Last week we looked at potential candidates for the Dallas Cowboys first-round draft selection at 27, and that pick will definitely affect on what they do at pick #60. This year's draft doesn't have nearly the blue-chip talent as in recent years, however the depth at certain position groupings is stronger than average. If you follow the "Bryan Broaddus School of Thought", then you expect picks 1-4 to play significant time.
If that's the case, the Cowboys can be expected to operate under the "best player available at a position of need" theory. In fact, selecting the best player available is a great notion, but that the notion is tweaked because free agency and turnover in the NFL put the pressure on teams to fill holes. This year, Dallas was able to retain some impact players like Rolando McClain and some role players like Nick Hayden. They also lost impact players like DeMarco Murray and role players such as Bruce Carter and Dwayne Harris. Let's take a look at some options that the Cowboys will have at pick 60.
1. Select Running Back Tevin Coleman, Indiana
Dallas didn't lose DeMarco, they let him walk. That tells you that a.) they did not believe that Murray's value was worth over $8 million, and b.) his value could be replaced. That still doesn't fill the void left by his departure. If the Cowboys look to the defense with their first pick i.e. a Kevin Johnson or Byron Jones pick, then selecting a running back in the second round makes sense. This is arguably the best running back class in 20 years, and that's the likely culprit that led to Murray's defection. Tevin Coleman is the likeliest candidate for the Cowboys at 60. Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon will be long gone, and other favorite, Jay Ajayi, is a long shot to still be available at #60. If Dallas truly doesn't want to trade up and lose picks, they could trade back for a chance at Ajayi. However, Tevin Coleman is an adequate candidate and possibly underrated commodity. Today, Coleman posted an impressively low 4.4 40 time and caught nearly every pass thrown his direction when the Colts' Pep Hamilton worked him out. Coleman was beastly at Indiana where he broke off runs of 40+ yards in nine games. I think the Cowboys could find good use to a guy who defines the workhorse moniker. His long-snapper posted a video of today's 40:
And here's his highlights too:
2. Select Free Safety Demarious Randall, Arizona State
The Cowboys have made their affinity for Randall pretty well-known dating back to their private workout with him in March. It was reported last week that the Cowboys believe that Randall may be the best free safety in the class. If that's the case and he could be available at 60, why not? A lot of fans and pundits alike have been clamoring for a free safety around Valley Ranch since 2004. If the Cowboys truly trust their board, then it's not out of the realm that he's taken even at 27. It's safe to say that Dallas loves players they consider the best in their position. The evidence is pretty clear with Dez Bryant (2010), Tyron Smith (2011), Morris Claiborne (2012), Travis Frederick (2013), and Zack Martin (2014). Though, I believe that Dallas still have a second-round grade on him. Randall is physical, rangy and athletic. He has great pursuit angles and knows how to wrap up the ball-carrier. He is a smart player and plays with good instincts. If Dallas likes him as much as advertised than 60 will be their last chance to get him.
3. Select Defensive End Danielle Hunter, LSU
According to Dane Brugler, Hunter scares him as a candidate for this year's "Workout Warrior Award". Every year we see guys like Hunter that really impress with their frames and athleticism. Hunter is a bit raw but is still considered one of the best candidates for betting on his upside. If I'm going to bet on anyone taking a player with upside and turning him into a good pass rusher, I'll take Rod Marinelli all day, and twice on Sundays. Danielle Hunter is similar to his old compadre Barkevious Mingo who went sixth overall to the Cleveland Browns in 2013. Hunter would be a project, but his motor combined with his agility and balance are enough to warrant a second-rounder.
4. Select Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett, Clemson
What difference a few months make? Grady Jarrett is probably my biggest pet cat of the draft. Sure he's small but he packs one tenacious motor and can deliver, too. He fits the exact mold of what Marinelli looks for in a defensive lineman. He's got a quick-twitch and some explosiveness, besides the fact that he's very strong for his size. I love his effort every down, and think he would be a great fit for the Cowboys. If Dallas believes that they could get a runnin back even later and want to bring an impact defensive player in back-to-back rounds, give me Jarrett. His never-say-die attitude will bring his success at the next level. His natural power, burst and ability to create leverage should bring him to the Cowboys.
5.Select Cornerback Eric Rowe, Utah
If Dallas decides to go after a running back or pass-rusher in the first round, then getting a solid corner would be the next best target. This draft has so many eligible candidates but very few with the physicality of Rowe. He's an extremely versatile player with the ability to play both safety and corner. He's got great size and balance with great hand-eye coordination and playmaker-like flashes of ability. Rowe has an advanced way of jamming receivers at the line and taking them out of their route. He's also a bit chippy, which I'm a huge fan of when it comes to corners. Rowe is a raw talent, but his ability to play sound football whether in pass or run situations is impeccable. He doesn't allow himself to panic and is straight climbing up the charts as we speak. If Dallas wants an opportunistic defender than Rowe can certainly fit the bill. Unfortunately the only video YouTube has is his combine plus two highlights.
Next we'll start to get into the middle rounds and see what may be available at the Cowboys slotted 91st pick. As discussed previously, the Cowboys will be looking to fill roles and this draft is shaping up to be the best way to do so.