With the fourth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select.... Wouldn't we all like to know? I mean, this is important stuff folks. The Cowboys front office has to get this right. Top-five draft picks don't come around that often; in fact in their entire history the Cowboys have picked in the top five just nine times.The team has done well in this spot in the past, picking three Hall of Famers and seven Pro Bowlers, and they need to find similar success this time. Picks like this must not be squandered.
The Cowboys come into the 2016 offseason with several needs. Dallas, of course, will use free agency to address as many of these needs as possible. This will allow the team to remain true to their draft board and select the best player available. The trick this year is that this is a draft with a bunch of very good players, but very few that are true can't-miss prospects. Having coached the North team at the Senior Bowl, the Cowboys already have an advantage in evaluating the seniors. This week's Combine in Indianapolis will be the last best chance to evaluate all the prospects in one place.
Of course we all have our opinions as to which direction the team should go with their first-round selection. The quarterback situation will need to be addressed at some point in the near future, the Cowboys have yet to find a young running back to replace the production they lost last offseason, and it seems that this team has been involved in a never-ending search for a one-technique defensive tackle for years. Throw in the uncertainty in the defensive secondary and a desire to upgrade wide receiver depth, and there are several directions Dallas could choose to go.
I myself have gone back and forth on whom I believe to be the right selection at number four. In December I was fully on board with the team taking Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. In the weeks leading up to the Senior Bowl I became intrigued by the possibility of quarterback Carson Wentz of North Dakota State. Currently I find myself looking at Jalen Ramsey, the defensive back form Florida State, as the closest to a sure thing that exists in this draft.
This week Ramsey and the rest of the top prospects will travel to Indianapolis to take part in the 2016 NFL Draft Combine. This week of tests and drills can make or break a draft prospect. Last year relatively unknown Connecticut defensive back used the Underwear Olympics to catapult into the first round, where the Cowboys used the 27th pick on him. This year Ramsey could cement himself as the top prospect in the country. On Monday, Bob Sturm of the Dallas Morning News had this to say about Ramsey.
He is a very big corner who also possesses track star speed, a disposition to hit and hurt, and a compete level that grows as the game gets later and you can see that his 4th quarter/close game motor even burns hotter. He has very fluid athleticism and yet has the characteristics as a tackler that you look for in a football player.
Far be it from me to second-guess the Sturminator. And if the Dallas Cowboys see the same things in their evaluation of the player they must make Ramsey the pick at number four. He has the versatility that head coach Jason Garrett looks for and his combination of skill and elite athleticism solidify him as the safest pick in the draft.
Over the last few years the Dallas front office has made concentrated efforts to fix both the offensive and defensive lines. Pairing their shiny new safety with a dynamic young corner would show that they now intend to do the same in the secondary. If Jalen Ramsey is available when the Cowboys are on the clock in April they should, without hesitation, make him the newest Dallas Cowboy.