The Dallas Cowboys are building through the draft so the decisions they make next month are going to be instrumental in determining how successful they’ll be in the future. Fans want that key piece that will propel one position or another into an area of strength for the Cowboys.
We’re doing a full-seven round mock, but we’re doing it with one important rule - every pick has to play a different position. We’re going to see if we can fill as many holes as possible for the Cowboys. We seriously doubt that the Cowboys will use all 10 of their draft picks this April, we know they’ll likely deal some to move around in the draft or to pick up a fringe player from another team. But for now, we’re going to put all 10 to use.
1st Round (19th overall)
There are a lot of good options for the Cowboys at pick 19, but they decide to go with a playmaker on offense that they hope completes the new triplets transformation from Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, and Dez Bryant to Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and D.J. Moore. The talented wide receiver from Maryland has exceptional speed and does great things after the catch. And he’s a high character guy who has been praised as a great teammate.
Bryant is still around, but a player like Moore could be the future. And it would be a bright one with so many young pieces on offense.
2nd Round (51 overall)
Surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle suffered at the combine may dampen his draft stock, but with only a four-month recovery time - he should be ready to go by training camp. While the injury shouldn’t be that big of a deal, Price has a tendency to be over aggressive at times where he lunges and loses his balance. There should be about half a dozen strong interior offensive linemen taken within the first 50 picks and one of them could fall to Dallas on Day 2. With great explosiveness and power, Price would be a great score in the second round.
3rd Round (80th overall)
Three picks, three offense players? Surely, you can’t be serious. Well, I am serious... and don’t call me Shirley.
There will be several enticing defensive players still available at pick 81, but the Cowboys can’t pass up an opportunity to take a potential successor to Jason Witten. Many space tight ends have came into the league and impressed people as pass catchers, but few fall in the category of Witten as a complete player. Ian Thomas could be that type of player. The tight end from Indiana possesses great quickness to separate, but is also a physical player to be an effective in-line blocker.
There may be several tight ends taken ahead of him, but he could be the type of player that people are talking about a couple years from now. Remember, Witten was a third-round pick.
4th Round (116th overall)
Unless the teams makes a trade to move around, the Cowboys aren’t going to be in very good position to take a linebacker on the first two days of the draft. Both Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds are likely to be gone in the first before the Cowboys pick, Leighton Vander Esch and Rashaan Evans should be gone in the second, and they might miss out on Josey Jewell in the third.
Dallas can still find great value on Day 4 if Fred Warner is still available. While Warner’s size and tackling ability will cause him to fall, he has great instincts and quickness to have a role on the defense. He should be able to earn snaps on the defense and have an immediate role on special teams.
4th Round, comp pick (137th overall)
Many people don’t see the Cowboys investing an early pick in a defensive tackle, especially a big 1-tech who could only see two-down action. But that doesn’t mean they won’t look to address this position later in the draft. Connecticut’s Foley Fatukasi is an interesting prospect. Although he is very raw, he has good upside and possesses many traits that Cowboys defensive coordinator, Rod Marinelli, is looking for. He has an explosive first step, plays with high energy, and is a flexible defender than can play a variety positions on the defensive line.
5th Round, comp pick (171st overall)
There is a lot of talent in this running back class and although the team will give Ezekiel Elliott extensive work, they could find a good running back later in the draft. Kalen Ballage is a good target. He doesn’t have the vision and elusiveness to be an every-down back, but he can run well when he gets in space. Ballage is also a good pass catcher and could work his way into the offense as a third-down or change-of-pace running back to give Zeke a breather.
6th Round, trade w/Oakland (192nd overall)
The Cowboys will need to find a reliable swing-tackle option in free agency as it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to invest in one early in the draft. They can however, look for a player late who has some good upside. Joel Noteboom fits that description. He doesn’t play at a consistent level right now, but has light feet and is quick off the snap. Notebook is a very smart player
6th Round (193rd overall)
This is a very deep draft class for cornerbacks and it would be wise to grab one of these players despite it not being a position of need for the Cowboys. The team can be patient and wait until they can get a quality player at a low draft cost. Maryland’s J.C. Jackson could be that player.
He’s a physical player that can be disruptive in press coverage. He still needs work on his ball skills and his tendency to be handsy needs improvement. He’s a guy who could take over Bene Benwikere’s role where the team wouldn’t need to dress him unless they are dealing with injuries. Over time, he could improve his coverage abilities and offer some nice upside to the Cowboys cornerback depth.
6th Round, comp pick (208th overall)
The Cowboys could add a physical defensive back late in the draft with the selection of Jacksonville State’s Siran Neal. He has good size, plays aggressive, and can be effective in run support. He has that position flexibility appeal that the Cowboys look for with experience at both safety and cornerback. While Neal needs more work to be an every-down player, he has good traits to be a contributor off the bench.
7th Round (236th overall)
The Cowboys should look to add a third quarterback to their roster behind Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush. Despite some very good quarterbacks being available early, Dallas does not need to use premium resources on the position. Instead, they can peruse through some of these late round players to see if anyone fits the team well.
Logan Woodside will be passed up because he doesn’t have the arm strength teams are looking for. What he does have is good football intelligence, great accuracy, and a competitiveness that has carried him throughout his college career. He’s worth a flyer on this late in the draft and could be a smart practice squad stash.