Pre-Combine Position-by-Round Board

Here is a first stab at a position-by-round board, similar to the one pieced together by rabblerousr last year.

Some notes:

This is early in the game. There are likely lots of points of contention, errors, missing names, typos. I have NOT studied film or done diligent research on all of these prospects. I have relied on external big board ranks and, in some cases, summary write ups. It's a starting point, not an ending one, and hopefully generates some good draft discussion.

Some big names are missing, e.g. Louis Nix, Ra'shede Hageman. I agree with the argument that the Cowboys draft within certain physical constraints for some positions. So, defensive tackles that didn't make the cut in rabblerousr's recent writeup aren't on the board.

In the same vein, I didn't include any wide receivers under 5'10" (e.g. Robert Herron, Bruce Ellington, Jalen Suanders). I have a suspicion even that might be too lenient and that the team is really looking for receivers in the 6'2"+ range, but I like Cooks, Beckham and Huff (each 5'10" or 5'11")!

There are a few players I didn't include for character or effort concerns: e.g. Marcus Roberson, Jeremy Hill, Seantrel Henderson, Aaron Lynch. I considered not including Ethan Westbrooks for this reason, but couldn't find any actual concerns other than that he has a tattoo on his face.

I had my own personal reasons for other random exclusions. For example, I didn't include Andre Williams (RB) because of injury and because he didn't catch a single pass last year and I didn't see that as a good fit in this offense, particularly with Linehan here now. This and other examples, I'm sure, will be points of debate.

I was torn on a few calls. Do you put Trevor Reilly on the board, even though he's already 26? Personally, I don't like it, but they did have Margus Hunt on the board last year and he was older. I'm sure there will be more tough ones.

I included players that may be classified as OLB elsewhere as DE if that would be the role they would fulfill at Dallas.

Asterisked players have current injuries / injury history concerns.

Probably the biggest point of contention will be that this board isn't a pure talent assessment, but rather where I think the Cowboys would be willing to draft a player. This is most clearly seen in the grades given to the QBs. Are Bridgewater, Bortles and Manziel first round talents? Yes. Would Dallas draft any of them at 16? I don't think so.

Look again at last year's board. Dallas had Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley graded in the 2nd round. Did they pick them in the 2nd round? No. Did they pick them in the THIRD round when NO OTHER 2nd round prospects were left on their board? No, again. See, even if they were deemed "2nd round talents," if the team had no intention of drafting them in the 2nd round (or even the 3rd) then I find putting them in the 2nd round makes the board a less useful tool. At least last year, Dallas was not a "pure BPA" drafting team, so neither is my board.

So what I've done is place players in rounds in which I think the Cowboys would actually consider drafting the player. Would Dallas draft Ebron in Round 1? I don't think so. If he was still there (however unlikely) at their pick in Round 2? Yes, I think they'd draft him there.

Basically, then, I see 15 players who the Cowboys would pull the trigger on at position 16 and feel good about.

1 (15)

2 (21)

3 (26)

4 (29)

5 (21)

6 (18)

7 (18)

QB (8)

Johnny Manziel

Blake Bortles

Jimmy Garoppolo

Zach Mettenberger*

David Fales

Teddy Bridgewater

Derek Carr

Aaron Murray*

RB (13)

Carlos Hyde

Tre Mason

Terrance West

De'Anthony Thomas

Storm Johnson

Ka'Deem Carey

Bishop Sankey

Charles Sims

Kapri Bibbs

Trey Millard*

Davonta Freeman

Rajion Neal

Lache Seastrunk

WR (22)

Sammy Watkins

Kelvin Benjamin

Allen Robinson

Martavis Bryant

Mike Davis

Cody Latimer

Shaq Evans

Mike Evans

Odell Beckham, Jr.

Donte Moncrief

Jared Abbrederis

Devin Street*

L'Damian Washington

Marquise Lee

Brandin Cooks

Jarvis Landry

Paul Richardson

Allen Hurns

Davante Adams

Martavis Bryant

Josh Huff

TE (4)

Eric Ebron

Jace Amaro

Troy Niklas

Crockett Gillmore

OT (13)

Jake Matthews

Cyrus Kouandjio

Antonio Richardson

Jack Mewhort

Justin Britt

Greg Robinson

Morgan Moses

Joel Bitonio

James Hurst*

Taylor Lewan

Ja'Wuan James

Billy Turner

Zack Martin

OG (12)

Xavier Su'a-Filo

Dakota Dozier

Cyril Richardson

Jon Halapio

Kadeem Edwards

Russell Bodine

David Yankey

Gabe Jackson

Brandon Thomas

Anthony Steen*

Brandon Linder

Chris Watt

OC (4)

Travis Swanson

Marcus Martin

Weston Richburg

Bryan Stork

DE (18)

Jadaveon Clowney

Scott Crichton

Trent Murphy

Chris Smith

Michael Sam

Josh Mauro

Ethan Westbrooks

Kony Ealy

Dee Ford

Kareem Martin

Demarcus Lawrence

Will Clarke

Adrian Hubbard

Taylor Hart

Marcus Smith

Trevor Reilly

Jackson Jeffcoat

Jeremiah Attaochu

DT (11)

Timmy Jernigan

Dominique Easley*

Will Sutton

Caraun Reid

George Uko

Jay Bromley

Kerry Hyder

Aaron Donald

Kelcy Quarles

Anthony Johnson

Ego Ferguson

MLB (7)

CJ Mosley

Yawin Smallwood

Chris Borland

Christian Jones

Lamin Barrow

Jeremiah George

Shayne Skov

OLB (10)

Khalil Mack

Ryan Shazier

Telvin Smith

Jordan Zumwalt

Jordan Tripp

Denicos Allen

Kevin Pierre-Louis

Anthony Barr

Carl Bradford

Kyle Van Noy

CB (14)

Darqueze Dennard

Jason Verrett

Bradley Roby*

Louchiez Purifoy

Andre Hal

Aaron Colvin*

Justin Gilbert

Kyle Fuller

Stanley Jean-Baptiste

Bene Benwikere

Keith McGill

Pierre Desir

Walt Aikens

Rashaad Reynolds

S (13)

Calvin Pryor

Haha Clinton-Dix

Jimmie Ward

Antone Exum*

Dion Bailey

Marqueston Huff

Vinnie Sunseri*

Ed Reynolds

Kenny Ladler

Craig Loston

Ahmad Dixon

Tre Boston

Terrence Brooks

I'll update this again at key points leading up to the draft as new info is learned and as persuasive community input is given, if there's any interest.

As a final note, I find it pretty fun to use a board like this when playing with the various mock draft simulators online.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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