Last week, we played around with an exercise to see what type of draft haul the Cowboys could pull off with a different combination of choices at wide receiver, defensive tackle, and guard over the first three rounds. Based on the submissions and the comments, there were several different scenarios that produced intriguing results.
As promised, we are now adding linebackers and safeties to the mix. In an effort to make this as realistic as possible, we are also putting in some “trade-up options” that would cost the team some Day 2 draft capital. If a player is in the blue section, then you would have to surrender a second-round pick to grab him. If the player is in the green section, then it would cost a third-round pick to get them. We’ve also added an extra round to this exercise so you can now pick players from each of the first four rounds. Here is the pool of players you have to choose from:
If you really want Derwin James or Roquan Smith, then it’s going to cost the Cowboys pick at 50. The selection of Vita Vea, Tremaine Edmunds, and Calvin Ridley will now cost the 81st pick. Which player from this group are you taking?
There are four players the Cowboys could move up for in the second round at the small cost of their third-round pick: Billy Price, Leighton Vander Esch, Rashaan Evans, and Ronnie Harrison. Do you like any of these players enough to give up pick 81?
The third-round offers up at least two choices at each of these positions. It would be great if the Cowboys had advance notice of which of these players would be available so they could grab the best talent and then maybe work backwards. For this exercise, you have been given this luxury. Which player from this group stands out the most?
If working backwards is a strategy you like, then you might want to start in this round. Being able to spot the available talent this late in the draft could help direct the team in a different direction for earlier rounds.
Here is what the BTB staff selected for this exercise:
Both Cole Patterson and Michael Sisemore decided to splurge for Derwin James. It came with a hefty price, but they recovered nicely with some solid selections in rounds three and four. Would you be happy with this type of draft haul?
While Calvin Ridley and Vita Vea got some love last time, they were not deemed worth giving up a third-round pick this time around to secure their services. Instead, both D.J. Moore and Da’Ron Payne were seen as good first-round options without having to trade away draft capital.
Will Hernandez now becomes the most popular choice in the first round with four of us choosing him at 19.
D.J. Moore is now the second most popular choice in the first round which is something to keep an eye on. If there is one thing that has presented itself in this exercise, it’s that there are some good options hanging around at other positions in later rounds so why not take a shot at one of the top receivers in the draft?
For all of us who had a second-round pick, nobody escaped the first two rounds without grabbing a wide receiver. If you didn’t grab Moore at 19, then you addressed WR at 50. Notre Dame wide receiver was the most popular choice in this round with five of us selecting Equanimeous St. Brown. Once you say his name a few times, he starts to grow on you.
Dave Halprin and The Cool One like the athletic free safety from Stanford, Justin Reid. The Cowboys passed when they had the chance to draft his brother in 2013 (that turned out okay though). If they miss out on Earl Thomas and move Byron Jones to corner, drafting Reid would be a great way to add a new starting free safety to the team.
There are a variety of selections in this round. The most popular position of choice here is the linebacker spot, split between Iowa’s Josey Jewel and Ohio State’s Jerome Baker. Guard finishes second with three players, with Auburn’s Braden Smith leading the charge. Three people selected defensive tackles in this round, which Florida State’s Derrick Nnadi showing up twice.
If the selections of the BTB staffers serve as any indication, there’s a great chance the Cowboys will draft a linebacker or safety as 10 of the 11 people addressed those positions in the fourth round. Linebacker Fred Warner and free safety DeShon Elliott were the most popular choices among this group.
Okay, it’s on you now. Which combination of players would produce the best draft haul for the Cowboys? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to rec your favorites.