In this week’s mock, the Cowboys don’t wait for what falls to them at 19 but instead package some picks to move up and get the guy they want in the first round. In a class with a minimum amount of blue-chippers, the Cowboys make sure that one definite first-round talent gets to them. Let’s make a mockery of this whole thing as this draft starts out with a phone call.
The Cowboys call the Miami Dolphins to move up to pick 11 (1,250 points). In order to make that move, the Cowboys offer picks 19+50 (1,275 points). Now this leaves the Cowboys with no second-rounder but the Cowboys would have just taken an injured player there anyway. All jokes aside, the Cowboys get a really good player and soon-to-be catalyst for their defense.
Pick 11 (from Miami): Cowboys select Derwin James, S, Florida State (Brugler: 13th, 1st SS)
Analysis: It’s not very often that the Cowboys have had a safety prospect this good staring them in the face and when they did, they turned away. Not this time as the Cowboys need a centerpiece for the defense and Derwin James is a plug-and-play safety that has 4.4 speed. James is the playmaker the Cowboys need in the back end of their defense, especially now that they’re moving Byron Jones to cornerback.
If you want to keep James near the football, he has the instincts and closing speed to stop plays before they begin. If you want to show off his range and athleticism, play him single-high to start out with as his ability to track the ball will not disappoint. James is a chess piece that can be used by the Cowboys at virtually anywhere in the secondary.
Pick 81: Cowboys select Braden Smith, OG, Auburn (Brugler: 85th, 5th OG)
Analysis: It’s a great value pick here for the Cowboys as they wait patiently through the second round and still snag a starting guard for their offense. Smith is a very balanced athlete with solid footwork and is a great technician. He’s built very well for the position and his power at the point of attack will serve him well in run or pass blocking. He’s got experience playing at tackle but his position will be guard in the NFL, where he has all the potential to be a Pro Bowler.
Pick 116: Cowboys select DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State (Brugler: 103rd, 13th WR)
Analysis: Hamilton isn’t going to wow you with his physical attributes but he’s probably one of, if not, the best route runners in this draft. He’s mastered the craft of always finding a crease to stay open and there is a lot to say for that at the NFL level. He’s not slow as he ran a 4.5 at the Combine and has run as low as 4.42. Hamilton will be a welcomed sight in Dallas as a player that has fluid movement and reliable hands.
He’s a crafty receiver that receives high praise from his coaches as the best locker room guy. He’s always thinking about the team first and how he can help his team win. You can’t teach that ability that Hamilton has to be able to read his quarterback and give him a consistent target.
Pick 137: Cowboys select Poona Ford, DT, Texas (Brugler: 160th, 17th DT)
Analysis: Ford is a guy that has quickness off the snap and can give you the necessary push in the middle in run support. He has the ability to take on the blocks and free up the more savvy pass rushers. Though he’s criticized for being on the small side, Ford was routinely destroying pockets and making BIG-12 linemen look silly trying to block him. He’s got a motor that doesn’t have an off switch and surprisingly good length in his limbs to reach through blocks toward the ball carrier.
Pick 171: Cowboys select Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane (Brugler: 170th, 15th DE )
Analysis: A very productive defensive end starting 34 of 44 games played in college. He’s got decent speed and length to develop into a nice rotational piece on the defensive line. Aruna has the explosive first-step but isn’t the sum of all his parts but had 107 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, and three forced fumbles in his time at Tulane.
Pick 173: Cowboys select Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa (Brugler: 187th, 16th RB)
Analysis: The Cowboys really want a scat back runner that has abilities to change the pace of the game while being a dynamic pass catcher. Wadley is the right type of running back for those duties behind Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith. Wadley is an explosive player with the ball in his hands and could serve as another mismatch weapon for the Cowboys to use much like the Patriots do with their running backs. Wadley is smaller but he is certainly built well for the punishment at the NFL level.
Pick 193: Cowboys select Davin Bellamy, LB, Georgia (Brugler: 203rd, 17th OLB)
Analysis: Bellamy is often the first guy off the ball and is a very rangy athlete with a well-built frame. He shows explosiveness in his hand movements to get through blockers to make the tackle. He’s been asked to play both linebacker and out on the edge which he’s shown well enough at both. His best position is likely an outside SAM linebacker but he’s got the length, strength, and closing speed to be a standout linebacker at the NFL level. He was often an unsung hero for the Bulldogs.
Pick 208: Cowboys select Arrion Springs, CB, Oregon (Brugler: 263rd, 32nd CB)
Analysis: Springs is a cornerback prospect that has good length, even if he is only 5’11. The Cowboys will like that he he gets his hands on every ball that is thrown his way with 17 pass breakups last season, leading his team last year. He was PFF’s best PAC-12 defensive back this season and just finds ways to stick to his man and not let passes be completed. You can’t have enough solid sticky man coverage cornerbacks in the NFL.
Pick 236: Cowboys select Jester Weah, WR, Pittsburgh (Brugler: 304th, 35th WR)
Analysis: Weah has an incredible combination of size and speed for the NFL that will likely turn him into a solid contributor quite early. He started 11 games in 2017 with almost 700 yards in receiving and four touchdowns. He possesses speed in the low 4.3’s and can really burn a defense if they’re not careful. Weah is the exact type of prospect you take a chance on instead of fighting for those measurements in rookie free agency.