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Safety Leads the Way in this Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft

This is the week that we've all been waiting for. The is now just five days away. The Dallas Cowboys will finally be able to put all the hard work they've done over the last year into practice. They'll finalize their and will add six (or more) players to their roster between now and next weekend.

As it's the last week before the draft, I wanted to bring you one final mock draft. This one will focus on the Dallas Cowboys pre-draft visitor list. They've had contact with tons of players over the last several months, so we should have a pretty good idea where their collective minds are at. Of course, the draft brings so many variables into play that it's hard to accurately predict who will go there, but we're going to try anyway.

Using's Premium On The Clock Simulator, I declined options to back in the second, because they required trading back a full round. In trade back scenarios, I wouldn't want to trade back further than the fifth pick in the . The Cowboys would miss out on too much talent by going back a full round in the draft.

I attempted to focus this mock on players that the Cowboys have had in for visits this offseason. So let's find the Dallas Cowboys some players.

58 – Juan Thornhill, Safety, Virginia

has been a guy I've hyped up for much of the last two weeks. Until I watched his tape, I was all about Maryland Safety Darnell Savage. In Thornhill, I saw a similar player to Savage, but a better overall athlete that is bigger as well.

Thornhill is in that group of safeties along with Taylor Rapp, Jonathan Abram, and Savage, who could be there for the Dallas Cowboys at pick 58. While each in that group are capable of making a day one impact for the Cowboys, Thornhill is the guy that I think has the best potential.

He's smooth in coverage and willing as a tackler. He plays the ball well in the air and is excellent with the ball in his hands. He has the ability to play corner if needed. At Virginia, he lined up all over the secondary.

Here's what Dane Brugler from The Athletic had to say about Thornhill:

“A three-year starter at Virginia, Thornhill arrived in Charlottesville as a safety before moving outside to corner his sophomore and junior seasons. He moved to the “Sabre” strong safety position as a senior and led the team in tackles (98) and interceptions (6), playing everywhere from nickel to single-high to (showed he can just as easily press as he can play from deep positioning). Thornhill, who wears No. 21 for Sean Taylor, doesn't play as fast as he timed, but he has a smooth lower body and doesn't get off-balance in his movements. He has plus anticipation and ball skills, but will take the worst of hits when his tackling technique isn't perfect. Overall, Thornhill is more smooth than sudden, which causes him to be a beat late at times, but his instincts, field range and roster versatility are strong selling points, projecting as a high alignment safety who can walk down and cover slot receivers.”

Dane Brugler – Dane Brugler's Guide via The Athletic

He's Dane Brugler's 49th ranked player and fifth best safety in this year's draft. Over the course of Thornhill's career he totaled 13 interceptions and 26 pass deflections. He's a playmaker that stays around the ball and would give the Cowboys another ball hawk in the secondary.

Check out Brian Martin's Scouting Report on Virginia Safety Juan Thornhill.

90 – Jace Sternberger, Tight End, Texas A&M

I don't think that tight end is as big of a need in this year's draft because I firmly believe that and are solutions there long-term. However, sometimes the draft doesn't fall like you'd like and here, there weren't any defensive players available that I was as interested in as Texas A&M Tight End Jace Sternberger.

Already off the board were any of the players that the Cowboys have shown interest in as well as Trysten Hill and . There were several wide receivers available that the Cowboys have had in for visits, but I felt like there was an opportunity to get one of those later in the draft, thus the pick of Sternberger.

“A one-year starter at Texas A&M, Sternberger quickly emerged as the centerpiece of the Aggies' , lining up split out, wing or inline. Despite only one season in College Station, he is one of the most productive tight ends in school , setting the single-season records for receiving yards and touchdown catches. With his athleticism and toughness, Sternberger offers tremendous YAC and down-the-seam value, recording at least one 20-plus yard catch in 12 of 13 games in 2018 (44 percent of his catches resulted in a 20-plus yard play). He is a work-in-progress as both a route runner and blocker and his NFL ceiling will be closely tied to his development in both areas. Overall, Sternberger is a vertical pass-catching target with the athleticism and warrior toughness to be a mismatch weapon, projecting as an NFL joker tight end.”

Dane Brugler – Dane Brugler's 2019 NFL Draft Guide via The Athletic

He's a field stretching tight end, similar to Blake Jarwin, with a better  pedigree and more college production. Potentially, Sternberger could get snaps right away as a move tight end as he learns his blocking responsibilities.

128: Emanuel Hall, Wide Receiver, Missouri

There are several wide receivers that bring a speed dimension to the NFL draft this year and Emanuel Hall is one of them. He had good production at Missouri, but kept him from having the type of career that potential pick had.

Like Sternberger, Hall could make an impact week one in three and four sets on the outside. With Amari Cooper's ability to line up in the slot, Hall on the outside would add another dynamic element to this young and improving .

“Prototypical size and length… excellent package at the LOS… sets up corners well with head fakes and quick, deceptive feet… Long strider… few corners can keep pace with him vertically… good tracker of the ball… sneaky good route runner… keeps corners on their toes because of his deep speed… takes advantage with an array of double moves… great body control and adjuster to the ball in the air.”

Jonah Tuls – Jonah Tuls 2019 NFL Draft Guide

See my Scouting Report on Missouri Wide Receiver Emanuel Hall.

136: Damien Harris, Running Back, Alabama

Alabama Running Back was a productive player in college who averaged 6.4 yards per carry for his career. Over the last three seasons in the Crimson Tide backfield, Harris totaled 1,000 yards each season. In 2018, he caught 22 passes for 204 yards for 9.3 yards per reception. Over his final two years, he totaled 20 touchdowns on the ground.

Only five times in his 54 games played in college did Harris receive more than 15 carries a game, so he's not coming into the NFL as a workhorse type back, but he has potential to work in a running back by committee. For the Dallas Cowboys, if he can take 5-10 touches a game from , it will help keep Elliott fresh down the stretch and hopefully keep Elliott from seeing 400 touches.

“A Swiss army knife type of running back who possesses good traits in nearly every facet of the game. Solid experience and production as a ball carrier, receiver, and pass protector for an elite program. Nice contact balance and rarely goes down on arm tackles. Underrated footwork and vision. Scheme-versatile to play in both zone and power schemes.”

Jonah Tuls – Jonah Tuls 2019 NFL Draft Guide

Check out Brian Martin's Scouting Report on Damien Harris.

165: Kingsley Keke, Defensive Line, Texas A&M

The Dallas Cowboys don't really have a huge need along the in 2019, but when you look ahead to the , you could be without , , and . The Cowboys would have big needs along the defensive line if they were to move on from Crawford to save money on the cap, they would need a 3-technique defensive . Kingsley Keke could be a potential starter.

In 2018, at Texas A&M, Keke had 7.5 sacks and 51 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss. At 6-4 and 305 pounds, he's a player that could give you some snaps at 1-technique on passing downs and be your primary 3-tech in your base defense. He's a productive player with good athletic traits, so getting him in the fifth round would be huge for this defense.

“A quick interior defender with position flex as both a base end and nickel rusher in multiple fronts… played his best football at the end of his career… seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss… 35 consecutive starts… proven durability… a lightning- quick first step with an impressive array of moves… moves really well and is light on his feet… plays with impressive bend and cornering ability.”

Jonah Tuls – Jonah Tuls 2019 NFL Draft Guide

“A three-year starter at Texas A&M, Keke started at nose guard as a sophomore and junior before losing 20 pounds prior to his senior season and moving outside to under new defensive coordinator Mike Elko. He was listed as an end on the depth chart, but he also played substantial snaps over the A-gap and B-gap in 2018 as the Aggies took advantage of his versatility. Keke is an active athlete and moves well on his feet to slip blocks and chase in pursuit. He flashes upper body strength, but plays too high and is too easily slowed by road blocks, lacking pass rush tempo or core strength to consistently work through contact. Overall, Keke's inconsistent contact balance and marginal anchor strength will limit his NFL ceiling, but his foot quickness, nonstop effort and position flex are appealing traits, projecting as a base end in a 4-3 or rotational interior player.”

Dane Brugler – Dane Brugler's 2019 NFL Draft Guide via The Athletic

241: Chris Westry, Cornerback, Kentucky

Kentucky Cornerback Chris Westry is a project player, but has a lot of experience, size, and athleticism that makes him an interesting player to take in the seventh round. That's what you're looking for in the seventh round of the draft. Guy who have traits that with some coaching and an NFL training and conditioning program could turn into productive role players for your team.

“A three-year starter at Kentucky, Westry was a full-time starter as a freshman and sophomore at Kentucky, but gradually dropped down the depth chart as Derrick Baity improved and Lonnie Johnson arrived from the JUCO level. He was the third cornerback on the depth chart as a senior, playing primarily in the boundary when he was on the field. Westry has exceptional straight-line speed to stay stride for stride with receivers or quickly make up ground when he gets a late start. However, he plays undisciplined with a questionable mental process, struggling to recognize routes or create production. Overall, Westry is a better athlete than football player right now with questionable football intelligence, but his size/speed numbers are rare, which will get him drafted as a high upside project.”

Dane Brugler – Dane Brugler's 2019 NFL Draft Guide via The Athletic

The Dallas Cowboys may not have a ton of holes in the 2019 roster even before heading into the NFL Draft, but this draft sets up nicely for them to upgrade several positions for 2019 and beyond. If the Dallas Cowboys can pull off half of this draft, I think it should be considered a really nice weekend for the Cowboys. They add potential starters at safety, tight end, wide receiver, and 3-tech, as well as a good backup at running back, and project corner.

What do you think of this Dallas Cowboys mock draft?

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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  1. I can live with it.. But I would hope we bring some quality undrafted free agents to push our bottom of the roster. Maybe get lucky with a undrafted QB to push our back up QB.

    • This year’s QB class is garbage. Mark my words, not one, not even Murray, will be worth where they’re drafted

      • Yep. They got him all the toys he needs to take a step, and he won’t. And if you look at the talent from the last draft, they’d have done better trading back and going for one of THIS classes QB’s. Love will be ahead of him by this time next year, along with Burrows and 2 or 3 others from this class

  2. Still trying to figure out who is more inebriated JW or me. There will be no way Thornhill, Jace or Harriswill fall that far.
    Yes draft is unpredictable as players get picked and fans go who is that guy. I will just sit back with full confidence in Will McClay and enjoy. Yes I do hope they nail their first 2 picks on positions of need -PON. Then get at least 1 quality back up in 2- 4ths and 5th and hopefully 2!

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