It'll be very hard to rival the draft the Dallas Cowboys put together in 2016, but this draft could be a winner in its own right. The Dallas Cowboys were committed to upgrading their defense while keeping their offense fresh and they, on the surface, seemed to have done just that. Here's a quick rundown of their final four picks:
Pick 216 (6th Round)- Marquez White, CB, Florida State
Where He Fits: The Dallas Cowboys committed themselves to recouping the losses they had in free agency. There is a very simple reason as to why the Cowboys shed the likes of Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Barry Church, and J.J. Wilcox; none of them were ever playmakers in the defense. After drafting two starters, White is the perfect late-round candidate at cornerback.
Production: In two seasons, White was a two-sport player with a reserve role that saw action in 25 games where he had a combined 15 tackles. As a junior, he earned the starting position, where he recorded 25 tackles, two pass breakups, two tackles for loss and one interception. This past year he broke up four passes and intercepted two passes. He's only allowed one touchdown catch over two seasons.
Value: He was considered by most a fringe sixth- or seventh-rounder, the Cowboys wanted to add more competition.
Conclusion: He's not near the type of cornerback the Cowboys drafted in rounds two or three, but he has a shot to outplay somebody. Dallas uses their late-round picks as a way of not competing with other teams for services. White was a big school guy who had big school flashes, he's far from an easy out in training camp. His length is something that will only help him at the next level.
Pick 228: (7th Round)- Joey Ivie, DT, Florida
Where He Fits: This is a player who is limited to one assignment play, as in one-gap rushing. He's best as a situational rusher from the three-tech position. It could take him a minute to get up to speed though his story is inspiring. His football aspirations came to a brief halt when his sister, Jordan, was killed in a car accident, she died in Ivie's arms at the hospital. You root for guys like this.
Production: As a key reserve freshman, he started one game, he recorded 24 tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss in that season. As a junior, he started five games, made 27 stops, 3.5 sacks, and 4 TFLs. As a senior, he started 10 of 11 games, had 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 3.5 TFLs.
Value: He's not considered more than a seventh-round pick/UDFA talent but the Cowboys see a man motivated by his family. A kid who has the right measurables and motor to continue on his path.
Conclusion: Ivie could be the type of role player that Marinelli saw in Jack Crawford. He's a jack of many, master of none but boy is he versatile.
Pick 239: (7th Round)- Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State
Where He Fits: Brown has a ton of upside and playmaking ability. He's built like a long receiver who should be able to bully guys at the jump but doesn't always do that. He hasn't realized his dominant traits though he's flashed plenty.
Production: He started out the 2016 season with four touchdowns against Oklahoma but never really built on it. It's not all his fault as the team never utilized him the way a big-bodied receiver should be used. He was Honorable Mention to the All-Big Ten team with 32 receptions, 402 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Surely, he was worth way more than the reserved role he was given.
Value: He's at the right value for the Dallas Cowboys and has a legitimate opportunity to unseat Brice Butler if he can show that his skills will translate before the veterans. He's a fifth-round talent taken way later but unlike Butler, Brown has more tape of him playing to his size and speed, at least tape on the college level in Brown’s case.
Conclusion: He's the exact type of receiver the Cowboys like to take a shot at. He compares to Brice Butler or Vince Mayle in so many ways. A guy with all the potential but must realize it to make his stay in the NFL extended.
Pick 246: Jordan Carrell, DE, Colorado
Where He Fits: He's another versatile defensive lineman that can compete at left end or be moved inside with his versatility.
Production: He played 625 snaps on defense, the most of any Buffalo linemen. He had 5.5 sacks and 46tackles which tied for the most on his team for the defensive line. He also made four third-down stuffs that were certainly impressive.
Value: This is a guy who was given the opportunity to avoid having to bid for his services. He's a hyper-productive lineman that can stay on the field without much wear. As a base end or tackle, he can hold the edge and stop the run.
Conclusion: Cowboys are loaded with versatile defensive linemen and adding one who was part of a top defense in the country makes a ton of sense. Carrell has a steep climb to becoming an NFL mainstay.