The Dallas Cowboys seem to have gotten lucky this year. Even though they are drafting toward the back of the pack in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, they may still walk away with what they covet - a pass rusher. Pick #28 would usually mean a second-tier pass rusher, as the position is among the most-wanted in the draft every year. This year, according to draft guru Mike Mayock, the draft is stocked with exactly what the Cowboys need.
“Defensively, it’s unbelievable. The edge rushers … we haven’t seen a group like this in a long, long time. You’ll be able to get a starting edge rusher in the fourth round that last year or most drafts you’d compare to an edge rusher in the second round.”
That is great news. The Cowboys could possibly walk away from the draft with a couple of competent pass rushers if they play their cards right. That is the trick, though. Just because the availability is there for the Cowboys among pass rushers, picking the right guy(s) is still the key.
When pick #28 comes around, edge rusher may already be the dominant pick throughout the first round.
Mayock thinks the edge guys could set a record this year. It’s not surprising to say seven or eight defensive linemen could go in the first round. But seven or eight pass-rushers in the first round? That’s a great class.
A couple of weeks ago Mayock released his first position rankings of the offseason.
First up, the top Edge Rushers:
1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Tim Williams, Alabama
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
5. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
Just outside that group are players like Taco Charlton, Charles Harris and Carl Lawson. If Mayock thinks that seven or eight edge rushers could go in the first round, then the Cowboys could be looking at one of those guys at pick #28.
SB Nation put out a mock draft this morning that had the Cowboys selecting Charles Harris.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
Harris is another player who was better in 2015 than 2016, and a team like the Cowboys will have to figure out if that’s due to how he was used or not. They’ll also have to figure out if he’s big enough to handle the rigors of being a 4-3 end.
In that mock draft, seven pass rushers went in the first round. The only one out of the players mentioned above who didn’t get picked was Carl Lawson. The Cowboys could have gone with Takkarist McKinley in the draft instead of Harris, something that Mayock would recommend according to his current rankings.
I guess this all shows that if the Cowboys are going to be picking at #28, this is a good year to do it as the pass rushing position is plentiful.
Who is your favorite edge rusher that might be available for the Cowboy at pick #28?