The 2015 NFL Draft is just a few days away, so it's time for version 3.0 of my mock draft. And this time around, I'm mocking rounds one and two.
It's increasingly more likely that #27 for the Cowboys will be a BPA pick (Best Player Available) that may not address one of the more pressing concerns on the team right now, so we're reaching down into the second round to see what options might be available for Dallas at #60.
[dropcap type="3"]1 [/dropcap]Tamp Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, FSU
Winston is the best QB prospect in this draft and the Bucs need a franchise QB, so this isn’t a hard one to match up.
[dropcap type="3"]2 [/dropcap]*TRADE* Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
The trade everyone is anticipating come draft day. Here is how I believe this scenario could play out:
- Tennessee gets picks #12, #19 and Cleveland's 2016 2nd
- Cleveland gets picks #20, #52, Philadelphia's 2016 1st, and Sam Bradford
- Philadelphia gets #2.
The Eagles give up a lot but Chip Kelly gets the perfect QB for his offense. Cleveland moves from #19 to #20 then essentially trades down from #12 to #52 and give up next year's #2 for the Eagles #1 next year and Sam Bradford, a player they are obviously very interested in if the report they offered a 1st round pick for him are true. Tennessee gets two 1st round picks and a #2 next year. To me TEN and CLE would have to take an offer like this, the question is if the Eagles are willing to give that much for Mariota.
[dropcap type="3"]3 [/dropcap]Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Williams, DL, USC
The Jags get to take the best defensive player in the draft at #3 with the QBs going 1-2. Williams is a versatile difference maker that would bring big help to that Jags front.
[dropcap type="3"]4 [/dropcap]Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
I had Kevin White in this spot in my 1st mock, but it recently came out that Cooper actually ran the same 40-time as White at the combine.
A major reason I initially pegged White ahead of Cooper is because he ran faster, while also being bigger than Cooper. If both are just as fast, it’s really a toss-up as both have great tape. Cooper is a better route runner and White has the size advantage, so it’s really going to be up to the team’s preference.
The Raiders definitely could use a top WR for their young QB Derek Carr, and Cooper has true #1 potential.
[dropcap type="3"]5 [/dropcap]Washington Redskins: Dante Fowler Jr, EDGE, Florida
Pretty sure this would be an easy decision for Washington, Fowler is a stud that would have no business escaping the top 5.
[dropcap type="3"]6 [/dropcap]New York Jets: Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson
Beasley was certainly this combine’s workout warrior.
He showed incredible strength with 35 reps @ 225 and amazing speed running a 4.53 40 at 6’3 246lbs, BOTH tops among all DL/LBs!
Good tape is always great to have but a lot of the time it’s combine studs that tend to get taken high. The Jets are stacking up on defense and adding a stud pass rusher would make them scary.
[dropcap type="3"]7 [/dropcap]Chicago Bears: Kevin White, WR, WVU
After White ran a 4.35 40 at 6’3 215lbs at the combine he quickly shot up draft boards. Playing across from the 6’3 216lb Alshon Jeffery would give Chicago a ridiculous duo that would be difficult to cover.
[dropcap type="3"]8 [/dropcap]Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray, EDGE, Missouri
The Falcons signed a couple of pass rushers in free agency but they need all the help they can get after last season. Here they’re in position to take 2 of the top 4 in Ray or Randy Gregory. With Gregory failing a drug test at the combine, he’s falling down some draft boards. Ray gives new head coach, Dan Quinn, a new, explosive edge rusher.
[dropcap type="3"]9 [/dropcap]New York Giants: Randy Gregory, EDGE, Nebraska
Although they have bigger needs, the Giants love pass rushers and taking top talents. Gregory has top 5 ability and is one of the best pure pass rushers in the draft. He could get looks from SAM LB and if he puts on some weight, could be JPP's successor at RDE.
[dropcap type="3"]10 [/dropcap]St. Louis Rams: Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
The Rams need a lot of help on their offensive line. They released LT Jake Long and C Scott Wells this offseason so they basically just have T Greg Robinson (last year’s #2 overall pick) and T/G Rodger Saffold.
They just signed last year’s back up C Tim Barnes to a one year deal so I’m guessing he’s the favorite for that position, and I’m sure they’re hoping to re-sign RT Joe Barksdale, but that would still leave a big hole at G. In this situation, with the top ranked OL Scherff available, I can’t see them going another way.
[dropcap type="3"]11 [/dropcap]Minnesota Vikings: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Now that Gurley's knee has checked out he should go fast. Many believe he's the best RB prospect to come out since Adrian Peterson. Speaking of whom, has made it abundantly clear he wants out of Minnesota. This pick would give the Vikings freedom to try to move Peterson during the draft.
[dropcap type="3"]12 [/dropcap]*TRADE* Tennessee Titans: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
So instead of taking a new QB, here the Titans get their current one a shiny new weapon. Kendall Wright and Harry Douglas are #2 and #3 guys, and Justin Hunter hasn't panned out. Parker could finally give Tennessee a true #1 receiver.
[dropcap type="3"]13 [/dropcap]New Orleans Saints: La’el Collins, OL, LSU
The Saints signed both Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller to 4 year deals this offseason and look interested in making an effort to run the ball more. Collins is a college tackle that has been consistently making his way up draft boards and has a lot of NFL people talking. Many think he has Pro Bowl potential inside.
After trading away Ben Grubbs this offseason, it’s a hole that needs filling and Collins would be a great fit.
[dropcap type="3"]14 [/dropcap]Miami Dolphins: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan St.
The Dolphins need a better starter across from Brent Grimes. Waynes is the top rated corner is this draft and backed it up with a stellar combine performance. High ceiling prospect that could give much-needed help to Miami's secondary.
[dropcap type="3"]15 [/dropcap]San Francisco 49ers: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
The 9ers lost two corners in FA, they still have two solid starters in Tramaine Brock and slot corner Jimmie Ward, but that leaves a hole on the outside.
Jones was seen as a 2nd round prospect until he blew up the combine and his pro day. Measured in at 6'1 199lbs, recorded a 44.5" vertical, and completely insane 12ft 3in broad jump at the combine. Reportedly ran in the 4.36-4.39 range in his 40 during his pro day (did not run at combine due to a shoulder injury). Obviously a rare athlete that should go quick.
[dropcap type="3"]16 [/dropcap]Houston Texans: Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
The Texans need a franchise QB and a replacement for Andre Johnson, but by this time the top two QBs are long gone and so are the top 3 WRs. They could also really use a new ILB, but there aren’t any in this draft with a mid first round grade, in my opinion.
At 6’7 292lbs, Armstead is a long, athletic DT with a lot of upside. If he can tap into his potential playing beside Vince Wilfork and J.J. Watt, it would give Houston a scary front.
[dropcap type="3"]17 [/dropcap]San Diego Chargers: Bud Dupree, EDGE, Kentucky
San Diego needs a lot of help on defense. Melvin Ingram is in the final year of his rookie contract but he's been injury prone his whole career, plus SD isn't bringing Dwight Freeney back. Dupree is a physical freak that blew up the combine. Still raw, but with some coaching, he could become a force.
[dropcap type="3"]18 [/dropcap]Kansas City Chiefs: Andrus Peat, OL, Stanford
The Chiefs took Eric Fisher with the #1 pick in 2013, but he hasn’t nearly played up to expectations. At the same time, KC needs to upgrade the RT position. Peat could provide competition for Fisher and also fill the hole on the right side.
[dropcap type="3"]19 [/dropcap]*TRADE* Tennessee Titans: (from BUF): Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami
Some more help for the Titans offense after trading down. OT Michael Roos retired this offseason and Michael Oher was waived. Last year's 1st round selection Taylor Lewan can easily man the left side but that leaves a hole at RT. Flowers is a perfect RT prospect that could provide a big boost to Tennessee's run game.
[dropcap type="3"]20 [/dropcap]*TRADE* Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, DL, Washington
A lot of people see Shelton going much higher than this, but in every draft nose tackles seem to drop.
The Browns have a horrible defensive line. Shelton would be a great value in this position and give them a stud NT to help their terrible run D.
[dropcap type="3"]21 [/dropcap]Cincinnati Bengals: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
The Bengals lack a speed option across from AJ Green, Perriman ran a sub 4.3 40 yard dash at his pro day and, like Jones, has a lot of experts bumping him from a 2nd round prospect, to a 1st. At 6'2 212lbs Perriman certainly has an elite height, weight, speed triangle. He could help Cincinnati spread the field to help the run, as well as take some attention away from Green.
[dropcap type="3"]22 [/dropcap]Pittsburgh Steelers: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
This is a pretty easy one to pencil in; if available, Collins would make an ideal successor to recently retired Troy Polamalu.
[dropcap type="3"]23 [/dropcap]Detroit Lions: Malcom Brown, DL, Texas
The Lions lost both their starting DTs this offseason, luckily they traded for Haloti Ngata, and in this scenario can land another big body for the middle of their defense. Even at 319lbs Brown is very athletic and versatile, him and Ngata (340lbs) could give Detroit a massive front.
[dropcap type="3"]24 [/dropcap]Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
With the departure of CB Antonio Cromartie, the Cardinals need a replacement. Collins is a raw prospect that needs development, but Arizona would be the perfect place for him to go with two fellow LSU alumni CBs in Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
Collins possesses all the desirable measurables teams look for; big, long, athletic corner that has the potential to become a star.
[dropcap type="3"]25 [/dropcap]Carolina Panthers: D. J. Humphries, OL, Florida
This pick has to be for the offensive line for the Panthers; they have one of the worst units in the NFL. Luckily, this is a very deep draft for top caliber tackles.
Humphries is a LT prospect whose biggest concern has been his lean frame, playing at only 285lbs last season. However, Humphries showed up to the combine (amazingly) at 307lbs, so that should definitely entice a lot of OL needy teams like the Panthers.
[dropcap type="3"]26 [/dropcap]Baltimore Ravens: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
It seems every year the Ravens stand pat and take the best player available. Justin Forsett had a great year last season, however, he'll be 30 soon and there's really no one behind him. Gordon would provide Baltimore a young workhorse and nice 1-2 punch running game.
[dropcap type="3"]27 [/dropcap]Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
If the top 2 RBs are off the board and there's a top 5 corner available, I believe that would be the selection for Dallas.
Johnson is one of the more polished corners in this draft that could contribute day 1, also would give the Cowboys some options with their current salary stand-off with Brandon Carr.
More on Johnson here: Draft: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest on BlueStarTimes.com
[dropcap type="3"]28 [/dropcap]Denver Broncos: T.J. Clemmings, OL, Pittsburgh
As Peyton Manning enters his final years, the Broncos need to get him the best protection they can. Clemmings is a very athletic tackle that has a lot of scouts talking. Raw, but could start his career at G as he develops.
[dropcap type="3"]29 [/dropcap]Indianapolis Colts: Cameron Erving, OL, FSU
Here the Colts land the best center prospect in the draft and get Andrew Luck the protection he needs inside. This draft’s class of offensive linemen is much like last year’s class of cornerbacks: there’s a bunch of guys at the top and it’s going to be tough to peg which order they go.
[dropcap type="3"]30 [/dropcap]Green Bay Packers: Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
The Packers released A.J. Hawk this offseason and will need a replacement. I’m sure they’d also like to kick Clay Matthews back outside where he belongs. Perryman, although not a flashy athlete, is a stout, physical defender. Could provide a big help to that run defense.
[dropcap type="3"]31 [/dropcap]New Orleans Saints (from SEA): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
Green-Beckham is a top talent who could fall in the draft due to character concerns. He was dismissed from the Missouri football program after being suspended twice, so the concerns aren't without merit, but he’s huge at 6’5 237lbs and yet still runs fast posting a 4.49 40 at the combine. He has Kelvin Benjamin size with Jordan Matthews speed. The Saints just traded away Jimmy Graham so here they could land another big target to try to replace his production.
[dropcap type="3"]32 [/dropcap]New England Patriots: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
The Patriots lost their top two corners this offseason, easily becomes their biggest need. Peters, like Green-Beckham, is a prospect with a lot of talent, but big character concerns. Many see him as one of the best cover corners in this draft, so would be a great value in this spot. If anyone can handle character concerns it's the Patriots, going to a top organization like New England would be a great place for Peters to get his head on straight.
[dropcap type="3"]33 [/dropcap]Tennessee Titans: Eddie Goldman, DL, Florida St.
After addressing their offense in round 1, the Titans pick up a huge NT for their atrocious run defense.
[dropcap type="3"]34 [/dropcap]Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jake Fisher, OL, Oregon
The Bucs currently have nobodies penciled in at RG and RT, Fisher would be a great selection as he can play multiple positions on the OL.
[dropcap type="3"]35 [/dropcap]Oakland Raiders: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, EDGE, UCLA
The Raiders currently have one serviceable starter at DE, 32-year-old Justin Tuck. Here they could land the big, strong, athletic, edge setter that could fall into the 2nd due to some injury concerns.
[dropcap type="3"]36 [/dropcap]Jacksonville Jaguars: Eli Harold, EDGE, Virginia
I had the Jags passing on Dante Fowler at #3, but here they can still land their 'LEO' LB for coach Gus Bradley's defense with the explosive pass rusher, Harold.
[dropcap type="3"]37 [/dropcap]New York Jets: Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
The Jets traded for Brandon Marshall this offseason finally giving them a true #1 WR. Eric Decker is a great #2, but the Jets could use an explosive slot guy. Agholor would fit that role perfectly and give whoever starts at QB for NYJ a great weapon.
[dropcap type="3"]38 [/dropcap]Washington Redskins: Cedric Ogbuehi, OL, Texas A&M
Ogbuehi will drop due to a torn ACL in his bowl game so he could very possibly not play his 1st year, unless his team makes the playoffs, but in the 2nd round he's a great value and could finally give Washington an answer at RT.
[dropcap type="3"]39 [/dropcap]Chicago Bears: Preston Smith, DL, Mississippi St.
Chicago will be moving to a 3-4 defense but currently lacks a lot of personnel. They just signed the 49ers cast-off Ray McDonald who should be a big help if he can stop getting in trouble, but could still use another 3-4 end and NT. Smith would be a great fit playing the Justin Smith role in Chicago's new defense.
[dropcap type="3"]40 [/dropcap]New York Giants: Eric Rowe, CB/S, Utah
The Giants only have 2 back up safeties on their current roster, obviously making it their biggest need. Rowe is a very good corner prospect, however many believe S would be a better fit for him in the NFL. Could immediately step in as the Giants center fielder.
[dropcap type="3"]41 [/dropcap]St. Louis Rams: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona St.
A lot of people have Strong as a 1st round lock, but just like last year, this draft has a ton of WRs at the top, which should lead to some good ones to fall. Here the Rams can land a big, athletic target for new QB Nick Foles.
[dropcap type="3"]42 [/dropcap]Atlanta Falcons: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
The Falcons lacked an intermediate target last season with the retirement of Tony Gonzalez. Williams would provide them with a true pass catching TE and give them another dimension in the passing game.
[dropcap type="3"]43 [/dropcap]Cleveland Browns: Mike Bennett, DL, Ohio St.
As I stated earlier, the Browns have a horrible DL. I could certainly see them double up on NT and DE. Bennett's best fit would probably be as a 3 technique in a 4-3, but he could give the Browns the pass rush from inside they need.
[dropcap type="3"]44 [/dropcap]New Orleans Saints: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
All three of the Saints projected starting LBs are average players, they could use an infusion of talent in the middle of that defense. Kendricks played ILB in college, however many think he projects better to WLB in the NFL. The Saints could try him in multiple spots and see where he fits.
[dropcap type="3"]45 [/dropcap]Minnesota Vikings: Shaq Thompson, LB/S, Washington
Chad Greenway was terrible last season and is entering the last year of his deal. Thompson is a versatile player who is being looked at as a LB, S, and even RB. I think he'd be best as a WILL LB in a 4-3, if available, he would be a great fit in Minnesota.
[dropcap type="3"]46 [/dropcap]San Francisco 49ers: Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson
With the retirements of star Patrick Willis and last year's stand out rookie Chris Borland, the 9ers strength has become a weakness. Anthony is an athletic, physical defender that would fit nicely next to NaVorro Bowman in San Francisco's middle.
[dropcap type="3"]47 [/dropcap]Miami Dolphins: A.J. Cann, OL, South Carolina
The Dolphins have dramatically improved their OL the past couple of years, they still have a hole at LG however. Cann was a 4 year starter at the position and could give Miami one of the best units in the NFL.
[dropcap type="3"]48 [/dropcap]San Diego Chargers: Jordan Phillips, DL, Oklahoma
The Chargers have a very poor defensive line and lack a true NT. Phillips is a monster at 6'5 329lbs, yet still athletic for his size. Has the ability to eat up blocks with ease, however has an inconsistent motor, which could cause him to drop.
[dropcap type="3"]49 [/dropcap]Kansas City Chiefs: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
Signing Jeremy Maclin this offseason should help the Chiefs passing game woes, but they could still use an explosive slot guy like Dorsett. QB Alex Smith is Mr. dink and dunk, Dorsett is a playmaker that can take a cross to the house.
[dropcap type="3"]50 [/dropcap]Buffalo Bills: Laken Tomlinson, OL, Duke
If the Bills plan to be a ground and pound team under new coach Rex Ryan they need two upgrades at G. They recently signed Richie Incognito, but a RG is still needed. Tomlinson was a 4 year starter at the position and would give Buffalo the mauler they need.
[dropcap type="3"]51 [/dropcap]Houston Texans: Devin Smith, WR, Ohio St.
DeAndre Hopkins is becoming a stud in the league, but the Texans could use a speedster to stretch the field. I don't think anyone could fill that role better than Smith. Averaged a ridiculous 28.2 yards per catch in 2014, he's the ultimate home run hitter.
[dropcap type="3"]52 [/dropcap]*TRADE* Cleveland Browns: Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan
At 6'4 232lbs a lot of people think Funchess could be a TE in the NFL. With the loss of Jordan Cameron the Browns could use Funchess in a Jimmy Graham type role to exploit mismatches. Also, with Josh Gordan's future a question mark, and both Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline only signed for 2 seasons, Funchess could be Cleveland's future #1 WR.
[dropcap type="3"]53 [/dropcap]Cincinnati Bengals: Grady Jarrett, DL, Clemson
The Bengals 3 technique, Geno Atkins, wasn't the same player last year after tearing his ACL in 2013 and 1 technique, Domato Peko, is just plain bad. Jarrett can play both positions and is great at getting penetration inside. Considering Cincinnati had the least sacks in the NFL last year, they could use the help.
[dropcap type="3"]54[/dropcap] Detroit Lions: Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
The Lions currently have Joique Bell and Theo Riddick as their top two backs. Bell is a nice runner but there's nothing special about him, while Riddick is just a 3rd down pass catching back. Coleman would give Detroit a young, explosive, home run hitter at the position.
[dropcap type="3"]55 [/dropcap]Arizona Cardinals: Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise St.
Andre Ellington is an explosive RB, but he’s just not a back that can carry the ball 20+ times a game like the Cardinals want. Ajayi is a big, versatile back that can play all 3 downs.
On Monday CBS Sports' Dane Brugler tweeted:
FYI - #BoiseState RB Jay Ajayi was dinged for his knee from re-check on visits, not Combine re-check. Point stands, "strong" concerns there
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 20, 2015
Everyone has an opinion, mine is either teams are spreading rumors to try to get him to fall, or the concerns are by a few teams and it's being blown out of proportion. Ajayi wasn't even at the Scouting Combine medical re-check and his injury was 4 years ago. He's racked up 3,796 yards and 50 TDs on 678 carries since. If the concern is longevity, you could say that about any RB. I think he's be a great fit in Dallas if available at #60.
[dropcap type="3"]56[/dropcap] Pittsburgh Steelers: Hau'Oli Kikaha, EDGE, Washington
Very productive pass rusher that will fall due to lack of athleticism. Ran a 4.90 40 at the combine, but had 32 sacks past two seasons and even lead the nation in sacks in 2014. With the surprising retirement of Jason Worilds, and the lack of production from 2013 1st round pick Jarvis Jones, the Steelers had to re-sign 37 year old James Harrison, they need big help at the position.
[dropcap type="3"]57 [/dropcap]Carolina Panthers: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
The Panthers need a #2 receiver to play on the other side of Kelvin Benjamin as their current depth at the position is awful. Coates would make a nice counterpart to Benjamin as he's a vertical threat that can spread the field.
[dropcap type="3"]58 [/dropcap]Baltimore Ravens: Ronald Darby, CB, Florida St.
Corner is a big need for Baltimore as they only have one solid starter in Jimmy Smith. Darby is an extremely athletic cover corner that has starter potential.
[dropcap type="3"]59 [/dropcap]Denver Broncos: Carl Davis, DL, Iowa
The Broncos will move to a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillip, with the departure of Terrance Knighton they currently have Sylvester Williams penciled in as NT, Williams has never played the position though and would be better suited playing end.
Davis is a 6'5 320lb powerful clogger who, although doesn't offer much as a pass rusher, can take on double teams and give teammates 1 on 1s.
[dropcap type="3"]60 [/dropcap]Dallas Cowboys: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
I'm sure many don't think Abdullah will make it to 60, he very well might not, but I believe there won't be a run on RBs until the 3rd round. Dallas should be in position to take a top 5 RB in this spot if they don't get one at #27.
Most have Abdullah as a top 3/4 RB, but the reason I think he could fall here is, he's a smaller back, at 5'9 205lbs, and did have fumbling problems in college, coughing it up 13 times in 4 years. His small frame could also lead to pass protection problems.
Abdullah is a big time playmaker with explosive acceleration that can cut on a dime. Natural pass catcher, dangerous after the catch. Great patience and can use his short stature to hide behind blockers, then hits the crease and can get to top speed in an instant. Even if Abdullah is a two down back, behind Dallas' tremendous offensive line, he could be a stellar player.
[dropcap type="3"]61 [/dropcap]Indianapolis Colts: Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi St.
The Colts need better play at ILB, their current starters are a liability in coverage. McKinney is a complete player and would provide Indy an immediate upgrade.
[dropcap type="3"]62 [/dropcap]Green Bay Packers: P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
The Packers lost CBs Tramon Williams and Davon House this offseason, Williams is a good cover corner that would be a nice value in this spot as he should fall some after getting a DUI this month.
[dropcap type="3"]63 [/dropcap]Seattle Seahawks: Donovan Smith, OL, Penn State
With the trade of C Max Unger to New Orleans, the Seahawks only solid starter is LT Russell Okung. Smith played LT in college, but he seems better suited to play G in the NFL. Could come in and compete for the LG vacancy left behind by James Carpenter.
[dropcap type="3"]64 [/dropcap]New England Patriots: Tre Jackson, OL, Florida St.
After trading G Logan Mankins last year the Patriots really didn't have an answer at LG, Jackson is a 6'4 330lb beast that could help fill that void.
Cowboys Draft Target: Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram
NAME: Johnathan Abram
SCHOOL: Mississippi State
JERSEY: No. 38
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
HT: 5' 11 3/8"
|Tackles||Tackles||Tackles||Tackles||Tackles||Def Int||Def Int||Def Int||Def Int||Def Int||Fumbles||Fumbles||Fumbles||Fumbles|
Johnathan Abram, playing for the Bulldogs of Mississippi State University, is considered the hardest hitting safety in college football. He's top NFL prospect, who is projected to be selected in the late 1st to early 2nd round(s) of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Johnathan Abram's biggest strength as a safety prospect is his ability to play around the line of scrimmage as a box safety, which is why he's projected to be a strong safety in the NFL. Possesses the prototypical size for the position. He also has the ability and skill set to play a hybrid safety/linebacker role as well.
Abram is at his best when he's playing downhill and sideline to sideline against the run. His size, strength, and physicality allow him to stack and shed blocks like a linebacker. Aggressive tackler who is always looking to deliver a big hit. Also shows good technique to get his head across the ball carrier's chest while wrapping up to make the tackle.
Shows adequate range and speed in coverage. Is able to flip his hips and redirect to change direction quickly, but there is some stiffness there as well. Has the size and athletic ability to match up with tight ends. Shows an understanding of route recognition. His physicality in the run game carries over into the passing game.
The biggest concern about Johnathan Abram's game is his ability, or lack thereof, in coverage. Whether it's an man or zone coverage, he struggles with his responsibilities and can be eaten alive by receivers who know what they're doing. This doesn't bode well for his transition to the NFL, which has become a heavy passing league.
His aggressive nature will get him into trouble in the passing game. Can be clunky in his transitions against good route runners. Will panic and grab when he's caught out of position, which has generated, or should have, flags being thrown. Lack of desired range will keep him from becoming a deep safety, making him a strong safety only.
Questionable ball skills. Only has two interceptions and 10 pass deflections in his career. Struggles locating the ball and doesn't show instincts or anticipation to jump routes. Can be too aggressive against the run, causing him to over pursue and create cutback lanes.
If the Dallas Cowboys are looking for a hard-hitting strong safety who excels around the line of scrimmage, then Johnathan Abram is their guy. He is a heatseeking missile when playing downhill or sideline to sideline, and would play that Kam Chancellor type role on the backend of Kris Richard's defense. He has outstanding size and speed for the position, and is a more fluid athlete then he's given credit for. More of a "traditional" throwback safety.
Abram unfortunately struggles in coverage, despite showing good range and long speed. He may be nothing more than a box safety or nickel/dime linebacker in the NFL. This could hurt his chances of landing with the Cowboys, especially if they are looking for an interchangeable safety to pair with Xavier Woods. But, if there are looking for that "enforcer" type of player, they'd probably have to take him at 58 in the second-round because it's unlikely he will still be there when they're on the clock in the third-round.
Dallas Cowboys Make Trades in this 7-round Mock Draft
Though we're still in the midst of the free agency frenzy that took hold this week, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing the grind toward the end of April as they look forward to the most important aspect of roster building for their franchise, the NFL Draft.
As we know by now, the Dallas Cowboys prefer to build their team through draft, supplement their roster with lower cost free agent signings, and retain their own players through contract extensions and resignings. As they get ready for the draft, they'll be exploring all opportunities to improve a roster that made it to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs in 2018 with the hopes of advancing even further in 2019.
This is the first installment of mock drafts that you'll see from me here at Inside The Star, and like last year, I wanted to explore what some trade options might look like for the Dallas Cowboys. For this installment, I used Draftek's big board over with Fanspeak's On The Clock Premium Simulator. It allows for trades and allows you to select whether the simulation will use the same big board or multiple big boards to create more variables. I selected multiple, because that's closer to the reality of the NFL Draft. Every team has a unique big board that they're operating from.
All trades went through Draftek's Trade Value Chart, which is what the teams use when assigning value to draft picks.
58 - TRADE
58 to San Francisco for 67 and 86
Because the Cowboys don’t have a first round pick or a sixth round pick and this draft class is deep at several positions where the Cowboys could use some reisnforcements, they’re going into the draft looking to trade back with their first pick.
The San Francisco 49ers come calling and offer picks 67 (3.3) and 104 (4.2) for the 58th overall pick.
Per the trade value chart produced by Draftek, the Cowboys gain 21 points in value from the trade. It’s not a far trade back, as it’s only nine spots. Their ability to pick up an extra fourth is huge.
67 - Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama
With their first pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, The Dallas Cowboys select Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama.
Somewhat of a forgotten man on the Alabama defense, Miller exploded for eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss in his senior season with the Crimson Tide.
Check out The Draft Network's Scouting Report on Christian Miller.
90 - Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas
Admittedly, I’m not as high on Charles Omenihu as some others might be as a second round selection, but as a third rounder, I can see the value in drafting Omenihu to help fortify your defensive line.
The Texas Longhorn product has experience playing on the EDGE, 3-Tech, and 1-tech alignments, and would probably be best suited playing 3-Tech in the NFL.
He reminds me a bit of Tyrone Crawford in that he doesn’t do anything spectacular, but he finds ways to make plays.
He was a productive player at Texas finishing with 9.5 sacks in the season.
Back in February I wrote a film review on Omenihu.
104 - TRADE
104 to the Buffalo Bills for 112 and 131
In another trade back, the Cowboys sent pick 104 in the fourth round to the Buffalo Bills for their two fourth round picks, 112 and 131. Per the trade value chart, the Cowboys picked up 25 points in pick value by trading back eight spots.
112 - Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi St.
The Dallas Cowboys could use a safety that can play in the box and Johnathan Abram from Mississippi St. could very well be the guy to line up next to Xavier Woods in the secondary.
In 2018, Abram recorded 99 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, five passes defenses, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and two interceptions.
In 2017, he recorded 71 total tackles, diver tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and five passes defensed.
Abram, who will be one of the Dallas Cowboys 30 visitors in preparation for the draft, was a splash player in the SEC.
128 - Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
Were it not for the ACL injury suffered by Oklahoma Running Back Rodney Anderson, it’s possible we’re talking about a top 60 selection in this year’s draft. Anderson’s injury history, however, has him consistently available for the Cowboys in the fourth round.
As they look for a backup to Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys would be hard-pressed to find a runner as productive and as talented as Anderson is without paying a premium price.
Like Elliott, Anderson’s a smooth runner, who is able to play through contact as well as make people miss in the open field.
For his career, Anderson averaged 6.4 yards per carry and scored 16 touchdowns. His only full season with the Sooners, he rushed for 1161 yards on 188 attempts (6.2 yards per carry), 13 touchdowns, and caught 17 passes for 281 yards, and five more touchdowns. That’s a touchdown every 11.4 touches.
Prior to being lost for the season in week two against UCLA, Anderson was averaging 10.8 yards per carry.
Read Brian Martin's Draft Preview on Rodney Anderson.
131 - Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
Parris Campbell has the speed, quickness, and athleticism to be a threat both in the slot and on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys.
Admittedly, it’s not likely that a player with his athletic traits and production would be available in the fourth round, but in the NFL Draft, there are few guarantees.
Campbell recorded 90 receptions for 1,063 yards, and 23 touchdowns in his senior season with the Buckeyes. He'd be an excellent asset in the slot and on the outside as a speed threat for the Dallas Cowboys.
136 - Ben Banogu, EDGE/LB, TCU
You can never have too many pass rushers, and that’s what the Cowboys believe as they double-up on weakside EDGE players by selecting Ben Banogu from TCU in the fourth round.
Banogu was a very productive player for the Hirned Frogs. For his junior and senior seasons, Banogu averaged 8.5 sacks and 17.25 tackles for loss.
At 6-4, 249, he brings good length to the position and has the frame to add a bit more bulk to help him set the edge in the NFL.
165 - Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA
Count me as one who’s excited about the possibility of Blake Jarwin developing into a starting tight end for the Cowboys. He certainly showed over the last half of the season that he’s capable, just needs more experience and playing time. That said, despite the addition of Jason Witten, the Cowboys should still look to add a tight end in the draft, and here’s a good one in UCLA product, Caleb Wilson.
In 11 games for the Bruins in 2918, Wilson caught 60 passes for 965 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 16.1 yards per reception in the PAC 12.
If there’s a knock on Wilson, it’s that he has had some injury struggles in his collegiate career. He has potential to be a move tight end in the NFL with his receiving ability.
241 - Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
There are few prospects that can be had around the fifth round or later that are as intriguing as Baylor Wide Receiver Jalen Hurd.
The first three years of his collegiate career, Hurd played running back for the University of Tennessee and averaged about 4.6 yards per carry. In his freshman season, he ran for 899 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 221 yards receiving on 35 catches and two more touchdowns.
When he transferred to Baylor for his senior season, the Bears coaching staff converted him to wide receiver and he flourished. In 12 games, Hurd caught 69 passes for 946 yards and four touchdowns. The Bears also used him as a runner and he gained 209 yards on 48 carries for three more touchdowns.
In his four year career, he averaged 1,070 yards from scrimmage on 193 touches for 8.25 touchdowns. That’s at two different positions and two different schools.
at 6-4, 217 pounds, Hurd has the size to play receiver in the NFL. He has the ability to play both inside and outside and can give you some snaps out of the backfield as well.
Check out Brian Martin's film review on Jalen Hurd.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
This is just one of many scenarios that could take place when the NFL Draft rolls around at the end of April. The possibilities are endless. The Cowboys have several needs on the offensive and defensive side of the football and this draft has players that can fill those areas of need throughout. Obviously, they'll look to draft the best player available when they come on the clock, and these could very well be players that end up with a star on their helmet in 2019.
How would you feel about the Cowboys drafting any of these guys?
Interview with NFL Draft Prospect, WR Kahlil Lewis
Hidden among another deep receiver class, Kahlil Lewis from Cincinnati is one who hasn’t gotten much attention. The 6'0" 200-pound receiver was among his conference's best but wasn’t recognized as such. In his four years with the Bearcats, he caught 168 passes for 2,116 yards and 21 touchdowns. Lewis improved his numbers each season he played and helped lead the team to an 11-2 record and a Military Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Lewis won’t get as much attention as many of the receivers in this class but that doesn’t appear to be stopping him. Speaking with him, he's clearly ready and motivated for the next level. All he needs is to get one look and someone will see what I saw on TV and his game film.
Me: To get ready for the draft, many prospects will get their body right. They work out harder, become strict with their diets, and some even will go in-depth with their coaches on game film to see what areas they think they need to fix for the next level. How have you been preparing for the NFL? What’s been the biggest struggle?
Lewis: I have been watching a lot of film and learning more about the game of football in my off time now that I don’t have school work. I workout and have a meal plan and only one cheat meal day a week which is Saturday for me. I barely want to cheat my diet now though because now I see how your diet can improve your performance and how you feel, recover, etc. There isn’t a lot of struggle for me in this process because I love to grind and that’s exactly what it is.
Me: At Cincinnati you played both the slot and outside receiver positions, running routes across the middle and down the seams. But where do you think you would fit best?
Lewis: I like playing both and I was fine wherever the coaches needed me, but I love the outside. I love beating press coverage.
Me: I was just about to get to that. To me, watching your film, your ability to run crisp routes and create separation has been maybe your biggest strength. What do you think your best attribute is?
Lewis: I think me being smart helps me overall. Nothing physical or what I do specifically is that much better than the other, like routes, catching; stuff like that. I just study the game and it helps me execute.
Me: What kind of receiver do you try to model your game after?
Lewis: I don’t think I model my game after anyone. I want to be Kahlil Lewis and be the best I can be, but I watch tons of receivers, even when a game is on, I just watch the receivers and DBs, but if I had to name a few Stedman Bailey, Stevie Johnson and Odell.
Me: Every season you played at Cincinnati, you finished the year with better numbers than the previous one. You were catching more passes, scoring more and became your team’s best weapon on offense. How did you develop yourself every season, and do you think that process will translate to the NFL?
Lewis: I think I am getting better every day. I try to improve on something every chance I get but like I said previously, the mind is powerful. I stopped working as hard physically, but I still was getting it in. Not to get confused but like I said, I got smarter. I couldn’t kill my body because I was getting older. I had to take care of myself, so me getting smarter, the game slowed down for me and got easier.
Me: A lot of players get motivation from either a loved one, or trauma, or wherever. It’s what fuels them to be great or even greater than they thought possible. Where does your motivation come from?
Lewis: My motivation really comes from my mom. That’s why I work hard in whatever I do, on and off the field, and it never seems like I do enough because she worked 2-3 jobs all my life and I really hate seeing her tired with a passion, but I don’t let it out. I put that energy into being successful for her.
Me: That’s honorable. Last question. As of right now, you’re a projected Day 3 prospect. Why should teams take a chance on you, and what can you give them to offer?
Lewis: I love the game, I love to compete, I’m a team guy and I love to win. Whatever I have to do for the team's success, I’m doing it with no hesitation. Outside of being a receiver, I can do multiple things on specials teams as well.
Me: Thank you for your time. Good luck with the next few months and on your career as well!
Kahlil Lewis has a lot to prove but it doesn’t appear to phase him. He’s motivated and looks ready for the challenge. Some smart GM will find this smart young man, and make a very smart move.
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
5 Realistic Free Agents Cowboys Should Sign Before the Draft
NFL Draft5 days ago
Hypothetical La’el Collins Trade Could Recoup Cowboys a 2019 1st-Round Pick
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Cowboys Draft Target: Georgia Bulldogs WR Mecole Hardman
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Should Dallas Cowboys Consider Blake Bortles for Backup QB?
Dallas Cowboys5 days ago
Cowboys Show Interest in Browns DE Emmanuel Ogbah
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
REPORT: Cowboys Keeping OL Joe Looney, WR Tavon Austin, WR Allen Hurns in 2019
Player News5 days ago
Chiefs Release Eric Berry, Should Cowboys Be Interested?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Should the Cowboys Use Their 2020 First Round Pick in 2019?