clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2017 Mock Draft Tracker: Cowboys First-Round Targets Narrowed Down To Three Positions

A look at 17 of the latest mocks published over the last five days, including mocks from ESPN, FoxSports, CBSSports, NFL.com, SB Nation and many others.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

In today's mock draft round-up, we have 17 of the freshest and juiciest mocks handpicked for your mock draft pleasure. All 17 mocks are from this week, and the mocks have narrowed down the Cowboys' target down to just three positions.

For now, all the mock draft goodness is summarized below, and there's a poll at the end as well.

DEFENSIVE ENDS

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
PFF (Palazzolo), Feb 16 The defensive line will get plenty of attention in Dallas this offseason, as the Cowboys’ defense was strong on the back end, but provided little pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Charlton did his best work down the stretch, where he ranked fourth among edge defenders from Week 9 through the end of the season. Over the last two years, Charlton has accumulated 14 sacks, 19 QB hits, and 62 hurries on about a season’s worth of snaps, and he brings the ability to rush the passer and play the run to the Dallas defensive front.
SD Union Tribune (Brown), Feb 16 Randy Gregory has yet to prove he can be counted on. Charlton is a skilled pass rusher who features the size and versatility to have an impact right away.
SB Nation (Kadar), Feb 13 From a size and ability standpoint, Charlton fits perfectly in Dallas, where finding a pass rusher this offseason is perhaps the team’s biggest need.
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
FOX (Kurten-bach), Feb 16 The Cowboys desperately need to improve their pass rush and Harris is the next-best 4-3 defensive end available in the first round.
Washington Postt (Harris), Feb 15 The Cowboys’ pass rush was completely absent at times in 2016. Unfortunately for Dallas, that’s been the case for the past three years or more. Cowboys owner Jones rolled the dice on former Nebraska star defensive end Randy Gregory and they came up snake eyes. Demarcus Lawrence? Similar results. Harris is a bit of a risk too, given his boom or bust potential, but if he goes boom, he could be great value at No. 28.
Tim Williams, DE, Alabama
CSN (Standig), Feb 15 Running away with the NFC East title with a rookie quarterback was shocking enough, but don't overlook the fact that the Cowboys also did so with a hodgepodge defensive line. Williams is one of the elite athletes on the defensive side.
Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
Newsday (Klopsis), Feb 14 Randy Gregory may never play another snap for Dallas after his third marijuana-related suspension in as many years. DeMarcus Lawrence also was suspended four games to start the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, and he may need a second back surgery this offseason. So the Cowboys' search for a dominant pass-rusher will continue this offseason. Takkarist McKinley could be a perfect fit for the Cowboys' defense after a breakout senior season with 10 sacks. He has excellent speed and a non-stop motor though still could use some work as a run defender and missed the Senior Bowl with a reported torn right labrum that may require surgery.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Drafttek, Feb 16
In the game film I reviewed, Mr. Wilson exhibits the physical traits Dallas likes in a CB with a well-built, long frame. I see excellent balance in his back-pedal, with the smooth turn-and-run skills to stay within arm's length of receivers. Quincy has enough speed to stay on top of WRs when he anticipates the route. He maintains physicality in press coverage with his hand positioning, but also stays controlled with his jabs. His long arms provide 2 advantages: 1) take away passing lanes and 2) give him ball skills of a WR at the catch point. Wilson is a strong run defender and drives on the ball while maintaining outside leverage. The Cowboys' defensive backfield just overcame the first F/A departure!
Sporting News (Galko), Feb 13 Dallas doesn’t have many needs, and it could look for the "best player available" at cornerback, receiver or defensive end. Wilson could go a lot higher, and some prefer him over Jalen Tabor at corner.
Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
Bleacher Report (Sobleski), Feb 14 Peppers' value isn't rooted purely in his coverage abilities, though. Yes, he's a hybrid linebacker whose best position in the NFL may be safety, but his versatility presents value in a league in which defensive sub-packages dominate and limited rosters mean players are asked to do more.

For the Dallas Cowboys, an overhaul to the secondary is coming. They are currently over the projected salary cap with Barry Church, Brandon Carr, J.J. Wilcox and Morris Claiborne about to enter free agency. Eventually, the team is going to create some space to address this issue, but it's unlikely it can re-sign all four players. Instead, Peppers' addition would create some flexibility.
Walter Football, Feb 15 Both Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox happen to be free agents, so the Cowboys could select Jabrill Peppers if he's available. As discussed in a recent NFL Draft Rumor Mill entry, teams are split on whether Peppers is a first-round prospect or not. If the Cowboys like him, I'm sure they'll think he provides great value at No. 28.
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
CBS (Brinson), Feb 16 The Cowboys have a lot of spots to improve on defense (the offense is fine!) and that includes cornerback, where they’ll lose both Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr to free agency. Maybe they shift Byron Jones back, but they still need depth and talent in the secondary.
ESPN (Kiper), Feb 15
The Cowboys could see some turnover at cornerback, and teams that need to hold leads can't be short at the position. Tabor could clean some things up in his technique, but he's a playmaker with good ball skills, and he flashes great anticipation. Dallas needs corners and pass-rushers, and Tabor is a fit in this range.
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
CBS (Prisco), Feb 15 They need a pass rusher, but they can wait to take one. This is the "other" corner for the Buckeyes, but he isn’t far behind Lattimore, his former Ohio State teammate.

WIDE RECEIVER

John Ross, WR, Washington
AZ Central (McManaman), Feb 16 In my first Mock Draft, I had Dallas going cornerback here and although that still may happen, I think it might be hard for the Cowboys to pass on another weapon for Dak Prescott and the offense.  I can also see Jerry Jones working a trade to move up high and steal the show on Day No.1 of the draft.
NFL.com (Reuter), Feb 15
If the Cowboys don't see any "war daddies" available at this pick, and if Terrance Williams doesn't return in 2017, picking up Ross would help Dak Prescott immensely.
Draftwire (Thompson), Feb 13
I’ll never hear the end of it from Cowboys fans for not giving them a defensive end here, but after Harris, there’s not a perfect fit. Ross has tremendous speed and quick hands, and his yards after the catch are hard to ignore. While he’s undersized and has some injury issues, he could be a key weapon for the Cowboys offense.

And now for a look at some of the prospects that might fall the Cowboys' way later in the draft. The table below summarizes four mock drafts that go at least four rounds deep. Let us know in the attached poll which of these mocks you like the most.

Source 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Drafttek Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State
Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
NFL.com John Ross, WR, Washington
DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia Jarron Jones, DT, Notre Dame
Walter Football Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC Garrett Sickels, DE, Penn State Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
SD Union Trib. Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
Chris Godwin, WR, Penn St.