It's funny when folks start talking about the best player available being the correct method. Sure it is, but also in today's NFL, it usually works out to be the best player available at a position of interest. You would always like to take the best player available and at times that certainly happens, but let's not kid ourselves, this team has quite a bit of needs.
In Mockery VII, we aren't going to flirt with any trades but with nine picks, the Cowboys have a true opportunity to do some work on their depth issues. We are all aware of the holes that this team has, can we plug them? Let's make a mockery of the draft...
Pick 4: Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
Though the Cowboys have a crowded secondary, Ramsey would clearly make a lot of sense for them because of his versatility. The Cowboys pass defense wasn't terrible but they really lack a player with the instincts and ability like Jalen Ramsey. He is long, physical and has shown the ability to always be in position a- nd above all else, he is a presence that must be dealt with on the football field.
Dallas could plug him in at corner or safety and have an impact player immediately. In a draft that lacks a lot of elite talent, Ramsey gives Dallas a shot at one of the truly elite players. Despite what Bryan Broaddus may think of him as purely a safety, Ramsey can do a lot of things for a defense that doesn't make many plays. Dallas needs upgrades all over the field and Jalen Ramsey adds credibility to their defense from the start.
Pick 34: Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida
Even with the addition of Benson Mayowa, folks need to understand that he's a hopeful, nothing more, nothing less. The Cowboys have a severe deficiency along their defensive line, but Joey Bosa just wasn't their target in round one. Bullard can help the Cowboys fill a pass rushing need and add some bulk to the outside. Bullard has the versatility to move inside if asked to on passing downs and he plays with some nastiness. He's a relentless competitor and unlike most rookies, he's very well polished in run defense.
He is a plus athlete with a SPARQ rating of 126.8 (87th percentile among DTs, 70th percentile among DEs). He uses a lot of power as a rusher and has shown that he can flat knock blockers out of their cleats. Bullard has some work to do in fixing his tendency to get upright at times, but he's garnered some first round attention too. Where Bullard succeeds most is his awareness to see the ball carrier and use his long limbs to reach around or even through blockers to get him down. Bullard has a certain toughness about him that will have him high on a lot of folks boards on draft day.
Pick 67: Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
Despite what others may think, the Cowboys are really interested in Prescott and have met with him on three separate occasions this offseason in three separate states. Once projected as a fourth round prospect, Prescott is likely gone in the third round which means the Cowboys will have to be willing to pull the trigger. It's unfortunate that he had the DUI incident, but it doesn't look likely to affect his status all that much. Prescott is a talented passer that improved with each coming year for the Bulldogs.
He set multiple records in the SEC and won the MVP award in both the Senior Bowl and the Liberty Bowl, he's a true talent at the position without the name recognition of the top three guys. The Cowboys need to address the quarterback position this year and Prescott will allow them to sit him behind Tony Romo for a few seasons while he polishes his game. He's got a good feel for the game and is a true dual-threat with his ability to run and be accurate as a passer. He's also a true leader and has the poise that everyone looks for at the NFL level.
Pick 102: Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas
The acquisition of Alfred Morris has helped this team at the running back position but that doesn't mean they don't need some fresh legs there. Williams was to be one of the top prospects in his senior year but suffered a foot injury that put a wrench in his hopes. However, this is a back with some size and quickness and he can really play light for his size. He's a very nimble runner able to make electric cuts and his lateral agility allows him to make a lot of shifty moves. He's got some good vision as well and can lower his pads and pick up the short yardage.
He's got a strong lower body and can break all the tackles as he is a physical runner too. Williams would be an excellent addition to the Cowboys backfield in 2016 and could possibly earn the starting job moving forward. He's got the burst to get up and go with the vision to do damage once he's in the open field.
Pick 135: Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas
A holdover from last week, Dallas decides to add more beef on their defensive front. Ridgeway is almost immovable and models his game after Vince Wilfork. He's schemeless because he fits whatever you want him to do. He's very athletic for his size and uses excellent momentum to knock blockers out of their shoes. He can stay in and take the punishment, often reaching through blockers to grab the runner. Ridgeway needs some work on his technique but his combination of power and instinctual effort make him a very intriguing product.
Pick 190: Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland
At 6'2, 252 lbs, Ngakoue is a little bit of a tweener, but the Cowboys have already worked him out. He had a nickname while playing for the Terrapins; "sack-monster". He's got all the abilities in the world to do well as a rusher with some longer limbs and a violent attack. He's also got elite first-step quickness, but admittedly is a liability against the run. He's got an athletic compact build and the Cowboys are looking for anyone that can make a play or two. Ngakoue is certainly more of a situational pass rusher but you can't ignore 13.5 sacks last season and has shown his impressive instincts that translate well to the NFL.
Pick 213: Geronimo Allison, WR, Illinois
Allison has the look of an NFL receiver with a long frame and athletic build. He led his school in both receptions and receiving yards and impressed at the Shrine game hauling in two touchdowns. He's not the finished product yet but has an innate ability to get vertical and make terrific catches. He's got very reliable hands and a large catch radius with a competitive nature to him. He also loves to block downfield and is a team-first type of guy. Can't you just hear Brad Sham screaming "Gerrrrroooonnnnimo!" as he streaks into the end zone?
Pick 217: KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame
Russell started his collegiate career off quickly and became Notre Dame's best cornerback. He's got the build of an NFL corner but had some concerns. He was academically suspended in 2014 and broke his right tibia in November of 2015.
He's equally comfortable in press and zone coverage and has all the skills to project as a starting cornerback in the NFL. If he checks all the boxes for coaches during his interview process, this is a very talented player that could be a comeback story in the making. He must convince the toughest critics, but a flyer on a highly talented corner in the sixth is not worthy of ridicule.
Pick 218: Nick Kwiatkoski, ILB, West Virginia
He was originally a safety who turned himself into a pretty good linebacker prospect. I mean, the guy had 275 tackles in his time with the Mountaineers. He's got decent size and speed with impeccable instincts and was named to the All Big-12 team in 2015. He needs to add some bulk for the punishment that comes at the NFL level, but he's a valiant competitor and can cover.
In 2015, Kwiatkoski had 86 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, seven pass breakups, three interceptions and forced plus recovered a fumble. He's got skills, folks. The Cowboys can't get enough young talent at linebacker that can cover and make plays. This guy can do both.