I used this nugget of info from Mike Fisher in a previous post, but it is the heart of things for this one.
Sixteen players. Exactly half the number needed to make up an entire round in the NFL draft. These are the names the Dallas Cowboys will be looking at, hoping at least one will fall to them at 18. Certainly a possibility, but not at all guaranteed.
So who might those sixteen be? This is the crucial question. Mike Fisher followed up that original tweet with a suggestion this morning of who he thinks the top 16 (plus two) players are who received first-round grades from the Cowboys.
Some of the names are obvious, but I think some others are a bit of a surprise. Of course, I don't have any way to know who the real names are, but why should I let that stop me from comparing my best guess with Fisher's? And I am not making these names up out of thin air. All have been discussed here or elsewhere. But this is just my opinion in the end.
So here are two options of who those 16 (plus two) players could be, one from Fisher, one from me:
|Mike Fisher||Tom Ryle|
|Top 5||Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Sharrif Floyd, Star Lotulelei, Dee Milliner||Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Star Lotulelei, Sharrif Floyd, Lane Johnson|
|5-10||Lane Johnson, Ezekiel Ansah, Dion Jordan, Jonathan Cooper, Chance Warmack||Dion Jordan, Jarvis Jones, Dee Milliner, Barkevious Mingo, Jonathan Cooper|
|10-15||Tavon Austin, Barkevious Mingo, Sheldon Richardson, Xavier Rhodes, Sylvester Williams||Sheldon Richardson, Chance Warmack, Tavon Austin, Ezekiel Ansah, Jonathan Cyprien|
|16-18||Tyler Eifert, Cordarrelle Patterson, Kenny Vaccaro||Bjoern Werner, Cornellius Carradine, Arthur Brown|
Note that both lists are more about the clusters and not about the specific order of the players in the clusters.
You may notice a couple of things. First off, no Kenny Vaccaro in my list. I have seen it opined that he is not as good a fit for Kiffin's defense as Cyprien, and I guess I am buying the argument. Jarvis Jones made my list here despite some poor combine numbers, because I keep seeing where NFL scouts refer to the video of his play as the trump card. And I also have the Florida duo of Werner and Carradine (barely) making my list ahead of some of the players on Fisher's list. My bubble player is LB Arthur Brown out of Kansas State. I think he is a real strong candidate to bump someone. A second bubble player for me is Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU. I don't know why, but I am not sure the team has a first round grade on him, but if I made a clear mistake, he is probably it.
As you look at at the players in the 10-15 range, you see a wide receiver, a couple of defensive linemen and defensive backs on both lists. I think if one of those positions was the last name on this list when Dallas went on the clock, they would go for them. All are players the team can use, all would be BPA if the Cowboys' list of first-round grades looks anything like either of the lists above.
How do you see it? What names would you change?