Every year, we seem to have a pretty good consensus working when it comes to the Cowboys first-round pick but this year has been tricky. No two opinions are the same as the Cowboys could pick at so many positions from receiver to defensive tackle to guard to linebacker, and what about edge rusher? All of these different options got us thinking about where everyone’s head is on pick 19. We decided to poll the front page writers and...SURPRISE...nobody is on the same page:
My slam dunk pick is actually three names: Isaiah Wynn, Will Hernandez, or James Daniels, because all would solve the left guard issue. I still think that is the one issue the Cowboys have to fix first and with as close to a sure fire starter as possible. All other current needs can be met in round two and later. Give me that stud guard prospect and I will do my happy dance.
Shaking my head: WR Calvin Ridley. You can plug any other wide receiver in there, as well. Dallas is moving away from the traditional model for the passing game (I think, and don’t need to sink a major pick into the position). So many mocks and analyses now say that receiver is the top need, and I just don’t agree, especially with what looks like a lot of second round and on talent at the position. Plus, I am not convinced there is a legit Top-20 wide receiver in the 2018 class right now. I really think there are a bunch of great second round talents but not anyone that just screams at us that they will dominate from day one. It’s like the quarterback group. None of the top four or five candidates are really Top-5 or even Top-10 talents but the scarcity in the league is going to make teams overpay for them.
Slam Dunk pick - DT Vita Vea. There is a short list of blue-chip players that are likely to be available at 19 and the Huskies defensive tackle is one of them. And when you combine that with the fact that he plays the position of the Cowboys current weakest starting player, it makes good sense. The front office has shown they aren’t interested in one-tech defenive tackles that cannot rush the quarterback but Vea doesn’t fall into that category. The addition of Vea makes Maliek Collins better, he makes DeMarcus Lawrence better, and he makes Sean Lee better. Bring him to Dallas and the boys in blue are on their way to having a fierce front line.
Shaking my head pick - WR Courtland Sutton. When you look at the ghosts of Jerry’s past, one of his more memorable snafu’s was passing on Randy Moss 20 years ago. At 6’4 215 pounds, SMU’s Courtland Sutton not only has Moss’ exact measurements but his pass catching ability teases you with that Mossy star potential. And he doesn’t come with the character issues. I certainly like Sutton, but I also like a plethora of other receivers that will be available on day two. Not only is Sutton not the best player available at 19, he won’t even be the best receiver available at that spot. I know this team loves him, but I hope they don’t love him enough to make a huge reach in the first round.
Slam Dunk pick: DE Harold Landry. Has any NFL team ever complained about having too many pass rushers? No pass rusher had better tape in 2016 than Landry and that’s including this year’s consensus Top-3 pick defensive end, Bradley Chubb. Landry was hampered by injuries in 2017; had he remained healthy, we would be talking about whether Landry or Chubb were going to be drafted first overall. What a steal Landry could turn out to be at No. 19.
Shaking my head: DT Vita Vea (or any other one-technique in the first round). If I were advising Jerry Jones, I’d tell him to forget about investing a high draft pick or wasting precious cap space on stopping the run. Focus your resources instead on players who can stop the pass and leave Vea to a sucker team that thinks a guy with 3.5 sacks in his last collegiate season will suddenly emerge as a pass-rushing threat in the NFL.
Slam Dunk pick: WR D.J. Moore. I hear the laments about no receiver in the first round but Moore, in this offense, could be the exact player they are looking for as a great pair with Dak Prescott. The Cowboys currently have zero receivers that threaten any defense in this league. If Allen Hurns is your number one receiver, you have problems at receiver as he’s missed 11 games in the past two seasons. Moore has 4.4 speed and has played with eight different quarterbacks. He’s used to scrambling with and working back to his quarterback to make things happen. He’ll need to do so too in Dallas as Dak Prescott is not the most proficient passer early into his career nor is he good enough to make his receivers at this point. There may be other receivers available in rounds two through four but none of the same caliber as D.J. Moore.
Shaking my head: LB Leighton Vander Esch. I just don’t get the love the Cowboys have for this prospect. Sure, he’s hyper-athletic but if you’re going linebacker in the first, go with a more physical player like Rashaan Evans. Vander Esch gets washed away by blocks constantly and has an unfinished frame. He also over pursues the tackle with his shoulders so much that he ends up erasing himself from the picture. He’s a one-year starter that you can argue is ascending but he doesn’t have the play strength to be a starter right now and that’s what you want at pick 19.
Slam Dunk pick: OG Isaiah Wynn. Wynn anchored an offensive line that allowed Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to run roughshod on SEC defenses week in and week out. He’s a strong run blocker, which is exactly what a team with Ezekiel Elliott needs. I believe he’s the second best guard in the draft and would have a chance to start from week one.
Shaking my head: DT Taven Bryan. For one, he plays defensive tackle and we’ve seen that this organization doesn’t really value that position. The draft is deep with them, and the only two worth the 19th pick are Vita Vea and Daron Payne. Bryan only had one year of production and lacks the instincts needed to warrant a day one pick in my opinion.
Slam Dunk pick: I second the Harold Landry at 19 (O.C.C. shoutout)... I don’t think he is getting enough attention. I have yet to put out my final big board (still working on it), but he’s a Top-10 player in my eyes. He can really do it all and I see him fitting perfectly with the Dallas Cowboys across from DeMarcus Lawrence. He has long arms. He’s unbelievably quick off the football. His hands are strong and his technique is refined, which works for a dominant combination of his long arms/strong hands/technique. He fits in Dallas’ criteria for what they look for in edge rushers at 6-foot-3, 255 pounds. I think he’d be an awesome fit here.
Shaking my head: DT Vita Vea. I think people are overrating this guy based on athletic measurables. On tape, I see a guy who won in the PAC 12 due to his size. I’m not sure how well that will translate in the NFL. On top of that, what is his role in Dallas? I really do not know. I see him more in a 3-4 scheme as a five-technique. I do not see this powerful, immovable object that some are pandering him to be.
Our Fearless Leader, Dave Halprin
Slam Dunk pick: WR Calvin Ridley. I don’t care about his size or his production numbers in a run-heavy Alabama offense with shaky quarterback play in the passing game. He’s got the three things this offense needs in a receiver. He is the best route-runner in this group; he’s silky smooth. He has speed, not off-the-charts speed, but enough speed to threaten cornerbacks so they have to respect it, opening up his underneath routes. Those first two qualities lead to something the Cowboys desperately need, a receiver that can create his own separation. And he has good hands. A high-quality route-runner with speed and hands? Sign me up.
Shaking my head: DT Taven Bryan. I get that he’s a great athlete for the position, but the Cowboys do not need another 3-tech tackle. If they are going to go with a defensive tackle, they need to go with a 1-tech to solidify a poor run defense. They don’t need a blob who can’t move, but they also don’t need another undersized DT that is going to get pushed around in the middle. They were soft in the middle last year, if they are going to try and fix that, they need someone like Daron Payne or Vita Vea.
Which FPW aligns with your thoughts on the prospects at 19th overall?
This poll is closed
O.C.C. & Ryan Ratty: Yes to Landry, No to Vea
Tom Ryle: Yes to the guard, No to the WRs
DannyPhantom: Yes to Vita Vea, No to Sutton
Michael Sisemore: Yes to D.J. Moore, No to LVE
Cole Patterson: Yes to Wynn, No to Taven Bryan
Dave Halprin: Yes to Ridley, No to Taven Bryan