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Dallas Cowboys Draft 2018: Five edge rushers and where to get them

Taking a look at the 2018 edge rusher class and where the Cowboys can snag one.

Virginia Tech v Boston College Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

In this series, we’re going to go through all the needs the Cowboys currently have and find the candidates in the 2018 NFL Draft that fit the bill. We took a peek at the defensive tackles in our last piece. Today, let’s look at the edge rushers which is still somewhat of a need on this roster.

The Cowboys have a lot of players with “position flex” but they could look to add a speed rusher to the rotation. Dallas could look for a prototypical right defensive end at some point and even as early as the first round if the draft falls that way.

Here are five prospects that fit what they like at defensive end and where the Cowboys would have to spend the capital to get them:

Marcus Davenport, 6’6, 259 lbs, UTSA (Brugler: 21st, 2nd DE)

He’s the case of a small-school prospect that dominated his competition that will need to prove it at the next level. He’s going to go higher than he probably should go due to his measurables and the fact that he looked really good at the Senior Bowl. He’s got speed and an elite first step. Davenport’s athleticism and physical stature impresses. He added some weight this past season and it didn’t hinder his abilities in the slightest with 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks on the year.

Where you get him: It’s feasible that he’s still on the board at 19 but he’s not the sum of his parts yet.

Sam Hubbard, 6’5, 265 lbs, Ohio State (Brugler: 23rd, 3rd DE)

He gets tagged as a “safe” pick and people tend to think a safe player is a negative but it’s really not. Hubbard has the size and physical make up of a solid defensive end. He’s very athletic with the required bend and speed for the position. Hubbard is a reliable pass rusher but folks want him to be special and he’s not that. He’s a well-rounded player that doesn’t have any standout traits or standout weaknesses, there’s nothing wrong with that type of prospect - wasn’t Joey Bosa that guy?

Where you get him: 1st round

Harold Landry, 6’2, 250 lbs, Boston College (Brugler: 66th, 5th OLB)

Landry does fit the speed rusher mold that you would want on the right side because this cat is explosive. Landry does a great job at keeping his balance but making sure he finishes his rush with a consistent effort. Landry is an attacker and he gets favorable comparisons to Hall of Famer Kevin Greene. He may be a bit undersized but Landry doesn’t let himself over extend to the point of being taken out of the play.

He’s a pretty decent run defender but his abilities to affect the passer are exceptional. Landry is coming off an injury plagued season and will need to show that he’s healthy.

Where you get him: It’s hard to see him lasting to 50 because his explosive abilities warrant a first-round look. If he’s there at 50, it’s a no-brainer. If you’re wiped out at 19, I would consider it.

Duke Ejiofor, 6’3, 275 lbs, Wake Forest (Brugler: 76th, 9th DE)

If there is a player in this draft that just finds ways to out-hustle the opponent to win his matchups, it’s Ejiofor. He’s not really the freak player that Davenport is or the explosive player that Landry is, Ejiofor is just so incredibly technical and that works too in the NFL. He’s violent with his hands and packs a stunning punch to the chest that lineman can’t often control. Ejiofor knows how to use his body well and make himself smaller around the edge but he lacks the length and bulk you really want at the position. He can be a bit overaggressive and that knocks him out of the play on occasion.

He may not be the most impressive athlete but he’s relentless, knows his own weaknesses, and has great technique. With a little polish, he could be a solid starter in this league.

Where you get him: Third Round

Kemoko Turay, 6’4, 252 lbs, Rutgers (Brugler: 81st, 7th OLB)

Some draftniks are higher on him but that may be due to the fact this class is just not that great for edge rushing talent. Turay is a long athlete with freakish abilities that has shown improvement in every season but he’s got a long way ahead. His extremely long limbs will attract teams as he can knife through linemen and bring down the ball carrier. The issue with Turay is that 7.5 of his 15.5 career sacks came in his freshman year. He has the raw talent and traits that could transform him into a star but he has to prove that his durability problems in college are behind him.

Where to get him: Not before the fourth round

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