We are down to our last mock draft roundup of the 2018 draft season. In our final survey of 16 mock drafts, the potential picks for the Dallas Cowboys have settled into two positions - wide receiver and linebacker. Early on in our mock draft roundups, defensive tackle was the dominant position, with some guards sprinkled in with the receivers and linebackers. Even the occasional cornerback or defensive end would sneak in.
No more. It’s almost all wide receivers with one linebacker making an appearance.
The favorite for the Cowboys in our final survey is Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley. He tops the list by being the choice in seven of our mocks, edging out D.J. Moore who is the pick of five mocks. Courtland Sutton rounds out the receiver trifecta with two mocks.
The only non-receiver to make our final survey is linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. A pretty constant theme in mocks lately is that the Cowboys are likely to attack the wide receiver and the linebacker positions very early in the draft, unless a prospect from another position group starts falling. Of course, these are just mocks, we’ll find out for real starting Thursday night.
|CBS Sports (Prisco), Apr 19||With Anthony Hitchens gone, they get a player some have compared to Luke Kuechly. His neck isn't an issue for most teams.|
|Rotoworld (Norris), Apr 24||I buy Jane Slater’s (and others) mention that the Cowboys gave LVE a Brian Urlacher comparison. It’s not like the Cowboys are a leak-proof organization. If LVE isn’t on the board, Taven Bryan makes sense. As does a possible receiver.|
|, WR, Alabama|
|The Athletic (Burke), Apr 24||Mini receiver run, as the Cowboys follow up the Panthers' aggressive move by taking a receiver of their own. Dallas has done a ton of work on Ridley, who is arguably the most nuanced route runner in this class.|
|CBS Sports (Trapasso), Apr 23||A downfield weapon for Dak who can create separation in the short and intermediate ranges ... Ridley is precisely the type of pass-catcher Dallas wants.|
|SB Nation (Kadar), Apr 23||With Dez Bryant gone, the Cowboys need a new lead wide receiver. Ridley is the best one in the draft and would give Dak Prescott a reliable target who moves the ball up the field.|
|NFL.com (Reuter), Apr 20||Ridley's quickness and ability to make plays in the air could help him become Dak Prescott's new No. 1 target.|
|NJ.com (Lombardo), Apr 18||The Cowboys created a need at receiver by releasing Dez Bryant, and fill the void with the most polished route-runner and complete wide receiver in this year's draft class in the form of Alabama's Calvin Ridley. Using his explosiveness at the line of scrimmage to beat cornerbacks in press coverage, Ridley has plenty of burst to both get open as well as to pick up yards after the catch as he proved to be an elite play-maker at Alabama.|
|CBS Sports (Wilson), Apr 18||We had the Cowboys taking SMU's Courtland Sutton in this spot in our last mock draft but do they really want to replace Dez Bryant with a younger version of ... Dez Bryant? Ridley's the more explosive talent, and he would get a chance at plenty of playing time given the lack of depth at wide receiver.|
|Walter Football (Campbell), Apr 24||The Cowboys moved on from Dez Bryant and need more big-play threats for their offense. Here's a speed receiver who could bring some mismatch advantages to the Dallas offense. Ridley reeled in 63 catches for 967 yards and five touchdowns in 2017. He totaled 82 yards on seven receptions with a touchdown against Florida State and its NFL-level secondary. The 6-foot, 189-pounder Ridley was capable of producing a lot more, but Alabama's ground-based offense and running quarterback limited his opportunities. If Ridley had played at a school like West Virginia, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, or pretty much any Big XII school, his production would have been off the charts. Ridley has quality height, speed and upside for the NFL. He does have a thinner frame though, and he will need to add weight. In 2016, Ridley made 72 catches for 769 yards with seven touchdowns. He had a tremendous freshman season for the Crimson Tide as the replacement for Amari Cooper. Ridley was very effective in that role with 89 receptions for 1,045 yards with seven touchdowns. He finished the 2015 season with impressive performances against Florida and Michigan State to help push Alabama to the National Championship.|
|, WR, Maryland|
|NFL.com (Conway), Apr 23||Moore would be a perfect fit for the Cowboys following Dez Bryant's departure. Moore is a faster version of Dez and could very well develop into a much-needed No. 1 receiver.|
|CBS Sports (Brinson), Apr 20||A pick that will make Cowboys fans very happy.|
|Louisville Courier Journal (Estes), Apr 23||Moore has been a fast-riser up draft projections since the combine, and the Cowboys obviously have a need at receiver after parting ways with Dez Bryant.|
|Chicago Sun-Times (Finley), Apr 23||With Dez Bryant gone, the Cowboys get a receiver to try to take his place.|
|SI.com (King), Apr 23||What, no Calvin Ridley? The Alabama wideout seemed so natural here, as did Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, at a position (sideline-to-sideline linebacker) of major need for Dallas. But Moore, a fast riser with return ability, could solve two issues for Dallas, and the Cowboys want to find a long-term receiver to be what Dez Bryant failed to be since signing a huge deal in 2015. It's a risky venture, though, based on the recent performance of so many failed number one picks.|
|, WR, SMU|
|Yahoo Sports (Owens), Apr 18||The departure of Dez Bryant has made receiver a red-alert priority in Dallas. The Cowboys can’t leave third-year quarterback Dak Prescott with his current receiving corps. At 6-3, 218 pounds, Sutton is a big, strong target with the ability to haul in contested balls. He doesn’t have great speed or separation, which limits his upside.|
|Newsday (Klopsis), Apr 23||Dez Bryant is gone, so it’s replacement time. Courtland Sutton, like Bryant, has great size (6-3 3/8, 218) which he uses to outmuscle defenders at the catch point. He also has great speed and agility but needs to refine his route running.|