Even in the offseason, I still have a reason to be nervous about my beloved Dallas Cowboys. Recently, I’ve had these nightmares about the upcoming NFL Draft that are so startling, they wake me up in the middle of the night.
They start off very routine: Laremy Tunsil first, Jared Goff or Carson Wentz second, San Diego takes Jalen Ramsey or Joey Bosa third, and America’s Team takes either DeForest Buckner or Ramsey, whoever is available, at fourth.
Then the Eagles pick Ezekiel Elliott.
Then the Giants pick Laquon Treadwell.
AGHHH! I wake up covered in sweat and realize it was just a nightmare mock draft.
Elliott or Treadwell in the NFC East is a nightmare indeed but it could be a reality that the Cowboys have to deal with in the 2016 season.
Which reality would be easier to deal with? Let’s imagine that it’s the 2016 NFL season.
Ezekiel Elliott on the Philadelphia Eagles
It’s 2016 and Ezekiel Elliott is receiving the hand-off from Sam Bradford.
Elliott is a three-down back who has the potential to excel in all parts of the game. His size, athleticism, pass-catching and blocking skills are a rare and scary combination if you’re on the other side of the ball. He should be one of the more productive backs in the league.
The Eagles are going to be looking into kick starting their running game after the failed DeMarco Murray experiment. While they may have some potential in running backs Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews, they aren’t enough to persuade the Eagles’ front men to not pick a running back in the draft, especially if Elliott is there at 8.
Elliott is regarded as the most complete back in the draft and could really do some damage in the league, especially in the NFC East. Obviously, I don’t want the Eagles to land a running back of Elliott’s caliber.
Ezekiel Elliott on the New York Giants
Let’s imagine it’s 2016 and Elliot is receiving the hand-off from Eli Manning.
Elliott said himself in an interview that if he were teamed up with Odell Beckham Jr. and Manning it would be a “three headed monster.” I think it would be more like a real life version of “Two and A Half Men.”
The Giants currently carry four running backs: Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Andre Williams and Orleans Darkwa. GM Jerry Reese has focused most of his free-agent attention at bolstering last year’s underwhelming defense. While I would think it would be in their best interest to address the offensive line, I can see them picking Elliott if he is there at 10. Drafting Elliott would likely signal the end of Rashad Jennings’s time in New York. He would be a huge improvement over the aging and relatively pricey Jennings.
In 2015 the Cowboys held the Giants to just 108 rushing yards through both games. If that’s because New York’s run game is broken then Elliott is a player who can fix it.
Laquon Treadwell on the Philadelphia Eagles
Let’s imagine Laquon Treadwell is catching passes for the Eagles.
Treadwell is comparable to DeAndre Hopkins. Both players are defined by their talent. He is best when he has a clean two-way go off the line of scrimmage and he could be a challenging size match up from the slot.
Although I do think there are other glaring needs for the Eagles I would not be surprised if Treadwell is their guy. Their wide receivers dropped 41 passes, a league high. When it comes to touchdowns, the Eagles ranked 21st with 23 touchdowns, 8 of those coming from their top wide receiver Jordan Matthews. More so, the Eagles have invested three draft choices in the top three rounds on WR including a first round pick on Nelson Agholor.
The Eagles could really use a lights out wide receiver to help Sam Bradford so Laquon Treadwell could be the guy. Lucky for us, if there isn’t much of a threat at running back or a true WR2 for the Eagles, then the Cowboys defense can defend the pass and double cover Treadwell.
Laquon Treadwell on the New York Giants
Let’s imagine Treadwell is catching passes for the Giants.
Odell Beckham Jr. excels because he can separate from coverage giving himself a good opportunity to catch the ball thrown in his direction. Many times the ball is basically chucked in his general direction anyway so he has no choice but to make a miraculous catch.
Although Treadwell is arguably the best wide receiver in the draft he is not anywhere near the type of prospect Beckham was when he came out in 2014. He doesn’t have the explosion to be that type of player and he’s never going to be their No. 1 receiver.
While the Cowboys have double covered Beckham successfully in the past, it would be a taller order with a Hopkins-like receiver on the other side. Giants could take Treadwell for exactly this reason, because they need a WR2 and they’re not willing to bet on Victor Cruz.
Pick Your Poison
The league is morphing into a predominantly passing game. While Elliott’s run game would certainly help anyone’s passing game, I think the Cowboys would be able to handle it, especially if we take a defensive lineman or a linebacker in the draft. And with a healthy Orlando Scandrick, a determined Morris Claiborne, an established Byron Jones and a stud rookie, the Cowboys would match up well against a team with Treadwell.
Pick Your Poison: Elliott or Treadwell? NYG or PHI? Read at https://t.co/h2tOoByj84 and vote, Would you rather…
So I put it on you, Cowboys Nation, would you rather have Ezekiel Elliott or Laquon Treadwell on the Giants or the Eagles?