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Cowboys news: More receivers showing up in mocks, draft profile for each defensive pre-draft visitor

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NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dane Brugler's mock draft 5.0: Best at this position falls to Cowboys at No. 19 - Dane Brugler, SportsDay
Who does Brugler have the Cowboys taking in his latest mock draft? He has Dallas taking the best of something and that something is wide receiver.

19. Dallas Cowboys

Calvin Ridley -- WR, Alabama (6-0, 189, 4.43)

At some point in the first two rounds, the Cowboys are expected to address the wide receiver position. There is a chance that no receivers are drafted in the first 18 picks. Although not a traditional "X" receiver, Ridley is this draft's top pass-catcher.

His Draft Show co-host throws in this little tidbit about selecting Ridley:

Wide receivers dominate final Dallas Cowboys mock draft roundup - Sam Quinn, 247 Sports
A lot of people are mocking a receiver to the Cowboys at 19.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

"With Moore and Ridley gone, the Cowboys shouldn't hesitate to look a few miles away and take Sutton as their Dez Bryant replacement. He has the frame to finish in the red zone and the hands and leaping ability to help him make big plays downfield. In essence, it's Dallas getting an Alshon Jeffery-type of receiver for Dak Prescott."

Chad Reuters, NFL.com: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

"Ridley's quickness and ability to make plays in the air could help him become Dak Prescott's new No. 1 target."

Ridley is the most NFL-ready receiver in the draft, having won two National Championships in three years in a pro-style system at Alabama. He is a big-play receiver who doesn't have as much raw speed as other prospects, but makes up for it with agility and body-control. If the Cowboys are focused on winning during this window with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott on rookie contracts, Ridley is their best bet.

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

"A pick that will make Cowboys fans very happy."

Moore is the burner that Cowboys fans wanted throughout the 2017 season. He has the sort of raw speed that was missing last year, but as he only has one year of statistical excellence under his belt and played for an underwhelming Maryland squad, combined with the fact that speed generally takes time to translate at the NFL level, he probably won't be a dominant rookie.

5 receiver targets after the first round - Terence Watson, The Landry Hat
The Cowboys do not have to select a wide receiver early to find a player who can contribute on this team. Terence Watson examines some prospects that can be found a little later in the draft.

Cedric Wilson – Boise State

Wilson has been floated to the Cowboys a few times. At 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, he has the traits the Cowboys like and he has the frame to add more weight if asked too. Wilson is a tough player who has fought through injuries and still made plays on the field. He has the ability to get behind a defense and cause trouble and is a competent route runner.

During his time at Boise State, Wilson’s stat line was 26 games with 139 receptions, 2,640 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. Wilson is the single-season record holder for yards with 1,511. He was also named to the Associated Press All-Bowl Team and All-Mountain West Football First Team

Ex-NFL scout: If this player is still on the board, Cowboys could get some trade offers for No. 19 pick - Bryan Broaddus, SportsDay
Most of us are enamored by the idea of moving back in the draft to acquire more draft capital, but it takes two to tango. What player could stir up an interest from teams picking later in the round that could initiate a possible trade with Dallas for 19? Bryan Broaddus gives his answer.

If the Cowboys are taking calls at 19, the phone starts ringing ... what position group would teams picking in the 20s or early 30s be trying to get to 19 (to acquire)?

Broaddus: Tackles. Offensive tackles. You gotta hope that (Notre Dame's Mike) McGlinchey is still on the board. There's some teams behind you that are looking. The Patriots, Carolina, the Saints ... maybe one of those teams is looking for an offensive tackle and they wanna make sure they get the guy they want. Some teams might say, 'listen, to get the best tackle, we've got to get to Dallas at 19 to secure that.' That's probably the position that somebody will trade up for.

Which current Cowboys draft target has the highest bust potential? - Dane Brugler, SportsDay
A few weeks ago, I consulted the Phantom Menace as I tried to identify which popular first-round targets could bust out. Dane gives us the player he thinks could be a big mistake at 19.

Which current Cowboys draft target has the highest bust potential?

Brugler: UCLA OT Kolton Miller. He was a 30 visit for the Cowboys and could be a consideration at No. 19. I understand the intrigue because he is an outstanding athlete for his size (6-foot-9, 309-pounds). However, NFL rushers are going to eat him up until he makes serious adjustments to his technique and discipline. Will he be able to do that? Maybe. But that's a lot to gamble on. He could end up being worth a 1st round pick, but the bust potential is also very high.

Difference between Cowboys' Super Bowl era and the present can be found in this round of draft - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
Overall, the Cowboys have done a great job in the draft, but that is despite some consistent whiffs they've had in the second round. If they are to return to glory, they need to start making those second-round picks count.

The Cowboys feasted in the second round during their Super Bowl era of the Jerry Jones ownership. From 1988 through 1994, in building a team that would win three Lombardi Trophies, the Cowboys drafted 10 players in the second round. One became a Hall of Famer (Allen) and two others became Pro Bowlers -- Darren Woodson and Daryl Johnston. Seven started Super Bowls for the Cowboys: Ken Norton, Dixon Edwards, Darrin Smith and Kevin Williams in addition to Allen, Woodson and Johnston. So that's six Pro Bowl players drafted by the Cowboys in the second round during their Super Bowl era.

That’s quite a contrast compared to how the Cowboys have fared in the second round recently.

The Cowboys have taken chances in the second round on players coming off injuries (Jaylon Smith, Bruce Carter and Sean Lee) and players with character flags (DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Antonio Bryant and Quincy Carter). The Cowboys have also shown a fetish for tight ends, selecting three of them -- Gavin Escobar, Martellus Bennett and Anthony Fasano. Their impacts here were minimal. That flat tire in the second round this century has slowed the Dallas pursuit of another Lombardi Trophy.

There is gold to be found in the second round of drafts. The Cowboys found it during their Super Bowl era. They need to start mining that gold once again if they hope to launch another Super Bowl era. The Cowboys go on the clock in the second round Friday night with the 50th overall selection. They need to start finding more Allens, Johnstons and Woodsons to get their championship aspirations back on track.

Speaking of second-round head scratchers, the risk they took a couple years ago still has some fans baffled.

Will 2018 be an All-Pro season for Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith? - Jon Machota, SportsDay
The Cowboys have a lot of unknowns heading into the 2018 season, but one of the bigger mysteries is the state of third-year linebacker Jaylon Smith. What can the team expect from him? Jon Machota provides his answer.

Do you think Jaylon Smith will eventually develop into one of the best linebackers in football?

Machota: That's a great question that I would say nobody knows for sure. I do believe he has the perfect work ethic and determination to get there, but it's going to take more than that. There are a lot of people that have the right work ethic and are determined to improve every day at a sport but never get anywhere near the professional level.

At some point, the athletic ability makes the difference. He absolutely had it before the knee injury and it appears he continues to get closer and closer to where he was. But no one knows for sure if he'll get all the way back. Only time will tell.

Cowboys 2018 draft: Linebacker targets for each day of the draft - Ryan Ratty, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys typically have addressed the linebacker position in rounds 2-4 as players like Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Anthony HItchens, Damien Wilson, and Jaylon Smith can all be found in those areas of the draft. Where will they take one this year? Our own Ryan Ratty takes a look at some targets for each day of the draft.

Darius Leonard, South Carolina State

Get to know the name Darius Leonard. The Cowboys have used one of their 30 pre-draft visits on him and they have also had him in for a private workout. There is potential that goes with Leonard’s prospects, but he is far from polished going into the NFL. At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Leonard will need to pack on some additional weight. The good news is that he has the frame needed to do so.

Similar to Jefferson, Leonard could be of use in Dallas for his athletic play-making ability. He turns directions with ease, he can get skinny to get through small gaps, and he can be used as back-side blitzer if asked. It comes naturally to him to defend opposing tight ends. Again, he will need to add on weight. But with his frame and an NFL training program, he will be able to do that.

Scouting snapshot: What you need to know about the Cowboys' 13 defensive pre-draft visitors - Dane Brugler, SportsDay
Brugler provides a great snapshot summary of each of the Cowboys pre-draft visitors on the defensive side. Having the low-down on these prospects will give you an idea of where they are likely to go in the draft, including why this edge rusher is one of the best players in the draft.

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College (6-2, 252, 4.64)

A three-year starter at Boston College, Landry played primarily in a three-point stance at both left and right defensive end in the Eagles' four-man front. He posted a dominant junior season and became the second player since 2005 to bypass the NFL and return to school after leading the nation in sacks (Von Miller) -- over the past four seasons, only three college football players have recorded three three-sack games: Myles Garrett, Derek Barnett and Landry. He hits his top gear immediately off the snap with outstanding edge flexibility, dip and cornering moves. Landry showed clear maturation over his career from a speed demon to a more technically refined pass rusher, incorporating more hand/arm moves to his rush plan. He has hiccups as a run defender, lacking the point-of-attack power to control defenders.


Everything Cowboys fans need to know about 2018 NFL Draft, including three-step guide to whom Dallas will draft - Staff, SportsDay
The staff over at Sports Day DFW has put together a comprehensive guide to let you know how you can watch all the action, when the Cowboys pick, and which prospects might hear their name being called next weekend.

War Room Experiment 3.0: How the Cowboys draft COULD look. – Jeff Cavanaugh, The Athletic
The Athletic's Jeff Cavanaugh is back in the war room wearing his GM hat and he's taking us for another ride on his draft decision-making journey. Who gets the nod for pick 19 this time around?

Calvin Ridley or James Daniels? Both players are among the top twenty players in the draft class and both fill a need here. Both were among the Cowboys' 30 visits. Ridley is the best receiver in the draft and would be a nice piece for Dak Prescott to throw to. James Daniels is the best center in the draft, has also played guard and would be the starting left guard here.

The last thing to consider is the depth of the draft itself. Right now zero wide receivers have been selected and we really like five of them (Ridley, DJ Moore, Anthony Miller, Michael Gallup, Courtland Sutton).

The pick: James Daniels, OL, Iowa. Your new starting left guard. Many of you wanted a wide receiver, but just hold on! We have a plan here.

I don't want to play spoiler here, but it's a pretty good plan.

In case you missed it...

2018 BTB mock draft challenge: Create your own Dallas Cowboys mock draft - One Cool Customer, Blogging The Boys
Make sure you partake in this year's mock draft challenge. It's simple, it's fun, and let's face it - what else you got to do? Make sure to follow the guidelines and rec your favorites.

The Rules

We will use the Great Blue North big board from April 19, 2018 as the basis for all mock drafts. We will assume that all draft-eligible players will be available at exactly the spot GBN has them in. You don’t like where GBN has a player ranked? Go complain to someone who cares.

Dallas owns the no. 19, 50, 81, 116, 137, 171, 192, 193, 208 and 236 picks. You pick at your exact spot or anywhere below that.

You are allowed only one trade-down. The value you give up in the trade-down must be equal to or greater than the value you receive, e.g. your 19th (875 pts) could get you Tennessee's 25th and 89th (865 pts).

You may however trade up as often as you want. Again though, the value you give up in the trade up must be equal to or greater than the value you receive.

Mocks that do not meet the criteria outlined above will be deleted, as will any Fanspeak mock. Nobody wants to waste their time on mocks that don’t fit the bill.

You can find the full 2018 NFL draft order here, along with the draft value chart immediately below it, which will make this exercise a lot easier.