The first round was certainly interesting though trades didn't start until the middle of the round. After helping out their secondary, the Cowboys are likely to look at running back, defensive end, defensive tackle, safety or linebacker in these two rounds. The Cowboys certainly have quite the bevy of options still on the board, let's look at the position groupings and see the top three available in with a sample of what the scouts are saying.
1. Tevin Coleman, Indiana
This would probably require a trade up of some kind, which I'm not certain that's in the Cowboys' plans. Brugler has stated that Coleman is a mirror-image of DeMarco Murray. Without Murray in the fold, this pick makes a ton of sense for Dallas. His physical demeanor and one-cut style is perfect for the Cowboys. He has a nice acceleration to him and hits top-speed rather quickly. He's a natural when changing directions and has decent hands to be a pass-catcher. Coleman has also shown his ability to pick up blitzes and fair well in pass-protection. Another slam-dunk in my opinion of a guy who can make an immediate impact.
2. Duke Johnson, Miami
Johnson is the most likely candidate to be there at the Cowboys 60th selection. He's quick and agile, has great awareness and the ability to get down the field in a flash. He's got good hands and catches everything thrown his way, which could help him in the eyes of the Cowboys coaches. Johnson is on the small side but he's a willing pass blocker and patient runner that is hard to bring down despite his size. He has the ability to stretch the defense out and finish his runs. He's a tough player with enough ability to fit what the Cowboys want.
3. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Abdullah is also on the small side but he's a lot tougher than his frame would suggest. Brugler says that Abdullah "runs with his feet on fire" and accelerates like no other. Ameer has great balance and can run low but show explosiveness in his carries. Like Johnson, Ameer is a willing pass blocker and has great hands out of the backfield. He's a class-act on and off the field with relentless effort. With Abdullah, the Cowboys would be getting another day one contributor.
1. Randy Gregory, Nebraska
The Cowboys would almost certainly have to trade up for Gregory, but he's one of the few blue-chip prospects that is still on the board and for good reason. Gregory has failed multiple drug screenings for marijuana, but there isn't a better prospect left at this point. Gregory is quick, and has that initial burst to bust through the line from multiple angles. He's a very disruptive and active defender that never stops going. He's got a great motor and good effort. The Cowboys have expressed interest in Gregory and just may be the right environment for the player.
2. Eli Harold, Virginia
Harold is another very active pass rusher, he's got the versatility to play in either 3-4 or 4-3 systems. Harold had great success at Virginia, and there is no doubt he could be of assistance to the Cowboys defensive line. Harold is explosive and has great hands and speed to get around the side and through the tackle to the quarterback. He really knows how to set the edge, something the Cowboys need to figure out how to do.
3. Owa Odighizuwa, UCLA
He's got some injury concerns but is as physical as any defensive linemen in the draft. The Cowboys have been monitoring Odighizuwa and have shown interest for some time. He's got long arms, speed and proven skill to take quarterbacks down. After Dallas managed a putrid 28 sacks in 2014, they must rectify the situation in 2015 to further their success. As the Cowboys have done with their offensive line, they must continue the trend to rebuild their defensive front.
1. Eric Kendricks, UCLA
Another possible trade up candidate, Kendricks has everything you want in a linebacker. He may be a bit small but has a tenacious attitude and playing ability to match. Kendricks is the most instinctual prospect in the draft. CBS' Rang and Brugler compare him to Bobby Wagner of the Seahawks, whom the Cowboys were reportedly high on a few years ago. Like Wagner, Kendricks has impeccable closing speed and can deliver a blow despite what his six-foot flat-frame suggests. He's got that sideline-to-sideline mentality and ability to turn and chase on a dime. He could play either Will or Mike in the Cowboys scheme and is a stud both on and off the field.
2. Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
Out of all the prospects, McKinney is the guy I feel most comfortable placing at the Sam. He's got great size and length but is an awfully raw athlete. McKinney has the tools to develop at any position in the linebacker corps and is one physical dude. He has great straight-line speed and can tackle well enough. Like McClain, he can meet lineman head-on and do some damage to running lanes. He rarely loses himself while in the play and can hold his own against tight ends. McKinney also has powerful hands as a rusher and can shed blockers too.
3. Paul Dawson, TCU
Dawson has great agility and balance for the position. He also possesses the outstanding instincts that it takes to excel at the pro level. He's very quick to locate the ball and make his pursuit. Very smooth and laterally successful player who makes it tough for offensive linemen to engage. He knows how to make himself smaller to get to the ball carrier. He excelled in college in pass defense allowing only 35.7% to be completed. He's got all the talent but has serious questions about his want-to. Dawson had a terrible combine and has multiple personal character issues. His lack of effort at the combine was very hurtful to his stock and he seemed to be careless. He did better at his pro day. He's a natural fit at the Will position and looks to be a second-third-round guy with first-round abilities.
1. Eddie Goldman, Florida State
I'm not so sure he fits the Cowboys' plans but he must be a mention. That said, Goldman was extremely productive for the Seminoles. He's quick off the snap and uses his powerful limbs to get off blocks. He knows how to play low and is an expert at anchoring. He's got great balance and rarely gets pushed back. He has great bull-rushing ability with surprising speed to close on quarterbacks. Goldman has shown his knack to force turnovers and once latch to a ball carrier, he's going down. Goldman will need development learning consistent pass rushing techniques. He was surrounded by a lot of talent and was used in a rotation, will need to finely tune his abilities at the next level.
2. Grady Jarrett, Clemson
Jarrett is my pet cat and would love for him to don the star. He's not as big as the others but his relentless spirit and motor is exactly what Marinelli looks for. His short, squatty frame give him leverage at his position and he plays low very well. Grady has shown that he's a very strong and fluid athlete. He also possesses the strength to knock blockers off their stance. He gets good extension and rarely misplaces his hands allowing him to free himself regularly to the quarterback. Grady lacks the ideal size but is so quick on his feet and has impressive start-stop motion. He's also got keen awareness and knows that due to his limitation he requires that great speed to win his battles.
3. Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
Jordan is a naturally large man with great weight distribution, long broad shoulders, and thick lower half. He'r surprisingly athletic for his size and has great initial burst and quickness. He's got the explosiveness and staright-line speed to ruin would-be plays before they have time to develop. Phillips is very effective with the swim move and can slap blockers away pretty routinely. He has shown his ability to disrupt passing lanes and bat down balls. He's very powerful and straight knock blockers on their behinds.
1. Landon Collins, Alabama
Projected as a strong, Collins is the consensus best player at the position. Much like his counterpart Mark Barron a few years ago, Collins is a rangy but forceful tackler. He has great instincts and a nose for the ball. He's very fundamentally sound and disciplined with the ability to show decisiveness. Collins is very quick on his feet but shows great balance. Dane Brugler believes he's a "top-notch cover-man" but sometimes can be easily deceived by play-action. Collins also needs better hands and often drops easy interceptions. He isn't the speediest of prospects but can deliver a blow.
2. Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss
Definitely my favorite of the bunch, his strengths are single-high and Cover-2. That's two checks for my premature scouting notebook. He works with tremendously good technique and never shows any signs of panic. He's super consistent in zone coverage and has very polished angles in tackling. Another relentless competitor with a high motor and quick play recognition. If Marinelli is looking for an opportunistic player for the secondary, look no further. In my opinion he's the best free safety prospect hands down.
3. Eric Rowe, Utah
Rowe could immediately be converted back to his rightful spot at the free-safety position. Bryan Broaddus believes that since he played free-safety most of his college career, he would be a better fit there than corner. Rowe has great balance and hand-eye coordination, shows no panic when the ball is in the air. He plays with confidence and decisiveness to attack the ball. Great awareness and is a special teams ace. Very aggressive in run support and has a very keen eye to the ball-carrier.
This is just a sample size of what is still out there on the board for day two of the NFL Draft. In just a few hours we will be getting it all underway again. Stay tuned to BTB for all your draft coverage.