Mike Mayock is a guy a lot of people follow when it comes to ranking prospects in the NFL draft. Every year he comes out with a list of his Top 5 prospects at each position; he just dropped his first rankings today.
If you want to check out all his rankings, head on over, but for our purposes lets look at four positions that are at the top of the Cowboys needs heading into 2018. You may disagree with these four “needs” choices, so jump into the comments if you’d like to discuss another position.
The Cowboys have three players at wide receiver who are their starters, but last year they were kind of exposed (along with other parts of the offense) and the Cowboys offense as a whole stalled. There is a huge debate about Dez Bryant’s future with the team, and whether these particular set of receivers are what is being called “Dak-friendly.” The need here isn’t that they don’t have players at the position, but that they might not have the right kind of players.
Here is Mayock’s Top 5:
1. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
2. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
3. Courtland Sutton, SMU
4. James Washington, Oklahoma State
T-5. Dante Pettis, Washington
T-5. DJ Moore, Maryland
T-5. Anthony Miller, Memphis
The mild surprise here is the high ranking on Christian Kirk. Many have projected him to be at the tail-end of round one or even deep into round two. Mayock’s got him slotted right behind Calvin Ridley, making him a mid-round-one prospect in Mayock’s eyes.
With Jonathan Cooper being a free agent, and with doubts about him as a long-term solution anyway, left guard has become a hot topic for the followers of the Cowboys. Will the Cowboys go back to the well again and make their offensive line full of first-round talent?
Mayock’s Top 5:
1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
2. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
3. James Daniels, Iowa
4. Will Hernandez, UTEP
5. Billy Price, Ohio State
That list is pretty consistent with others floating around, although James Daniels is higher than he is usually.
The Cowboys need help along the interior of their line, but will they prioritize it as highly as most of us have? Especially if that person is a 1-tech player instead of a 3-tech? Early in this draft season, defensive tackle is the hot mock position for Dallas and all of these names have shown up.
Mayock’s Top 5:
1. Vita Vea, Washington
2. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
3. Maurice Hurst, Michigan
4. Taven Bryan, Florida
5. Harrison Phillips, Stanford
Either Vea or Payne would be great fits for Dallas, but will either of them make it to pick #19? Hurst is the name everybody associates with Dallas, but I’m not sure he fits what Dallas needs, but if he is a transcendent type of player, then he might be worth it.
The injury history of Sean Lee and the impending free agency of Anthony Hitchens means the Cowboys have to at least consider taking a linebacker. The defense fell apart whenever Lee was absent. By the time the draft rolls around we’ll know Hitchens’ status, but the Cowboys could still be thinking about the future without Sean Lee.
Mayock’s Top 5:
1. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
2. Roquan Smith, Georgia
3. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
4. Rashaan Evans, Alabama
5. Uchenna Nwosu, USC
There is a group of quality linebackers available in the first round, and one of these top guys is likely to fall into the Cowboys range. Roquan Smith has been many fans’ dream candidate, but Edmunds and Vander Esch are seeing their stock rise.
What’s your take on Mayock’s rankings and the Cowboys draft needs?