running, but he's a weapon who will contribute from Day 1 in Dak Prescott's offense.

R2/51 - DET: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

R2/52 - BAL: Billy Price, OL, Ohio State

R2/53 - NYG: Fred Warner, LB, BYU

(Mock Trade: The Bills send their #12, #22, #53 for the Giants' #2 pick)

R2/54 - KC: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

R2/55 - CAR: DJ Chark, WR, LSU

R2/56 - NYG: Luke Falk, QB, Washington State

(Mock Trade: The Bills send their #12, #22, #53 for the Giants' #2 pick)

R2/57 - TEN: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE, Oklahoma

R2/58 - ATL: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

R2/59 - SF: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State

R2/60 - PIT: Jessie Bates, S, Wake Forest

The jacksonville jaguars helmet logo

R2/61 - JAC: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

R2/62 - MIN: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

R2/63 - NE: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa

R2/64 - CLE: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State

Tell me what you think about "Mauricio’s Mock Draft 3.0: Two Rounds Edition" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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1 Comment
  • Russ_Te

    Best WR before Vea. Maliek Collins is still on his development curve and – like Woods – should be on the field and allowed to get better. Same reason not to spend big on Earl Thomas.

    So I think we’re getting a WR at 19, then OL and LB over rounds 2 & 3.

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Class: How Many Will Be Starters In 2018?

Kevin Brady

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

The Dallas Cowboys have been showered with praise by most national NFL media outlets for their 2018 NFL Draft class. NFL.com graded the Cowboys as having the 2nd best class in the league, and most other analysts have agreed that the team had a strong showing.

But now, of course, it's time to see what these new players will actually do on the field. Some are hoping the team found 3-5 new starters for the 2018 roster, but history would suggest that is pretty rare.

Dallas' 2016 draft class has been lauded as one of the best in the last decade, especially considering they look to have found their franchise quarterback in round four. That strong class only features four full-time starters heading into 2018, but we have to wonder if that's the outlier and not the norm.

Still, as we look back and examine this 2018 draft class it really appears they have found three day one starters in the first three rounds.

First round pick Leighton Vander Esch is expected to be the starting MIKE linebacker this season, with former second round selection Jaylon Smith moving to SAM. Vander Esch wasn't my favorite option at 19, but he is certainly starter-worthy in this Cowboys LB corps.

On day two the Cowboys added OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup, two of my personal favorite picks of their entire class. Williams should be the starting LG week 1 of the season, and Michael Gallup may overtake Allen Hurns as the most productive WR on the roster by year's end.

Cowboys Land Small School WR In Latest PFF Mock Draft

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: DUPLICATE***Colorado State Rams wide receiver Michael Gallup (4) picks up a few yards after catch as Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Isaiah Oliver (26) comes in for the tackle during the first quarter on September 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

What about the rest of the class?

Dorance Armstrong will probably have too much competition to start at defensive end this season, but he should be an interesting rotational pass rusher. TE Dalton Schultz has the chance to surprise some people, but overtaking Geoff Swaim as the "starter" would be unexpected.

After that, the player with the best chance to make the team and contribute early on might be Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson. Wilson was a late day-two, early day-three pick to me so snagging him in the sixth round should provide incredible value to this roster. That wide out room is getting very crowded, though, so Wilson has his work cut out for him heading into camp.

How many of the Cowboys' 2018 draft picks will be starters in 2018? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


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NFL Draft

Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

One of the many winners of the 2018 NFL Draft were, without a doubt, the Dallas Cowboys. Not only did they addressed some of the team's most pressing needs, but they managed to draft very talented, capable players beyond the first round.

Cowboys Nation had to feel better about the rookie class the front office walked away with, specially after the second day of the Draft. Just like last year, they managed to find steals in the second and third rounds. In 2017, they did so with Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. Now, they stayed put at their original picks and walked away with OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup.

But first things first. In the eyes of many, Leighton Vander Esch wasn't worth the 19th overall pick. While I do agree that Vander Esch was a questionable selection, the Cowboys fixed arguably their most concerning position of all. As much as it pains to admit it, Sean Lee has yet to play an entire NFL season and Jaylon Smith was pretty much the only other capable starter on the roster.

Cowboys en Español: Dallas Selecciona a Vander Esch, ¿Quién Sigue?

Although Vander Esch needs to develop a ton before reaching his full potential. he's a week 1 starter and an early contributor for this defense. Whether it felt like a "reach" or not, the Cowboys took a starter in the Boise State linebacker.

Later, the Cowboys managed to add an arguably first-round talent with pick #50 to plug-and-play along the offensive line. Texas OL Connor Williams was also seen as a tackle prospect, but he'll likely start at guard for Dallas as a rookie.

Since Ron Leary left for Denver, the left guard spot hasn't been as stable. Jonathan Cooper did a decent job filling that spot, but with Williams taking his place, the Cowboys dominance in the trenches will finally return. Playing next to All-Pros Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, Connor Williams might become the best rookie in this class for the Cowboys.

One can't simply say the team found a "replacement" for Dez Bryant since he's a special player and with a very specific skill set, but Michael Gallup from Colorado State has the potential to become the team's WR1 pretty soon.

In the team's effort to build a Dak-friendly offense, Gallup is a crafty and smooth route-runner who has what it takes to play in any spot of the offense. His skill-set will allow him to play anywhere on the field and become Dak's favorite target in a year in which Jason Witten and Dez Bryant will no longer be lining up on his squad.

Taken in the first three rounds, Vander Esch, Williams and Gallup will be unquestionable starters. The question, however, is who else could become a starter for the Cowboys? Who could line up and start in week 1?

Dallas Cowboys Add Depth on Day 3, Building Future with Young Starters 1

Even though it definitely isn't as certain as the other three rookies, I'm betting on Dalton Schultz to be a more important starter than we imagine. Listen, maybe it's not an ideal scenario to have the TE from Stanford start in week 1, but it could be necessary.

The Rico Gathers Adventure might just be over before it starts and Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin may not be anything special. In college, Schultz was pretty good at run blocking. In the Cowboys' offense, led by one of the best running backs in the league, Ezekiel Elliott, Schultz may be able to find success earlier than expected.

Besides, he has what it takes to catch passes in the NFL and although he certainly won't be the flashiest, he could be enough to give Dak Prescott a reliable tight end.

Dalton Schultz could be the surprise of this Draft for Dallas. He'll probably become a starter at some point in the season and for a fourth-round pick, that's a very good thing to say.

For a front office that's constantly bashed by Cowboys Nation, their job at this year's NFL Draft was a pretty good one. Now it's just a matter of time to find out which picks were as good as we originally thought.

Tell me what you think about "Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


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NFL Draft

Why Cowboys Nation Should Feel Better About Leighton Vander Esch

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Why Cowboys Nation Should Feel Better About Leighton Vander Esch
Loren Orr / Getty Images

A week ago, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walked out to the stage at AT&T Stadium to announce the Dallas Cowboys first pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. For the second consecutive year, a large portion of Cowboys Nation was not pretty happy about the player America's Team had drafted in the first day of the Draft.

Boise State's Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has become one of the main debates among Cowboys fans right now and will continue to be one at least until the season starts. Some are fine with the decision the front office made and some simply don't view Vander Esch as a first round talent.

Naturally, taking Leighton in the first round has been widely compared to the team's last first round pick: Taco Charlton.

Both of these selections resulted in fans all around the world complaining and criticizing the selections since they both seemed like a reach, arguing that they could've gotten better players at other positions.

But fans shouldn't be so quick to compare the Charlton and Vander Esch selections, because they really aren't that similar. Sure, most of the media and Draft fans didn't consider any of these players worthy of a first round pick, but that doesn't mean both players were ranked similarly in the Cowboys' draft board.

Defensive End Taco Charlton, despite showing some very promising flashes towards the end of the year, wasn't able to become a starter at any point during his rookie season. Hopefully he develops into one next season. But when you're talking about first-round picks, being a solid starter at the end of the season at the latest is a very usual expectation.

Possibly what made the Taco pick hurt even more, is the fact that the front office didn't even consider him a first-round talent. Although he was drafted to wear the Star with the 28th overall pick, he wasn't their guy.

Drew Davison on Twitter

The #Cowboys had three first-round grades on DEs, but Taco Charlton wasn't one of them.

With Leighton Vander Esch, the same can't be said. The Cowboys knew he was their guy and that they were going to take him, regardless of the situation. For many weeks we wondered about just every scenario the team might face when they were on the clock.

What if DE Harold Landry is available? What if Calvin Ridley is still on the board? What if Derwin James slides, would they trade up?

For the front office, there was quite a lot of talent to choose from at 19 (not to mention James did slide out of the top 15), but they still took Leighton Vander Esch, even with Landry and Ridley on the board. We might disagree with the pick. We might not think the Boise State's product should've been taken so early. That's completely fine.

But Cowboys Nation should be happy knowing that this was the guy they wanted all along. Maybe if Derwin James hadn't been drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers with the 17th pick, Dallas would have still taken Vander Esch.

 "If the Cowboys traded up a few spots in the first round, I believe it would have been to ensure they got Vander Esch, not get James or Edmunds." Dane Brugler on the Cowboys' approach to the Draft. 

For now, it's time to root for the Dallas Cowboys' new rookie. Vander Esch will provide a special factor to this defense and has the potential to become a very good starter down the road. Playing side by side with Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith will certainly help his development and turn him into an impact player soon.

At the end of the day, it takes years to properly evaluate how a draft pick turned out in the NFL. There are first round players who turn out to be complete busts just like there are sixth or seventh round players that go on to become superstars in the league.

The Dallas Cowboys did a hell of a job addressing their needs throughout the Draft this year and there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about this year's draft picks. Leighton Vander Esch is without a doubt, one of them.

Tell me what you think about "Why Cowboys Nation Should Feel Better About Leighton Vander Esch" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


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