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Dallas Cowboys Seven-Round Mock Drafts: Who The Fans Would Pick

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Over the weekend we asked BTB members for their mock Cowboys drafts in our Mock Draft Challenge. 75 mock drafts later we look at the results of that challenge.

QB Paxton Lynch may be the latest Cowboys fan favorite.
QB Paxton Lynch may be the latest Cowboys fan favorite.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday last week we launched our second 2016 BTB Mock Draft Challenge of the year in which we asked BTB members for their mock Cowboys drafts and then asked the community to vote on the mocks. But instead of simply asking for a list of randomly put together names, or copying something from Fanspeak, we limited the flexibility by establishing some specific rules: The mock draft had to be conducted according to the player rankings provided by the CBSSports.com big board. Only one trade-down was allowed, and trading up was only permissible if the trade value points given up were equal to or greater than the trade value points received.

This significantly limited the options in the mock drafts and forced the mockers to make decisions that they might not have had to make with a less rigorous approach. Also, the mockers were stuck with where a given player was ranked by CBSSports.

76 valid mocks were submitted in total, and 49 of them had received at least four recommendations by Tuesday morning, and I'll be using those 49 mocks as the basis of the analysis below.

The CBSSports big board had Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, and Joey Bosa ranked first through third respectively, so getting any of those players would have required a trade-up, but that didn't happen. Not one of the 49 mocks traded up. Here's what happened instead:

Trade up: - -
Stay put: 5
Trade down: 44

And these were the most popular trade-down targets

14 Shaq Lawson (CBS rank: 13)
8 Eli Apple (16)
6 Carson Wentz (7)
5 Laquon Treadwell (11)
5 Vernon Hargreaves (10)
2 Sheldon Rankins (14)
2 Ezekiel Elliott (8)
1 Deforest Buckner (6)
1 Paxton Lynch (33)

Here's the consensus seven-round mock draft that emerged from our exercise, which includes a trade down in the first, with the resulting picks used to trade back into the bottom of the first. Interestingly, the consensus mock double-dips at three positions: Defensive end, cornerback, and linebacker. Probably not a bad strategy.

The comments for each pick are provided by the BTB-members who picked the respective players in their mock drafts.

Rd
Player Comment (BTB-Member)
1 Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson He’s somewhat similar to DLaw in that he excels against the run (second in the nation in stuffs) but he’s also a dangerous pass-rusher. He’s a much better athlete than he’s given credit for (the only player in this class who meets Justis Mosqueda’s Force Player threshold, second among DEs with a 130.5 SPARQ score), and he plays with a lot of natural power. He’s got heavy, active hands and he shows the understanding and ability to counter when his initial rush stalls.(FuzzyLogic1)
2
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis Consensus best set of physical tools for QB but stock has dropped due to concerns about his speed in processing information and lack of familiarity with taking snaps from under center. Gives the Cowboys a shot at having a legitimate NFL starter in 2 years and someone who can throw the deep routes right of the bat if somethings happens to Romo this year (whereas teams did not have to play with 2 high safeties on Moore). This could end up being the steal of the draft. (Burung Maleo)
2 Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech The Marinelli defense needs good cover corners, and Fuller could be one of this year’s best. He drops down to 5th best CB for CBS due to injury this past year and his height, but could be excellent in the slot against the smaller, shifty WRs and be our DJAX killer. (Burung Maleo)
3 Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor Ramsey went early and the Boys need secondary help. Howard, who declared early, sports ood size at 6’0, 201, incredibly physical in run support and has ballhawking abilities. Led Baylor in interceptions sophomore and junior years. Prototypical size and instincts to get to the ball make this pick an immediate help to the secondary. (abok02)
4 Scooby Wright, ILB, Arizona Scooby reminds me a lot of Sean Lee, in that they both have very high football IQ’s and are slightly undersized for the MLB position. Wright III is very instinctive, has a high motor and a nose for the ball, making him another Marinelli-mold player. Wright III would benefit from playing behind RoMac for a year, and would most likely be able to bulk up his rookie season, and take over starting duties his sophomore year. (jlongnc)
4 Ronald Blair,DE, Appalachian State
Physical, aggressive tackler and strikes with authority – uses his arms to wrap with strong wrists to finish once he makes contact. Disciplined with an unrelenting motor, tracking down plays from the opposite side of the field. Two-year team captain and viewed as a leader in the locker room, a role that he takes seriously.. (LeedsCowboys)
6 Anthony Zettel, DE, Penn State An often overlooked prospect, Zettel has excellent athleticism and was a good producer for the Nittany Lions. Although I think he projects more as a 3-technique than a DE, his quick first step would be an excellent relief for Tyrone Crawford and would give the Cowboys a very decent second team DL. (ToneToneTheTiger)
6 Mike Thomas, WR, Southern Mississippi Big (6'1"), fast (4.4 forty at pro day) WR who scored 14 times in 2015. (TNCowbyfan)
6 Keanu Neal, FS, Florida I will be shocked if he actually were available here. Can realistically see him taken day 2. He figures as a physical box safety with good size, length, and athleticism to be solid in coverage. (Dealataunt)
6 Nick Kwiatkowski, ILB, West Virginia
As a former safety, Kwiatkoski has a good understanding of pass defense, recording 7 PBU and 3 interceptions last season. He projects as a quality backup and potential special teams demon. The epitome of RKG, Kwiatkoski is a relentless worker who has repeatedly overcome his limitations to become a very good LB in a Power 5 conference.. (sproutscafe)

In order to establish how popular a given player was, I counted 'votes' for each player mentioned in a mock draft, with each rec' counting as one vote. So in a 10-player mock that received four rec's, each player selected gets 10 votes. In total, the 49 mocks got 460 rec's, so to arrive at a given player's popularity, I divided his votes by 460.

Defensive end Anthony Zettel, a likely sixth-rounder, surprisingly proved to be the most popular player in this Mock Draft Challenge. He was featured in 18 of the 49 mocks, and got 198 out of 460 possible recs (43%).Paxton Lynch was the second most popular player, collecting 158 recs (34%). Ezekiel Elliott, who is something of a social media favorite, was selected in only two mocks and collected just 19 recs (4%).

Here are the favorite players per round as ranked by percentage of total votes (min 10% of total vote to qualify), with 'rank' indicating the position on the CBSSports big board published on March 22, 2016:

Rank Player POS School % of Votes
1st Round
13 Shaq Lawson DE Clemson 25%
7 Carson Wentz QB N.D. State 21%
16 Eli Apple CB Ohio State 13%
10
Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida 12%
2nd Round
33 Paxton Lynch QB Memphis 34%
46 Kendall Fuller CB Virginia Tech 22%
41 Jonathan Bullard DE Florida 17%
38 Derrick Henry RB Alabama 13%
3rd Round
64 Xavien Howard CB Baylor 22%
80 Karl Joseph SS West Virginia 14%
70 Braxton Miller WR Ohio State 13%
75 Alex Collins RB Arkansas 12%
4th Round
135 Scooby Wright ILB Arizona 31%
145 Ronald Blair DE Appalachian State 26%
113 Miles Killebrew SS Southern Utah 24%
144 Hassan Ridgeway DT Texas 15%
6th Round
221 Anthony Zettel DE Penn State 43%
217 Mike Thomas WR Southern Mississippi 29%
229 Keanu Neal FS Florida 28%
215 Nick Kwiatkowski ILB West Virginia 25%

And now it's time for you to vote on your favorite mock draft. Below is a mock draft summary of the consensus mock as well as the four leading vote-getters from the weekend (with their total number of recs in parenthesis). Note that greatwhitenorth was the only one to stick to the original picks, all other mocks traded down in the first round and got various additional picks in return.

BTB Mock Draft overview

Round Consensus clinton333 (30) FuzzyLogic1 (23) greatwhitenorth (20) RoSHa (23)
1 Shaq Lawson, DE Shaq Lawson, DE Shaq Lawson, DE Carson Wentz, QB Vernon Hargreaves, CB
2 Paxton Lynch, QB
Kendall Fuller, CB
Paxton Lynch, QB
Derrick Henry, RB
Paxton Lynch, QB
Kendall Fuller, CB
Kendall Fuller, CB Jonathan Bullard, DE
3 Xavien Howard, CB Xavien Howard, CB Karl Joseph, SS
Jonathan Williams, RB
Connor McGovern, OG Chris Jones, DT
Alex Collins, RB
4 Scooby Wright, LB
Ronald Blair, DE
Miles Killebrew, SS
Ronald Blair, DE
Hassan Ridgeway, DT Miles Killebrew, SS/LB
Tajae Sharpe, WR
Miles Killebrew, SS/LB
Scooby Wright, LB
6 Anthony Zettel, DE
Mike Thomas, WR
Keanu Neal, FS
Nick Kwiatkowski, LB
Mike Thomas, WR
Keanu Neal, FS
Anthony Zettel, DE
Justin Simmons, FS
Nick Kwiatkowski, LB
Mike Thomas, WR
Caleb Benenoch, OT
Alex McCallister, DE
Adam Gotsis, DT
Kevin Hogan, QB
Anthony Zettel, DE
Tre Madden, RB
Alex Lewis, OT
Brandon Allen, QB
Daniel Braverman, WR
Anthony Zettel, DE

Which of these proposed mocks do you like the most?