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Reviewing Potential First-Round Prospects For The Cowboys

The long-awaited event is almost upon us. Thursday night the 2018 will finally get underway and we can end all of the speculation and draft talk as to who the will select with their first-round draft pick.

I don't know about you, but Thursday night can't get here soon enough. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally learn which first-round prospect will be wearing a star on their helmet in 2018.

I know we have been discussing and analyzing which prospects the Dallas Cowboys could target with their first-round selection pretty much since the end of the , but I thought I would provide you with a little recap in case you forgot.

Below I've reviewed several of the Cowboys potential first-round prospects who they've shown an interest in throughout the pre-draft process and also shared with you who I would personally draft at each position.

D.J. Moore
Maryland WR D.J. Moore

Wide Receiver

Calvin Ridley (Alabama), D.J. Moore (Maryland), Courtland Sutton (SMU)

With the of , the Dallas Cowboys will without a doubt draft another receiver and could do it as early as the first-round. I personally only see three wide receivers worthy of being selected that early, and the Cowboys have met with each one of them already.

Personally, I would be happy with any one of the three WRs mentioned above. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses, but each one of them would likely be an upgrade over what the Cowboys currently have on the roster.

My pick: D.J. Moore ✭

I personally have D.J. Moore ranked as the highest WR in the 2018 draft class. He may not be as polished as a route runner as , but he's no slouch either. What I think separates him from the other two is his physicality and ability to pick up yards after the catch.

Offensive Guard

Isaiah Wynn (Georgia), James Daniels (Iowa), Will Hernandez (UTEP)

and played the position for the Dallas Cowboys last season, but that won't be the case in 2018. It's really the only position along the entire without a starter right now, which could make it a first-round priority for the Cowboys.

If the Cowboys want to get back to their run first mentality, then taking a LG in the first-round makes sense. They have already shown an interest in all three players mentioned above and each one of them would step in and be an immediate plug-and-play starter.

✭ My pick:  ✭

Isaiah Wynn held his own against some of the best pass rushers in the SEC while playing for the over the past several seasons. He will be asked to kick inside to in the NFL because of his lack of length, but I believe he possesses potential as a rookie. He would make the Cowboys offensive line dominant once again.

Offensive Tackle

Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame), Connor Williams (Texas), Kolton Miller (UCLA)

With 's continued back problems and ability to move back inside to left guard, the Dallas Cowboys could use their first-round pick on another starting caliber tackle. Their lack of depth at the position really hurt them last season when Tyron Smith was out of the starting lineup, and that can't happen again.

The 2018 tackle draft class isn't very deep, which could mean we see quite a few of them drafted earlier than expected. If the Cowboys believe Tyron Smith's back will continue to give him problems, then we could see one of the three players mentioned above taken.

✭ My pick:  ✭

Connor Williams is a bit of an enigma because of his conflicting game film in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, he looked like a surefire first-round draft pick, but he looked like a completely different player last season. I believe he is still capable of playing like he did in 2016 and could play either tackle position in the NFL or be kicked inside to guard.

Harold Landry
Boston College DE

Linebacker

Rashaan Evans (Alabama), Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)

Ideally, either Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith fall to the Dallas Cowboys and become their first-round draft pick. But, I wouldn't hold my breath on that happening. Both players should be long gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at 19, leaving him to choose from either of the two players mentioned above.

The Cowboys definitely need to come away with at least one, possibly two linebackers in this draft. and can't be completely relied on, and the depth behind them doesn't inspire much confidence either. That is why could be the top priority for the Cowboys.

✭ My pick:  ✭

I know everybody will have their own preference, but I prefer Rashaan Evans over Vander Esch. I think Evans is the more physical player of the two and has shown the ability to rush the passer off the edge during his time in Alabama. I think he is capable of playing all three LB positions.

Defensive End

Harold Landry (Boston College), Marcus Davenport (UTSA)

The Dallas Cowboys have the numbers in order to get by with their current stable of defensive ends, but that shouldn't exclude them from looking for an upgrade. They could use someone who can start opposite , and I'm not sure that player is on the roster.

They used their first-round draft pick on last year, but they knew he was a project when they selected him. The return of Randy Gregory or could be the solution, but there is no way either player can be relied upon right now. Maybe the two DEs above provides the answer.

✭ My pick: Harold Landry 

Harold Landry played through injuries last season that really limited his effectiveness as a pass rusher, but in 2016 he looked like an elite prospect. I believe he could be the right defensive end the Dallas Cowboys have been looking for and would turn their into a dominant force playing opposite DeMarcus Lawrence.

Defensive Tackle

Vita Vea (Washington), Da'Ron Payne (Alabama), Taven Bryan (Florida)

If there is one position the Dallas Cowboys have neglected for several years now, it's the nose tackle or 1-technique. That's why it's kind of hard to envision them taking one with their first-round selection, but it is definitely a position that could stand to be upgraded.

This could be a good year for the Cowboys to change their draft strategy and take a in first-round, especially considering their lack of depth at the position. They have shown some interest in all three DT prospects mentioned above, and each one of them could still be available when they are on the clock at 19.

✭ My pick:  

I don't know if there is another player the Dallas Cowboys could take with their first-round draft pick who would be an immediate upgrade and make everyone around him better than Vita Vea. He would not only upgrade the due to his mere size and athletic ability, but he would help keep the linebackers clean behind him to make plays.

Who do you want the Dallas Cowboys to draft in the first-round?

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Will

Forgot safety. Fitzpatrick first, Derwin 1A, Reid 2nd

Brian Martin

I didn’t forget about safety. I just don’t think there will be one available worthy of the Cowboys first-round draft pick when they are on the clock.

Will

Ah. But if that’s the case, then Wynn, Vea, and Landry should be off as well. All 3 will be gone by 19

Brian Martin

I actually think all three of them could be in play at 19.

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Kevin Black

Derwin is a strong safety. Fitspatrick and Reid are free safeties. You really can’t rank them together. It’s like ranking edge rushers as just Defensive Ends. Many are 3-4 OLBs, not defensive ends.

Brian Martin

I think Derwin James can play FS as well. He just wasn’t asked to do it in college. I also think Reid can play either SS or FS.

Kevin Black

I think you are right that they could play it, but their best position is SS for James and FS for Reid. Even Fitzpatrick could play SS if need be, but I think Reid and Fitzpatrick would suffer just like Jones did this past year. Jones is a FS/C combo and he played out of position last year as a SS.

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Will

I don’t see Derwin as a true SS only type. I think he has the talent to play either S spot and excel

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Kevin Black

I’d prefer Vander Esch over Evans for one reason only: He can cover TEs and does well in zone coverage. Evans is best going downhill. Once Lee retires, Evans really can’t handle the Will as well as Vander Esch. Vander Esch just seems to be better in space, but Evans is a MUCH better run defender.

Brian Martin

The only problem I have with Vander Esch is he really doesn’t look like a physical player. I saw way too many games where he gets washed out of plays or is unable to get off blocks. I think he is a WILL LB only and I think you can find those kind of players later in the draft, not in the first-round.

Kevin Black

That is an issue for Vander Esch, but he was good about avoiding contact, something you want the Will LB to do. Even Lee has issues if he has to shed blocks. He’s much better when he’s clean. It’s one of the reasons I don’t see Vander Esch as a MLB or Strong, although he could do it if absolutely necessary. Seeing that we’re looking to replace Lee in a year or two, if that’s the mandate, I’d prefer Vander Esch. If we need a MLB, which I don’t think we do, I believe Jaylon willl be fine, then Evans wins hands down.

Evans is better and block shedding and taking on blockers, but he’s not as agile as Vander Esch and doesn’t have quite the speed either, not that he’s bad, just not as good as Vander Esch. Evans will have issues in the passing game unless you plan on having him help rush the passer. He just doesn’t seem as zone aware as Vander Esch. Also to Vander Esch’s credit, the light seemed to come on halfway through the season and his ceiling is so much higher, although Evans floor is higher.

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Brian Martin

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