The NFL Combine has concluded and now the mock drafts are out in full force. Will the Browns go with Saquon Barkley with the first overall pick, or will they get one of the quarterbacks? What will the Giants do at number two? Where do Derwin James, Roquan Smith, and Calvin Ridley fall? There are so many questions, and the draft is still over a month away!
Cowboys fans seem to have a group of prospects they are hoping are still on the board at 19: names such as Vita Vea, Da’ron Payne, Harold Landry, Will Hernandez, and potentially Maurice Hurst. Without just a single glaring need, the Cowboys have a lot of options to work with. Do they take a defensive tackle or another corner? A pass rusher or a guard? Maybe wide receiver Calvin Ridley falls, who knows?
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller just released his latest post-combine seven-round mock draft, with analysis of each pick in the first-round. Let’s take a look at who he has Dallas selecting with their ten picks this April.
First-round (19th): Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia Bulldogs
The Cowboys have a need at left guard. Jonathan Cooper had some good moments in 2017, but he is not under contract for the 2018 season. Plus, the Cowboys could use a boost on the left side of the line, as that’s where things fell apart when All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith dealt with injuries.
Because of this, names such as Hernandez and Isaiah Wynn have emerged as potential candidates for the Cowboys’ first-round selection. Wynn measured in at 6-foot-3 and 313 pounds, while having 8 1/2” hands and 33 3/8” arms, at the combine in Indy. The first team All-SEC selection was a big reason why running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb had big years en route to an SEC Championship and a National Championship appearance. Here are Miller’s thoughts on the pick:
Offensive guard is a need for the Dallas Cowboys but maybe not the team’s biggest area of concern—that’s a toss-up between wide receiver and the defensive line—but the idea of pairing Isaiah Wynn with the current starters is too good to pass up.
Wynn, a left tackle at Georgia, has the perfect build for a left guard and brings excellent athleticism into a scheme that fits his movement skills and length. If fans want to see Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott at their best in 2018, giving them a top-tier left guard like Wynn and rounding out the offensive line is a way to get it.
With no receiver representing a value here and the team placing the franchise tag on Demarcus Lawrence, guard isn’t quite the luxury pick as some may see it, but rather a true best-player-available selection.
Second-round (50th): Derrick Nnadi, DL, Florida State Seminoles
Another need is defensive tackle. Miller has Vea going one pick before the Cowboys’ first-round selection, and Daron Payne one pick after. Nnadi would be a good value pick at 50, as the 6-foot-1 and 317 pound defensive tackle recorded 53 total tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss, and 3.5 sacks in 2017.
Nnadi played at a respected program, made plays against quality competition, and plays with leverage. A pairing of Maliek Collins and Nnadi could be intriguing.
Derrick Nnadi is still a monster. Idk why ppl stopped talking about him. pic.twitter.com/78bjhRlwgD— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) February 16, 2018
Third-round (81st): Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana Hoosiers
Miller believes that wide receiver and defensive tackle are two of the Cowboys’ biggest needs this offseason. After adding Nnadi in the second round, Miller has Indiana wide receiver Simmie Cobbs as the pick in the third.
Simmie Cobbs began the 2017 season with a bang. In a nationally televised game against Denzel Ward and the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cobbs caught 11 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown in the week one loss. After the game, Cobbs started to receive a good amount of hype.
The next Mike Evans?— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) September 8, 2017
Indiana’s Simmie Cobbs Jr. showed off size and strength against Ohio State's secondary pic.twitter.com/WsG7zCyicU
However, Cobbs didn’t have as good of a season as he did as a sophomore. Cobbs caught 72 passes for 841 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017, compared to 1,035 yards on 60 catches in ‘15. The wideout did double his touchdowns, though. Cobbs missed the 2016 season due to an ankle injury he suffered at the beginning of the year.
Cobbs ran a 4.64 40-yard dash, 6.7 three-cone, and recorded a 30” vertical in Indy. He is Brugler’s tenth best wideout in the class.
4th-round (116th, 137th): Shaun Dion Hamilton, Godwin Igwebuike
The Cowboys were rewarded an extra fourth-round selection when the compensatory picks were revealed. With the first of the two picks in the fourth, Miller has the Cowboys adding a linebacker to the team: Shaun Dion Hamilton from the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Hamilton, a former four-star recruit, is a solid linebacker that can help out in run support, but he has lengthy injury history that includes a torn ACL and fractured knee cap — on the same knee. Because of that, I would be hesitant to select the Bama backer, especially this early.
If not for midseason injury, I think we’d be talking about Shaun Dion-Hamilton as a comfortable early day 2 pick. Medicals will be huge for him at the Combine, but he’s among the best at the position in this class. pic.twitter.com/8eUl8qyBSl— Jonathan Valencia (@JonValenciaBF) February 7, 2018
With the second selection, the Cowboys take Northwestern Wildcats defensive back Godwin Igwebuike. Igwebuike, a three-star prospect, was a three-year starter for Pat Fitzgerald’s squad in Chicago. He amassed 324 tackles 12.5 TFLs, and seven interceptions - two in 2017 - during his four-season career.
Watching some film of Northwestern S Godwin Igwebuike. Really smart player with great instincts while playing in the box. Also a good, explosive tackler. pic.twitter.com/6NRtfCOgAw— The New Leadership Conor Dorney (@cdorney) February 6, 2018
The Northwestern DB also had a pretty impressive combine:
Northwestern S Godwin Igwebuike's combine:— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) March 6, 2018
5'11 3/8", 213 pounds
Thee-Cone: 6.56 pic.twitter.com/6kUKqpQPxQ
Fifth-round (171th, 173rd): Cedrick Wilson, Siran Neal
Cedrick Wilson could be an intriguing and ideal day three selection for the Dallas Cowboys. He has the frame, the history of production, and the overall talent to grow into a quality NFL receiver in the right scheme. He would give the Cowboys a deep threat and a solid possession receiver to open up the run game for Ezekiel Elliott and other elements for the offense. With the questions surrounding Dez Bryant, the uncertainty with Terrance Williams, and with Cole Beasley entering the final season of his contract, grabbing a solid target like Wilson — PFF’s third-highest graded receiver in the 2018 NFL Draft class -- in the middle of the draft would be ideal for the Cowboys.
Neal, on the other hand, has gone a little under the radar. Playing on the FCS level for Jacksonville State in Alabama, Neal is a versatile defensive back that played all over the secondary during his collegiate career. He played cornerback, nickle, and safety for the Gamecocks, proving that he can contribute at a number of positions in the defensive backfield.
At 6-foot and just under 200 pounds, Neal would be an intriguing day-three pick for the Cowboys. He plays physical and has some interesting tools to work with.
Sixth-round (193rd, 208th): Peter Kalambayi, Durham Smythe
Miller has the Cowboys addressing two needs in the sixth-round: pass rusher and a backup tight end.
With the 193rd pick, the Cowboys take Stanford Cardinal defensive end Peter Kalambayi. Kalambayi, 6-foot-3 and 252 pounds, had a solid career for David Shaw’s program. The defensive end 189 total tackles, 27 TFLs, and 18.5 sacks in his four seasons for the Cardinal. He also added an interception and forced a fumble.
Another interesting note is that he is currently writing for SBNation on what the draft process is like.
With the second sixth-round selection, Dallas adds a 6-foot-5, 257 pound tight end from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Durham Smythe feels like a tight end that the coaching staff has seemed to love. From his NFL Draft profile:
Has good size and should continue to grow into his frame. Has a finisher’s demeanor as a blocker. Plays like an offensive lineman. Technically sound blocker. Has good size and should continue to grow into his frame. Has a finisher’s demeanor as a blocker. Plays like an offensive lineman. Technically sound blocker. Hand placement is accurate and he unlocks his hips into opponent. Runs his feet on down blocks until the block is secured. (cont.)
Just look at this clip:
Notre Dame TE Durham Smythe seals top 10 pick Bradley Chubb on consecutive plays. Gets his hips in the hole with a good base, hands inside and continues to drive his legs pic.twitter.com/1slWjKnwlY— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 28, 2018
Durham Smythe is a stud pic.twitter.com/TY7NoHBIcP— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) February 18, 2018
He can catch, too:
Seventh-round (236th): Michael Joseph, CB, Dubuque Spartans
Michael Joseph is one of the more unknowns in this draft class, but the former Dubuque defensive back was invited to both the Senior Bowl in January and the NFL Combine. At 6-foot-1 and 181 pounds, Joseph has ideal length for a defensive back. NFL.com notes his strengths:
Has plus length and timed speed. Played boundary, field and slot corner spots. Experienced in a variety of coverages and techniques. Backpedal is smooth and keeps pace with early phase of route. Hips are fluid in transitions. Accelerates to top speed quickly. Instinctive and responsive from off-coverage. More than willing to stray from his area when he smells an opportunity. Communicative in zone coverage. Has twitch and burst to close on throws. Possesses soft hands and the ball skills of a receiver. Very good at tracking ball flight and setting himself up to high point the interception over receivers. Has 15 interceptions over the last three years. Willing tackler.
But, Joseph is a raw prospect that is still learning how to play defensive back. Playing on the division-three level, Joseph hasn’t exactly competed against future NFL athletes, either.
Due to his length and size, the former Dubuque defender could be worth a flier in the last round of the draft.