Over a month ago, my colleague OCC looked at Mike Mayock's top five position rankings for the 2017 draft. It was Mayocks first rankings of the season, and today we have his second go around, post-combine. Previously we listed the following position groups as the most needed for the Cowboys - DE, CB, TE and WR. That was before free agency started so we'll revise that slightly. By re-signing Terrance Williams and Brice Butler, WR becomes much less of a need, but losing both Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox elevates the need at safety. So we'll look at DE, CB, TE and S.
DE, Edge Rusher
1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
5. Tim Williams, Alabama
Rise: Thomas (4), McKinley (5)
Fall: Williams (2)
Garrett is still the lock at the top and Thomas remains out of reach. Recently it seems like Barnett is also moving out of the Cowboys range. McKinely is an interesting prospect but he has the injury issue to deal with. Williams has the red flags that might make it hard for the Cowboys to pursue given what has happened with Randy Gregory. If you buy Mayock's rankings, then a player like Taco Charlton or Charles Harris could be the ones available when Dallas is on the clock in the first round. Carl Lawson is another guy to keep an eye on.
1. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
2. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
3. Kevin King, Washington
4. Gareon Conley, Ohio State
5. Fabian Moreau, UCLA
Rise: Lattimore (2), Humphrey (3), King (NR), Conley (NR), Moreau (NR)
Fall: Sidney Jones, Washington (1, added to special exceptions), Teez Tabor, Florida (4), Tre'Davious White, LSU (5)
This is one of the most unsettled groups. Players are all over the map based on which draft expert you are reading. Just within Mayock's listings from a month ago you can see a big change in ratings. Sidney Jones has the Achilles injury, he could drop deep into the second round. Would Dallas take a gamble? Guys like Teez Tabor and Tre'Davious White are dropping out of the top five. This is a very tough position group to rank.
The Cowboys signed Nolan Carroll to go with Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown, so they are not desperate here, but adding some help would be wise since you really need four corners in the NFL given injuries do happen.
1. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
2. Jamal Adams, LSU
3. Malik Hooker, Ohio State
4. Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
T-5. Marcus Williams, Utah
T-5. Marcus Maye, Florida
Rise: Peppers (3), Melifonwu (5), Williams (NR), Maye (NR)
Fall: Hooker (1) , Budda Baker, Washington (4, added to nickel)
The Cowboys are now in the market for safety help. Church and Wilcox leaving have left them with Jeff Heath as a starter. That's not the worst thing, but they probably want to bring in some competition. If you have been listening to the BTB Podcast you would know that the rumor is the Cowboys love Malik Hooker. But would he be around late enough in the first round for them to get him, even if they have to trade up? We recently profiled Budda Baker, another possibility, he has dropped out of Mayock's top five.
1. O.J. Howard, Alabama
2. David Njoku, Miami
3. Evan Engram, Ole Miss
4. Gerald Everett, South Alabama
5. George Kittle, Iowa
Rise: Everett (5), Kittle (NR)
Fall: Jake Butt, Michigan (4, added to special exceptions)
This group has remained pretty stable. Unless Howard suddenly drops, or possibly Njoku, the Cowboys could pass on tight end in the first round, instead waiting to cash in on the talented class in the second or third round. One day they'll need to replace Jason Witten, and Geoff Swaim just had surgery this offseason. They might want to looked toward the future depending on the progress of Rico Gathers.