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Todd McShay three-round mock draft: Cowboys snag Taven Bryan, plus some offensive help

Grading the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Todd McShay.

NCAA Football: Florida at South Carolina Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Todd McShay has dropped a three-round mock draft on us as we are heading into pre-draft mania. We are only a few weeks away from the April draft, so we need to get our mock draft fill while we can. This time around, McShay goes deeper than just the pick at #19 by also giving us players at #50 and #81. Let’s check it out.

In his three previous mocks McShay gave the Cowboys (in the first round) DT Christian Wilkins (before he decided to stay at Clemson for his senior season), he then turned to Michigan DT Maurice Hurst, and then in his third mock picked DT Da’Ron Payne from Alabama. Yes, there seems to be something of a trend developing. Why stop now...

Round 1 (19): Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Bryan has elite first-step quickness and can help solidify a Dallas defensive line that lacks depth.

I won’t argue with the pick of a defensive tackle, the Cowboys were very soft up the middle last season without a true 1-tech (they missed Terrell McClain). Maliek Collins was out of position once Stephen Paea retired, and David Irving is much more concerned about rushing the passer than stopping the run. Adding Taven Bryan to the middle is in line with Rod Marinelli wanting guys who can move in the interior, but Bryan, at his current weight and attributes, screams 3-tech. Is the plan to keep Collins at the 1-tech? Is Bryan going to be an undersized 1-tech or are they going to beef him up? Where does this place David Irving in the defensive tackle rotation?

Bryan is still developing while flashing excellent athletic traits, but is he what the Cowboys need in the middle? BPA is a myth, BPA at positions of need is reality, and I’m not sure Bryan is what the Cowboys need. It’s not a terrible pick by any means, but it sure feels like the Cowboys would have a stable of 3-techs without a true 1-tech anchor to solidify the middle.

Round 2 (50): Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

Jason Witten will be 36 this season and the Cowboys haven’t found his replacement in the draft. Gesicki isn’t nearly the run-blocker Witten is, but Gesicki is a big target with outstanding ball skills.

Ugh. I hate this pick. The Cowboys are going to play Jason Witten, so you are essentially picking a backup for 2018. The Cowboys are also going to find out what they have in Rico Gathers this season, who has flashed the potential to be a true weapon. I guarantee you there will be tight ends they can take in the 2019 draft to replace Witten if this is his last year.

At this point in McShay’s draft, the Cowboys could have gotten players like G Austin Corbett, WR James Washington, DE Sam Hubbard, S Jesse Bates, LB Jerome Baker and an assortment of other players at positions they really need. The fascination with drafting a tight end this high just needs to stop.

Round 3 (81): DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State

Hamilton impressed at the Senior Bowl and is Penn State’s all-time leader in receptions (214). He’s an above-average route runner and gives Dak Prescott another playmaker on the outside.

This is a decent pick. The Cowboys are looking for wide receivers, and there is a high likelihood they will draft one on day one or two of the draft. Hamilton is a guy they can develop for the future as they seek to re-make their receiving corps.

Overall, I give this draft a C- grade. Bryan is okay at defensive tackle, but if Vea and Payne are gone, like they are in this draft, I would probably look elsewhere. In this mock, the Cowboys could have had G Will Hernandez, C/G James Daniels, LB Rashaan Evans, WR D.J. Moore, G Isaiah Wynn and LB Leighton Vander Esch. I like those choices better. TE Gisecki in the second round would be a horrible pick. Hamilton at wide receiver in the third is solid.

How would you grade this mock?


McShay’s three-round mock deserves a grade of...

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