Continuing with the "Candidates Who May Slide" series, today will be the installment, this time highlighting players who may slip to the third round. Fortunately for the Dallas Cowboys, this draft provides depth at positions of need. And when you add in the plethora of needs the Cowboys have across their roster, this draft will be huge for the Cowboys both in the short-term and in the long-term.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Cowboys have done an excellent job at adding talent towards the top of the draft. However, they've struggled with drafting players who can make an immediate impact in the middle rounds. The Cowboys need to do better in Rounds 3-5. The following five names are not just players who may slip to the 67th overall pick, but they are also guys that could in and play an interesting role on this football team.
Chris Jones, Defensive Tackle, Mississippi State
Let's start off by saying that Jones is by no means a third-round talent. He has the looks of an intriguing presence across an NFL defensive line, but because this year's draft is so loaded at the defensive tackle position, it's going to push for some players at the position to be drafted lower than where they actually should. With the addition of Cedric Thornton, the return of Terrell McClain, and the emergence of David Irving, the Cowboys seem to be set at the defensive tackle position next to Tyrone Crawford, but the addition of Jones would allow the Cowboys to nab a player who can bump down to play in all defensive sets.
Sterling Shepard, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma
Perhaps the receiver that has tested best over the pre-draft process, it's not clear which role Shepard will play at the next level. However, he brings a dynamic that so many NFL teams value in their offensive scheme. Because this receiver class isn't so strong and Shepard's stature will scare away some teams, it could very well cause for a small draft slide.
Kendall Fuller, Cornerback, Virginia Tech
Injuries affected Fuller's productivity and longevity in college, but he seems to provide an intriguing combination of physical toughness and ability in run support that many teams look for in their cornerbacks. There's no denying his NFL bloodlines, considering his three older brothers are in the NFL. From a fan's perspective, cornerback is a huge need, but what the Cowboys have done this offseason proves otherwise. If Fuller is still available when the Cowboys are on the clock in the third round, they could add a nice piece to their secondary or they could have enough ammunition for a cornerback-needy team to trade up and select the Virginia Tech product.
Devontae Booker, Running Back, Utah
I've said it now and I've said it again, but Booker is one of my favorite prospects in this year's draft. There are some mechanical issues that may make teams steer clear of the Utah product, but outside of Ezekiel Elliot, Booker, in my opinion, would fit best out of any running back in this year's draft in the Cowboys' zone-blocking scheme. If Dallas wants to draft a running back, given that their current crop at the position doesn't have a player signed past the 2017 season, Booker would be a perfect fit.
Connor Cook, Quarterback, Mississippi State
There have been some question marks with Cook in the past few months, but there is no denying of his ability to play well in an NFL-style offense. At this point in the pre-draft process, Cook seems to be the fourth guy, behind Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Paxton Lynch. And while guys like Dak Prescott and Christian Hackenberg have been linked to the Cowboys in the past, Cook could become a possibility if he does indeed fall to the top of the third round.