It’s time to get one more mock draft tracker in before the big meeting between Dez Bryant and Jerry Jones. You might think what happens in that meeting will have a big impact on mock drafts (and the real draft), but the mockers are already leaning towards a WR for Dallas anyway. Maybe they think Dez and Dallas are going to part ways, or maybe they think the Cowboys are planning for next year without Dez by getting a replacement this year.
Whatever the case, out of 15 mock drafts, eight of them give the Cowboys a receiver. Four of those have D.J. Moore as the pick, while Calvin Ridley is the pick twice, and Christian Kirk and Courtland Sutton are the other two picks.
This week, the mocks have zeroed in on three positions for Dallas. Wide receiver as already mentioned, and defensive tackle and linebacker. The defensive tackles are Vita Vea (1) and Da’Ron Payne, who is chosen in three mocks and is the most popular pick behind D.J. Moore.
At linebacker, two mocks go for Leighton Vander Esch, and one, in a surprise, has Roquan Smith falling all the way to the Cowboys.
|Vita Vea, DT, Washington|
|NJ.com (Slater), Apr 7||The Cowboys were 19th in the league against the run last year. Hard to win a lot of games like that. Vea will help them immediately to improve there.|
|Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama|
|San Diego Union Tribune (Brown), Apr 11||The defensive MVP of the national title game is the dominant force in the middle the Cowboys defense is lacking.|
|NFL.com (Casserly), Apr 12||Payne is an excellent run defender who has potential as a pass rusher, too.|
|Draft Blaster (Draft Geek), Apr 12||Unleashed in the National Championship game, showed he could really get after the QB. Dallas has two good, young DEs, but could use help getting pressure up the middle.|
|Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State|
|NJ.com (Dunleavy), Apr 10||Vander Esch is versatile at the second level, and the Cowboys lost middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens in free agency. The NFL Draft is being held in Dallas, and Vander Esch will be in attendance.|
|AZ Central (McManaman), Apr 9||I’ve had two different wide receivers going here, but I’m changing things up and will say the Cowboys address an area that will probably help them the most. There’s too much of an unknown at linebacker with Dallas and unless Jaylon Smith comes on like gangbusters, which is difficult to predict, it would seem to make a ton of sense to add Vander Esch, who is one of the best available in this draft.|
|Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia|
|SB Nation (Kadar), Apr 9||In past drafts we’ve seen linebackers like Smith drop. He’s a great player, but there’s an outside possibility this could happen. If so, Dallas should be happy to snap him up with the 19th pick. Although Smith has to figure out how to get off blocks better, there is no better read and react linebacker in this draft.|
|Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama|
|CBS Sports (Trapasso), Apr 9||Even with Allen Hurns in the mix, the Cowboys want to give Dak Prescott as many quality receiving options as possible, and Dez Bryant has an uncertain future.|
|NFL.com (Jones-Drew), Apr 10||Dallas needs a WR2 and a guy who can eventually take over for Dez Bryant. Ridley is the most polished receiver in the draft and will do what the Cowboys need.|
|D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland|
|CBS Sports (Brinson), Apr 10||The Cowboys invested in the wide receiver position this offseason, but they still have major issues and need some young talent to help out Dak Prescott.|
|NFL.com (Brooks), Apr 12||With Dez Bryant no longer viewed as a legitimate WR1, the Cowboys pluck Moore to handle the role as the team's top pass catcher for the next decade.|
|NJ.com (Giglio), Apr 12||The Cowboys desperately need to add speed to a pass-catching group that can’t get seperation. Moore, a productive burner from the Big Ten, can change Dallas’ offense immediately.|
|CBS Sports (White), Apr 12||The Cowboys appear to have addressed their receiver need by signing Allen Hurns, but there's been plenty of smoke that suggests the team could move on from Dez Bryant sooner rather than later. It'd be shocking to see the team go into next season with Hurns, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley atop the depth chart, so if the team is heading for a split with its star receiver, grabbing the talented Moore here makes sense. He's been trending up during draft season, so there's no reason to think this is too high for him at this point.|
|Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU|
|CBS Sports (Wagner-McGough), Apr 11||Dez Bryant is on his final days with the Cowboys. Sure, they signed some nice depth behind him in Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, but the Cowboys' receiver depth chart is still lacking a quality playmaker. Sutton is Trapasso's top-ranked receiver.|
|Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M|
|Palm Beach Post (Lieser), Apr 9||Kirk won’t have to travel far if he lands with the Cowboys, who can bolster their receiving corps by picking up a player who can play inside or outside.|