The Dallas Cowboys made a pick that shouldn't be a surprise, according to the latest mock drafts, though selecting Boise State middle linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was met with mixed reviews. By going with a linebacker in the first round, they put several other positions on hold, including guard, wide receiver, defensive line, and safety.
As we get ready for the second round of the NFL Draft, I went through FanSpeak.com's On the Clock Premium Simulator to see what options would be there for the Dallas Cowboys and here's what I discovered.
The fun thing about Fanspeak's simulator once the draft has started is they input what actually happens each round, so you can then simulate the rest of the draft.
Here is what I learned.
Harold Landry's Fall Halted
Harold Landry, who has some medical questions, was one of the surprise fallers on day one of the NFL Draft.
Many in Cowboys Nation were hoping he would be the pick instead of Leighton Vander Esch at 19, but with back and knee issues, it's possible Dallas was a bit worried about him.
Every time I ran the simulation, Landry went off the board immediately to the Cleveland Browns.
Staying at 50
Every time I ran the simulation and didn't trade the pick, none of the targeted offensive lineman (Will Hernandez, James Daniels or Connor Williams) were available. Usually by pick 45 or 46 that group of lineman was wiped out. The best you can hope for is Nevada Guard Austin Corbett and he wasn't even there each time the simulation got to pick 50.
If you have your heart set on an interior offensive lineman at 50, you better hold out hope for Corbett making it or the Dallas Cowboys trading up. Otherwise, it's La'el Collins moving back to left guard.
Wide receivers were an option though, as Anthony Miller was available every time the sim got to the Cowboys' pick. On occasion Courtland Sutton was there too, which would be a pretty big win for the Cowboys if either of those guys were there.
All the second round safeties (Jessie Bates III, Ronnie Harrison, and Justin Reid) were available pretty regularly at 50. Typically there were some interior defensive lineman there as well.
Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver was available at #50, though with a pretty solid-looking top four at the moment, I don't imagine they're going to go cornerback with a top-100 pick.
Mike Gesicki, Dallas Goedert, and Mark Andrews were available almost every time the simulation got to 50.
To get to the Cleveland Browns' pick at #33, as verified by the Trade Value Chart produced by Draftek.com, it'll take pick 50 and the Dallas Cowboys' pick in the third round, #81. In the simulation I tried trading a fourth, but it didn't work. If you have your heart set on Landry, going up to 33 is going to cost you.
The other big name defensive player to fall due to medicals was Michigan Defensive Tackle Maurice Hurst. He's a name teams may feel they can take a risk on in the early part of the second if they feel comfortable with his heart issue. You would probably have to get into the top 10 picks of the second round to get him. They'll have to be convinced that Hurst's heart condition is minor.
Getting a guard may still cost you, but not nearly as much if you trade up to New England's spot at 43, since it should only cost you your second and a fourth.
If they were going to trade up, I'd prefer going for one of the guards who probably wouldn't get to 50; Hernandez or Daniels. Problem is you must have a trade partner willing to come down and the price has to be right.
When running the simulation and searching for trade back scenarios, the only one that consistently came to me that made sense was trading back to Baltimore's pick, 65, which was the first pick in the third round. You'd get an extra third (83) from Baltimore in the deal and wouldn't have to move back as far as some other offers I received.
The players I netted in that mock were:
65 – Austin Corbett, G, Nevada
67 – Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
81 – Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Rutgers. Tight end Mark Andrews of Oklahoma was available here.
Earl Thomas News
Earl Thomas continues to be an option for the Dallas Cowboys to acquire via trade by sending pick #50, according to reports. As Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan and 247Sports.com continues to report, Earl Thomas for Dallas' second round pick remains a possibility.
— fishsports (@fishsports) April 27, 2018
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Though the third round is also running tonight, it's difficult to get a real glimpse at what could be available for the Dallas Cowboys at pick 81 until we see the completion of round two. My hope is to bring you a similar post after round two is finished.
If round one was any indication, the rest of the NFL Draft will have its fair share of twists and turns. Here's hoping the Dallas Cowboys front office can make some Friday magic happen.