The long-awaited event is almost upon us. Thursday night the 2018 NFL Draft will finally get underway and we can end all of the speculation and draft talk as to who the Dallas Cowboys 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 2017 season, 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.
Calvin Ridley (Alabama), D.J. Moore (Maryland), Courtland Sutton (SMU)
With the release of Dez Bryant, 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 Calvin Ridley, 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.
Isaiah Wynn (Georgia), James Daniels (Iowa), Will Hernandez (UTEP)
Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper played the left guard 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 offensive line 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 ✭
Isaiah Wynn held his own against some of the best pass rushers in the SEC while playing left tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs over the past several seasons. He will be asked to kick inside to guard in the NFL because of his lack of length, but I believe he possesses Pro Bowl potential as a rookie. He would make the Cowboys offensive line dominant once again.
Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame), Connor Williams (Texas), Kolton Miller (UCLA)
With Tyron Smith‘s continued back problems and La’el Collins 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 ✭
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.
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. Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith can’t be completely relied on, and the depth behind them doesn’t inspire much confidence either. That is why linebacker could be the top priority for the Cowboys.
✭ My pick: Rashaan Evans ✭
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.
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 DeMarcus Lawrence, and I’m not sure that player is on the roster.
They used their first-round draft pick on Taco Charlton last year, but they knew he was a project when they selected him. The return of Randy Gregory or Charles Tapper 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 defensive line into a dominant force playing opposite DeMarcus Lawrence.
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 defensive tackle 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: Vita Vea ✭
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 run defense due to his mere size and athletic ability, but he would help keep the linebackers clean behind him to make plays.