Earlier this week we looked at 50 different mock drafts to see whether they could provide an insight into who the Cowboys would pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Alas, it was all for naught, as the 50 mocks offered up 19 different prospects as potential Cowboys draft targets.
When I compiled the 50 mock drafts, I only focused on the 28th pick, and didn't bother looking at the spots above or below that. If I had wanted to construct a "consensus" mock out of those 50 mocks, I would have had to click through each of those mocks, painstakingly transcribe each pick, and then aggregate that into one consensus mock. Thankfully, somebody else has already done the legwork for me.
A site called BigBoardFootball has compiled 169 mock drafts (per early morning on 4/9) and lists which prospects are mocked to which team most often. Conveniently, the site allows you to narrow your selection of mocks from the initial 169 to just the mocks published over the last 30 days, or last seven days, and it even allows you to customize the cut-off date for your mock drafts, which is exactly what I did.
The mass exodus of Cowboys secondary players ended when Morris Claiborne signed with the Jets on March 17, so that felt like a good cutoff point for this exercise, so I excluded all mocks published before March 20, which still left me with 50 mocks.
Based on those 50 mocks, I compiled the "consensus" pick for each team. In cases where the player with the most selections for a given team had already been picked by a previous team, I went with the second most often selected player.
Here's what the consensus picks for first round look like, based on the 50 mocks selected on BigBoardFootball:
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Also picked: Deshaun Watson (2%)
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Also picked: Jamal Adams (15%), Malik Hooker (8%), Marshon Lattimore (8%)
Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Also picked: Jonathan Allen (26%), Marshon Lattimore (17%), Malik Hooker (8%)
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Also picked: Jonathan Allen (18%), Reuben Foster (2%), Ryan Ramczyk (2%)
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Also picked: Corey Davis (13%), Marlon Humphrey (6%), O.J. Howard (4%)
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Also picked: Mitch Trubisky (23%), Deshaun Watson (15%), O.J. Howard (13%)
Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
Also picked: Ryan Ramczyk (6%), O.J. Howard (4%), (2%)
Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee
Also picked: John Ross (11%), Dalvin Cook (8%), O.J. Howard (6%)
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Also picked: Taco Charlton (8%), Haason Reddick (8%), Corey Davis (4%)
, WR, Clemson|
Also picked: Corey Davis (19%), O.J. Howard (11%), Deshaun Watson (6%)
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Also picked: Tre'Davious White (6%), John Ross (4%), O.J. Howard (2%)
Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Also picked: Deshaun Watson (19%), O.J. Howard (9%), DeShone Kizer (2%)
DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Also picked: Patrick Mahomes (17%), Deshaun Watson (15%), Corey Davis (13%)
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Also picked: Christian McCaffrey (19%), Marlon Humphrey (13%), Tre'Davious White (9%)
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Also picked: Dalvin Cook (15%), Takkarist McKinley (8%), Christian McCaffrey (6%)
John Ross, WR, Washington
Also picked: Cam Robinson (13%), O.J. Howard (9%), Corey Davis (9%)
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Also picked: Jabrill Peppers (9%), Zach Cunningham (9%), Dalvin Cook (9%)
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Also picked: Corey Davis (11%), David Njoku (9%), Takkarist McKinley (8%)
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Also picked: Christian McCaffrey (19%), Jabrill Peppers (17%), David Njoku (13%)
Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah
Also picked: Ryan Ramczyk (19%), Christian McCaffrey (15%), David Njoku (8%)
Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
Also picked: Zach Cunningham (7%), Charles Harris (7%), Jabrill Peppers (6%)
Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
Also picked: Jabrill Peppers (7%), Charles Harris (7%), Teez Tabor (4%)
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Also picked: David Njoku (19%), Zach Cunningham (8%), Jabrill Peppers (2%)
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Also picked: Jarrad Davis (9%), Marlon Humphrey (7%), Jabrill Peppers (7%)
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Also picked: Deshaun Watson (17%), Adoree' Jackson (4%), Marlon Humphrey (2%)
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Also picked: Kevin King (6%), Fabian Moreau (4%), Budda Baker (2%)
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Also picked: Corey Davis, (8%), Christian McCaffrey (7%), Marlon Humphrey (7%)
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Also picked: Obi Melifonwu (11%), Jabrill Peppers (11%), Tre'Davious White (9%)
T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Also picked: Kevin King (11%), Christian McCaffrey (6%), Tre'Davious White (6%)
, LB, Alabama|
Also picked: David Njoku (9%), Jabrill Peppers (6%), Carl Lawson (4%)
Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
Also picked: Jabrill Peppers (8%), Dion Dawkins (6%), Budda Baker (4%)
Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
Also picked: Kevin King (13%), Tre'Davious White (8%), Fabian Moreau (6%)
One of the side effects of such a winner-takes-all consensus mock is that players who end up on a lot of ballots but never quite make it to No. 1 can fall through the cracks. In this exercise, that happened three players who've all received a lot of first-round buzz.
- WR Corey Davis shows up in the top three alternates seven times, but never quite finds a home. In reality, he'd probably get gobbled up by some team in the first round if he falls far enough.
- RB Christian McCaffrey has received a lot of buzz as a potential top 15 pick, but his skill set doesn't seem to warrant a lot of first-round attention, even if he showed up six times among the top three alternates.
- LB/Safety/RB/Something Jabrill Peppers' questionable fit at the NFL level looks like it left him sliding out of the first round, despite coming in as a top three alternate in nine spots in the second half of the first round.
For the Cowboys, there's good and bad news in this consensus first-round mock.
With the way this mock fell, the Ohio State duo of Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley are the only CBs taken before the 28th pick. And while Conley is my personal favorite for the Cowboys, that leaves the Cowboys with a lot of options if they're looking at a corner with their 28th pick. And watch the Eagles closely on draft day; if they decide to pick RB Christian McCaffrey, Conley could fall all the way into the waiting arms of the Cowboys, as there doesn't appear to be much mock draft interest in Conley after the Eagles' 14th pick.
On the flip side, it looks as if the run on pass rushers could start early. Derek Barnett goes in the top 10, Taco Charlton goes surprisingly high at No. 11, and Takkarist McKinley goes to the Lions at 21. All three were brought in by the Cowboys for official pre-draft visits.
With the choices such as they are, the Cowboys select Charles Harris in this consensus mock, though they might be hard-pressed to pass on the falling Corey Davis in this scenario.
Also noteworthy: of the four most popular cornerbacks among Cowboys fans as per Saturday's poll question (Kevin King, Adoree' Jackson, Fabian Moreau, and Gareon Conley), Conley is the only one picked ahead of where the Cowboys pick. King and Jackson show up in the top three alternates ahead of where the Cowboys pick just once, Moreau doesn't show up ahead of the Cowboys at all. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for this cornerback class, at least according to the mock draft community.
Same thing for popular OLB T.J. Watt: the first time he shows up anywhere in the table above is as the Packers pick at No. 29. Similarly, Obi Melifonwu shows up once as an alternate for the Cowboys, and then pops up once more as the Saints pick at No. 32. Not a lot of first-round demand for either player.
The Cowboys usually have around 20 or so players with a first-round grade on their board, andare slim that one of those players falls all the way to No. 28. But what if one of those first-round graded players like perhaps WR Corey Davis or TE David Njoku falls all the way to 28? Do the Cowboys go BPA and pick one of those falling offensive players, do they pick a defensive player with a second-round grade anyway, or do they try to find a trade partner who may be interested in moving up to grab a falling offensive player?