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NFL Draft

How Much Trading Power Do Cowboys 2017 Draft Picks Have?

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Draft: Could This Rising QB Help the Cowboys Trade Out of the First Round? 1

As we look ahead to this Thursday’s night and the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, let’s hypothesize about a very possible scenario. We’re going to consider what the Cowboys can reasonably do if they want to move up in the first round; what sort of trade value their 2017 picks really have.

Put yourself in the Dallas Cowboys war room. The pass rusher you really covet is falling pick by pick, but you don’t think he’s going to make it to the #28 spot. This is the THE guy; you have to make this happen. Anyone else will feel like a disappointment.

Based on the traditional chart for draft pick value, which you can find easily at multiple sources on the web, here is the mathematical trade potential for all of the Cowboys 2017 picks:

  • Rnd 1, Pick 28 = 660 points
  • Rnd 2, Pick 60 = 300 pts
  • Rnd 3, Pick 92 = 132 pts
  • Rnd 4, Pick 133 = 40 pts (appx)
  • Rnd 6, Pick 211 = 7-10 pts (appx)
  • Rnd 7, Pick 228 = no value
  • Rnd 7, Pick 246 = no value

Now, back to the war room. You’re really wanting “War Daddy” pass rusher so you start looking at the teams ahead of you. You’re willing to give up your third-round pick to move up. That’s a nice deal, right?

The combined value of the 1st (660) and 3rd (132) picks is just 792 points. That puts you somewhere around the 21st or 22nd picks, which are valued at 800 and 780 points. You move up 6-7 spots and lose a third-round pick.

Now, third-round picks are a mixed bag. You may not be sweating that loss if it means another average guy like Terrance Williams or J.J. Wilcox, or even someone on Tyrone Crawford’s level.

But what about another instant stud like Maliek Collins? How about a future star like DeMarco Murray? Or how about a future Hall of Famer like Jason Witten?

Cowboys Draft: 3 Prospects Cowboys Could Trade Up For

Could injury concerns push elite safety prospects Malik Hooker into the Cowboys range?

Let’s get a little crazier. What if someone unexpectedly falls out of the Top 10, such as safety Malik Hooker with his health concerns? Could you possibly move up to snag one of them?

Combining your first and second-round picks, like the Cowboys did in 2012 to go get Morris Claiborne, gives you way more value. Unfortunately, the pick value get exponentially higher as you move up. The combined value of those picks in 2017 is 960 points, which is roughly equal to the 17th draft pick.

You moved 6-7 slots with your 1st and 3rd-round picks but only 11 slots with the 1st and 2nd rounders. Ideally, you hope that the quality of the player selected offsets the diminishing return on the trade. That becomes a huge part of your evaluation and ultimate decision.

And in case you’re wondering, the combined value of all three picks would only get you to about the 14th pick. That’s not enough movement to give up so many turns at the roulette wheel, nor would it likely get you to where a Top-10 talent would fall.

Derek Barnett

DE Derek Barnett from Tennessee could fall into the Cowboys trading range.

Given the Cowboys painfully obvious need for a dynamic edge rusher, they might justify combining picks to get one. One could argue that a boost to the pass rush will do more to help the secondary than any one cornerback or safety could. It is reminiscent of the logic behind drafting Ezekiel Elliott over Jalen Ramsey last year; a ripple effect helping the defense more than a single player can.

Coming off a 13-win season and division title, the Cowboys are looking to push their young team to the next level of contention. While they have a big window ahead for guys like Elliott and Dak Prescott, other stars such as Jason Witten, Sean Lee, and Dez Bryant don’t have another decade to chase their first Super Bowl. Dallas needs to attack this now while their veterans are still able to be major contributors.

That mentality could push the Cowboys to try to move up in this draft. It will depend on how the defensive end talent starts coming off the board. Whether it’s a top-tier guy falling or a run on pass rushers draining the pool quickly, Dallas may need to get aggressive if they want to add a game-changing talent now.

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Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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9 Comments
  • Russ_Te

    These are the conundrums your GM is supposed to know how to handle… ;^)

    I would introduce 2 elements true this year, that probably stop me from moving up:

    – The Cowboys were gutted in FA and now need a lot of cog players and several project acquisitions that have a chance to hit.

    – DE is big, CB is big for your defense if you get an impact guy at either spot.

    So if a coveted DE is falling, but a coveted CB is expected to be there for you at 28 – I take the later.

    When Deion Sanders was on the team (not that this draft has a Deion), my philosophy of the most important position on defense changed. I always believed from the days of Harvey Martin, that RDE will win you games outright.

    And it will. But look at how Sanders changed Campo’s defenses. He takes the opponent’s best WR nearly out of the game. Now they have to beat you with their next best receivers, and you get to walk a safety into the box a lot because said #1 WR is addressed already in your scheme by Sanders. That extra defender helps you deal with the short garbage, and helps you stuff the run.

    And that is why Campo had high ranked defenses without a dominant DL player. I’m fine with the right CB.

    • Jess Haynie

      Good stuff as always, Russ. However, a little Devil’s advocacy…

      1. I think Jaylon Smith and Charles Tapper finally debuting, in addition to several low-key FA signings, offsets the personnel losses. We’re going to have 53 worthy players come Week One.

      2. I have a hard time seeing a CB taken at #28 being an instant star, let alone a guy who can have a Deion effect. Think your’e better off trading the pick for Sherman if that’s your expectation.

      • Russ_Te

        No, I can’t expect a Deion-level CB but once a decade, if even that often. I just make the point about how he affected the entire D from the CB position, to put it on par with RDE in importance.

        Another way to do that is to note that even your top, dominant DE’s don’t notch 2 sacks per game. They often get pressure and that counts, but on most passing downs they will still get blocked effectively. Whereas that premiere CB, even if not thrown at, is taking a top WR out of the play on most downs and setting up his teammates to work the others better.

        But I will take a dominant RDE without many complaints…

        But if I’m getting that instead of a starting CB and an eventual starting (X) in Round 2, this is a year you might need the 2 starters. It will all be driven by who is falling down the 1st round, as you mentioned. Given the several DE’s that will probably get snapped up quickly, I think the odds are good that a top CB is on the board at 28.

        Somebody lock Jerry in the closet on Wednesday… ;^)

        • Jess Haynie

          Fair points on dominant CB VS dominant DE. I just think that unless you’re up top and taking Lattimorethen there’s no reason to think you’re getting that kind of CB in this class. Lots of good-great guys and longtime starters, but anyone who emerges as the next “shutdown” corner will be a surprise like Sherman.

          • Russ_Te

            Right – just hopeful for enough luck that a top-rated player falls to 28. If that’s not a DE or CB, it can really get controversial this year.

            Everyone has a mock prediction but my guess is they will hold at 28 and the player will be a CB or SS. If the SS is the better player, I can’t argue with it.

            But I still want to look at Jaylon Smith for SS at camp… ;^)

  • John Williams

    Excellent work Jess.

    Good to see in number form what the options are. I think the price to move up is way too high considering the depth at positions of need for the Dallas Cowboys.

    Even if it’s THE GUY they want, I still like that they have options in the first three rounds to add impact defensive players.

    DE and DB in the first has been well documented. In the second or third there are options as well, better to add 2 or 3 players who can make an impact on the team than just one. Unless that one is Myles Garrett, which it won’t be.

    • Jess Haynie

      Thanks John!

      I agree that what it takes to move up is generally not worth giving a 2nd or 3rd round pick, especially in a deep draft like this one. If you think about last year and the kind of impact that Maliek Collins had; I’d rather have three of him than one of most other guys.

      Of course, there are a few truly elite prospects who I’d give up every pick for. You mentioned one of them. I’d also throw Hooker/Adams and Solomon Thomas in that mix. MAYBE O.J. Howard?

      • John Williams

        Yeah Howard is definitely an interesting name to keep an eye on as the draft falls. The names you mentioned are worthy as well.

        but again it’s hard to trade that away when we are talking about the possibility of adding day on contributors at positions of need in each of the first three rounds.

  • Russ_Te

    As the situation sat last year, I will say I was a proponent of selling picks or players to move up for Goff or Wentz.

    Because QB need seemed dire enough to justify it, and coming off a 4-12 year it was an unusual chance to nab a franchise QB just as Romo was dilapidating. It’s much harder to do that from down the draft of course.

    As we know Jones did try to trade up after taking Elliott, for Paxton Lynch. That one I was against because he was a project QB – don’t sell off your team for that.

    Jones defaulted into Dak because the try for Lynch failed, and I believe the rest of the War Room was sold on Prescott. As it turned out Lynch was a project, Dak was not – and he looks better now than Goff or Wentz.

    So a strike like that again in mid-rounds, this year for a defensive player or a RT or TE, would be most useful.

NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: UTSA’s Marcus Davenport Fills Pass Rush Need for Cowboys

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: UTSA's Marcus Davenport Fills Pass Rush Need for Cowboys
Daniel Dunn / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It is not often at all that a team picking 19th overall may be out of range to draft a small school prospect, but this is rightfully the case for the Dallas Cowboys and UTSA’s Marcus Davenport. For scouts who only care about how these prospects can help their NFL teams, Davenport has all of the traits to be an impact defensive end the second he enters the league.

Should the Cowboys find themselves in position to draft Marcus Davenport in the first round, he would fill an immediate need as another pure pass rusher to pair with DeMarcus Lawrence.

Firmly a first round player on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, let’s take a closer look at Davenport’s potential fit in Dallas.

Davenport5 – Streamable

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What is most exciting about Davenport’s projection to the NFL is that he’s an ideal right defensive end prospect that played mostly on the left side in college. That means Davenport is stout against the run as a powerful player who also displays freakish speed, dip, and balance as a quarterback hunter.

“Simply forcing offensive tackles to respect his rare combination of speed and dip allows Marcus Davenport to knock them backwards with hands-above-eyes technique.”

Davenport1 – Streamable

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

This quote and accompanying film clip comes from my full scouting report on Marcus Davenport on Slant Sports. There simply aren’t many EDGE prospects at the top of any given draft as complete as Davenport, while still showing elite upside to get even better.

Davenport does not exactly have a plan for each of his rushes, but pointing him at the quarterback on every play from the RDE spot in Dallas could do him nothing but good from day one. This is a player who captures the corner with ease, thanks to his burst and length, doing so with the balance to absolutely punish blockers.

When Marcus Davenport hits someone, they go backwards. This is a great thing to say about any defensive prospect, particularly a pass rusher who can also bend the corner.

Davenport4 – Streamable

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

“There simply aren’t many snaps on which he allows a blocker to work inside of his frame.”

The only slight projection that has to be made on Davenport playing defensive end with the Cowboys is his transition from playing mostly in a two-point stance to putting his hand on the ground. This technical change does little to affect a defensive end’s pass rush approach.

The strength Marcus Davenport shows in his hands is absolutely stunning, and equally as impressive is his controlled acceleration ability. These two traits alone are more than enough to expect Davenport to be able to beat left tackles at the next level with consistency, attacking them before they can reach this lengthy prospect.

“Tapping into Davenport’s full potential could be as simple as getting him in the habit of rushing the half man on every rep, but expecting him to do so right away is a projection.”

With Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli notorious for getting the most out of his defensive linemen, there is no question that Dallas is an ideal landing spot for Marcus Davenport to instantly reach his full potential.

The key to unleashing Davenport on the NFL will be teaching the mental aspects of the position to a player who dominated with raw traits in college.

Davenport3 – Streamable

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

The Cowboys have some numbers to sort out at defensive end before the draft, as the likes of Charles Tapper and Randy Gregory could potentially give them enough of a presence across from Lawrence to warrant looking elsewhere with the 19th overall pick.

Of course, Dallas also used last year’s first selection on DE Taco Charlton — who took major strides in his game towards the end of 2017.

None of this should deter them from reinforcing their defensive front with another versatile pass rusher.

Marcus Davenport has a legitimate case to come off the board within the first 15 picks of the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, making him a great value for the Cowboys, slated to pick 19th.

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

My latest scouting report is UTSA’s Marcus Davenport. Get to know this tenacious EDGE prospect — https://t.co/Fm9FYpNvsT https://t.co/DBcLiQEYhP

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: UTSA’s Marcus Davenport Fills Pass Rush Need for Cowboys” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Land Small School WR in Latest PFF Mock Draft

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Land Small School WR In Latest PFF Mock Draft
Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post

It’s officially draft season around the NFL, meaning — whether you like it or not — it’s now mock draft season. Pro Football Focus is the latest of the national football media outlets to release a mock draft. Their version of the draft was controversial towards the top, but their pick for the Cowboys was equally intriguing.

PFF has the Cowboys taking Colorado State Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, with the 19th overall pick, a player they graded with a 92.1 in 2017.

“Dallas could go a number of ways here, but they add another receiving threat in Gallup, who can win with speed down the field and toughness at the catch point. He was the nation’s top-graded receiver in 2017 at 92.1 overall, and he adds another weapon for QB Dak Prescott.”

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Michael Gallup. As I stated in my scouting report of Michael Gallup for Slant Sports, I believe he is one of the top-five receivers in the 2018 draft class. Gallup caught 100 passes last season for Colorado State, finishing with 1,413 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.

At 6’1″ and about 200 pounds, Michael Gallup is the perfect productive Z receiver that any NFL offense would want.

nfldraft2018 michael gallup 2 – Streamable

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Gallup is a smart, athletic, and tough wide out, with consistent hands and excellent ball tracking skills. He was incredibly productive in college, and should be able to contribute to an NFL offense right away as a rookie.

Drafting Gallup in the first round, however, may not be the best move.

I think he’s a fantastic day-two option for the Cowboys. But if they were to pass on Vita Vea and Roquan Smith for Michael Gallup, as they did in this PFF mock draft, I don’t think Cowboys Nation would be too happy.

Of course, this is just one of many mock drafts circling around the inter-webs, but Michael Gallup would be a great fit for the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas desperately needs this type of wide out in their offense, but I hope they can get him 50th overall, rather than 19th.

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Draft Target: Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmonds 1

Draft season! Draft season! Draft season! Pardon my excitement, but it’s one of my favorite times of the year. We all get the chance to study and speculate about the new crop of rookies coming in and determine their potential fit with NFL teams, and in this case, the Dallas Cowboys.

This draft season, especially, is shaping up to be an exciting one because the Cowboys have clear needs pretty much across the board. That means there is no clear answer as to which direction they will go with any of their draft picks, especially when they’re on the clock at 19 in the first round.

There is of course one draft need that has to be near the top of the list, if not #1 overall.

There can be no arguing the Dallas Cowboys absolutely need to address the linebacker position, especially with Sean Lee’s continued health concerns and Anthony Hitchens‘ potential departure via free agency.

Finding linebacker depth through the draft is a must!

A lot of Cowboys fans have already become enamored with former Georgia Bulldogs LB Roquan Smith, and rightfully so.

Smith will likely be the first linebacker off the board when the 2018 NFL Draft gets underway, which means he won’t be available for the Cowboys at 19.

But don’t be disheartened Cowboys fans, I think there is a linebacker in this draft class who possesses the God-given talent to be even better. Let me introduce you to a linebacker who I believe has Superstar potential.

Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

Tremaine Edmunds checks all the boxes for an NFL linebacker. He is one of the more intriguing prospects in this entire draft class because of his versatility to play in any scheme. But, most intriguing is he is slated to be the second youngest (19) prospect ever drafted, only Amobi Okoye was younger.

But don’t let his youth fool you; he’s a monster on the field.

Tremaine Edmunds is a natural in so many phases of the game, and it has everything to do with his rare athleticism.

Edmunds has the size of an edge player (6’5″, 250), but the movement/athleticism of the smaller and quicker linebackers we’ve seen become popular around the NFL. To put it simply, he looks like a lion, but moves like a gazelle in the open field with his long strides and flexible hips.

Here’s an example of his loose/flexible hips in coverage.

Tremaine Edmunds loose hips in coverage – Streamable

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This isn’t a play you would typically ask a 6’5″, 250-pound man to make, but Tremaine Edmunds makes it look easy.

On this particular play, Edmunds drops into his hook/curl zone coverage. He then realizes the quarterback has decided to pull the ball down and scramble. He shows excellent field awareness and breaks from his coverage responsibility to make the open field tackle on the QB, despite the referee getting in the way.

This play probably wouldn’t have been possible if Edmunds was unable to flip his hips to change direction in order to make the tackle after covering the tight end. He does this with ease.

What I really like about Tremaine Edmunds is his versatility to play in any kind of defensive front/scheme. But, I personally believe he fits best in a 4-3 scheme, which is why I think he makes an excellent Cowboys draft prospect.

I think he fits best in the 4-3 scheme because of all of the different positions he can play. In the 4-3 scheme, Edmunds could play:

MIKE (middle): He has tremendous gap-shooting ability and play anticipation.
SAM (strong-side): He has the ability to stop the run and still drop into coverage.
EDGE: He has the size, athleticism, flexibility, and explosion.

Tremaine Edmunds played all of these positions while at Virginia Tech, and I think he could even play WILL (weak-side) as well, but that’s something he wasn’t asked to do in college.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Edmunds at MIKE:

Tremaine Edmunds read/react – Streamable

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Here you see Tremaine Edmunds playing the MIKE LB position. He quickly reads and diagnoses the play, shooting the gap to make the tackle for a loss on third down.

It’s an excellent play and shows the God-given talent he was born with. You can’t teach those kind of instincts.

Edmunds at SAM:

Tremaine Edmunds covering RB – Streamable

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

On this particular play, Edmunds is lined up at the SAM LB position and has responsibility of covering the running back out of the backfield. Not only does he once again show his loose hips in coverage, but he makes an excellent open-field tackle on third down for a minimal gain to get the defense off the field.

Edmunds at EDGE:

Tremaine Edmunds off the edge – Streamable

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Tremaine Edmunds was also utilized as an edge rusher, at times, while at Virginia Tech. Here you see him lined up in a two-point stance on the defense’s left side.

At the snap of the ball, you can really see his first-step explosion, natural bend and athleticism.

The TE trying to block him had no chance, and Edmunds probably would have gotten the sack if not for the slight hold and the QB’s ability to get rid of the ball quickly.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

As you can see, Tremaine Edmunds is an intriguing prospect for the Dallas Cowboys, and could probably start right away at the SAM LB position while also providing much-needed depth in other areas.

He’s not a polished prospect by any means, he’s still raw, but I believe he has the upside to be one of the great ones.

If I were to compare him to a current NFL player, I would compare him to either Anthony Barr (Vikings) or Jamie Collins (Browns). Both players have been successful as inside linebackers as well as edge players in the NFL, and that’s what I envision Edmunds will do in his career.

I think Edmunds is going to open a lot of eyes once we get further into the draft process, especially after he puts on a show at the combine. He will likely shoot up draft boards, which means he should be in play for the Dallas Cowboys with the 19th overall selection. I have absolutely zero concerns about taking him there.

What do you think about Tremaine Edmunds as a Cowboys draft prospect?

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