The Dallas Cowboys have some decisions to make, from what to do with their all-of-a-sudden luxury quarterback in Tony Romo to figuring out what to do with all of their free agents. Still, with all these questions left unanswered until free agency begins on March 9th, there is a bit of calmness with the organization. Everything will iron itself out soon enough and before we know it, the NFL draft will be here and that’s always an exciting weekend.
One of the simplest things that everyone can agree on is that the Cowboys just need to keep adding talent to their roster. Through the draft, the Cowboys have found their pathway to their next championship but it’s a process that takes time. What stands out a bit about this draft class is that there are a lot of players that may be a bit unconventional in their styles. Sometimes folks get too preoccupied with how that player fits this scheme when maybe they should just worry more about acquiring talented football players.
There are quite a few guys that pique an interest and fit that category of simply a darn good football player:
Jabrill Peppers, SS, 6’1, 205 lbs, Michigan (1st Rounder)
It doesn’t take very much critical thinking to understand Peppers is just a great football player. He’s so versatile in many ways and has shown that he can make plays no matter where you place him on the field. He’s played offense, defense, and special teams for the Wolverines because there was never a reason to take him off the field.
If you think too much, you might struggle in where to play a guy like Peppers who is extremely athletic and has instincts that are at the top of this class. For the Cowboys, just play him as a strong safety/ linebacker hybrid because that’s what he is. He makes football seem easy to play as he understands the intricacies of the game. He’s smart and quick, with the open-field tackling ability of a down safety and the coverage abilities of a cornerback. A team that is willing to draft Peppers is going to find that he belongs on the gridiron.
Charles Harris, DE, 6’3, 255 lbs, Missouri (Late 1st)
Outside of Takkarist McKinley, who should be gone by the time the Cowboys pick, there is not a better fit for edge rusher than Harris is. He’s a firecracker off the ball and will be as close to an immediate impact as the Cowboys will find at 28. Harris is the exact type of player that Rod Marinelli likes for his defensive line. He’s got the elite first step, he’s got great awareness and can turn up the field in a hurry to get to the quarterback.
Harris has explosive burst and the ability to change directions rather quickly as well. He’s always there to locate the ball carrier and will give every bit of effort on the field. His motor never quits and he doesn’t make stupid off-field decisions. Harris is the type of guy that can make a name for himself in the NFL quickly and especially is he has a star on his helmet. Mizzou has become a very underrated program that has produced some very solid edge rushers over several years. The Cowboys need an edge rusher with bend and speed like Harris, they have plenty of guys that can hold at the point of attack. This is the time to go grab a guy that can scream off the edge, Harris has potential to be an excellent speed rusher.
Isaiah Ford, WR, 6’1, 190 lbs, Virginia Tech (2nd or 3rd)
This is the type of receiver the Cowboys’ should want on their squad and there is little doubt that he couldn’t become the number two rather quickly. He’s got the speed to get down the field and he’s got great hands as well. He plays with great balance and shows to be a very fluid athlete. Ford is very versatile and can play all across the formation depending on how you wish to use him. He’s got great control of his body when facing some tough catches and is always aware of his feet.
Ford is very durable and played in every single game of his collegiate career. Though he’s not the biggest receiver, Ford is an accomplished route runner and he can take the licks and keep on ticking. He’s a tough, competitive and passionate football player.
Lorenzo Jerome, S, 5’10, 202 lbs, Saint Francis (3rd or 4th round)
Jerome is very well likely to become one of the biggest steals of this draft. A lot of people focus on the bigger names towards the top but Jerome should not be overlooked. He did nothing but help himself with his two interceptions, two forced fumble performance in the Senior Bowl. Despite his size limitations, he can play both free safety and strong but you want this guy as close to the ball as possible.
He’s got a nose for making plays and his read and recognition skills are off the charts. Sure, Jerome is from a small school and he’s not the ideal size but don’t tell this kid he can’t play football with the best. Jerome is well-versed in zone and man coverage and he just flat-out balls when he’s on the field. There’s got to be a place for that on any football team especially with a guy like Jerome’s explosive capabilities.
Fabian Moreau, CB, 6’0, 205 lbs, UCLA (3rd or 4th round)
Moreau is another very versatile defensive back that is skilled in both man and zone coverage. He’s got good length and speed with the smooth hip movement to turn and stay with his man stride for stride. He is a very polished player with great instincts and play recognition skills. Moreau also is unafraid to make a hit on a receiver and has superb open field tackling skills.
He was super productive in terms of batting away passes but there is room to grow in the interception department. Moreau has good hand-eye coordination and there is the belief that he will be even better once he hits the pros. The Cowboys need to find another starter and luckily for them, the class is deep at cornerback, if they don’t get one early, Moreau would be a good fit.