We’ve had a lot of fun together with these mock drafts but it’s thankfully coming to an end as it all goes from speculation to realization. Some draft nuts take it very personal when their mocks are criticized but here at BTB, we’re all about the conversation these mocks cause. Before we put mock draft season to bed this year, we have just one more in us. Here is the mockery to end all mockeries, the finale if you will. As always, we stick with Dane Brugler’s board at NFLDraftScout.com for our Fanspeak mocks and use DraftTek’s Trade Value Chart.
In a draft like this where quarterbacks could very well push good talent down, there’s a chance that the Cowboys will be staring at a few players they really like. However, like and love are two different things which is why it really makes a lot of sense for the following:
Cowboys trade pick 19 (875 points) to the Patriots for picks 23 + 95 (880 points)
Dallas traded down four spots but picked up an extra third that can come in handy should they look for more deals. The first-round pick is about value, though the linebackers are still around, this front office is not spending a first-round pick, just yet, on a linebacker that may not start immediately. They need impact and the biggest and smartest move is to help the young quarterback.
Pick 23 (From NE): Cowboys select James Daniels, G/C, Iowa (Brugler: 18th)
Analysis: Not every Cowboys’ fan is going to walk away with elation from AT&T Stadium this Thursday night with this unsexy pick but it’s still a good move. The value here is tremendous when you pencil Daniels in at starting left guard not only because of his supreme athleticism but because how well he fits the zone blocking scheme. Point blank, when the Cowboys are dominant up front, they dominate their competition, and we’ve seen the alternative. Here’s to five years of getting another top road-grader playing below the market price.
The second round is where this draft will offer up great value at a variety of positions. Dallas could think linebacker here but there isn’t much difference between the best option in Malik Jefferson and the guys that can be taken later. Instead, the Cowboys see a run starting at receiver but stay patient and are rewarded when their perfect fit is right there.
Pick 50: Cowboys select Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis (Brugler: 61st)
Analysis: With a young quarterback looking to improve his passing offense, Miller may be the express lane to that improvement. He’s probably the second-best route specialist outside of Calvin Ridley, but Miller is also a quarterback’s dream when the plays break down, which we know they will. His play speed is no concern even if his 40 time was in the 4.5’s and you won’t find a receiver that’s stronger or a better salesman in the passing game than Miller.
Pick 81: Cowboys select Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State (Brugler: 77th)
Analysis: After being patient, the Cowboys finally see the value in taking a linebacker here in the third round. Leonard plays with great vision, instinctual effort, he shoots through the gaps on blitzes, and makes a lot of tackles. He had an astounding 381 tackles, 42 career tackles for loss, 20 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and six interceptions. The Cowboys steal a late riser with Leonard, who can backup to all three spots, and compete for a starting role fairly early in his pro career.
Dallas trades picks 95 + 137 + 208 (164.8 points) to Chiefs for pick 86 (160 points)
Pick 86 (From KC): Cowboys select Terrell Edmunds, SS, Virginia Tech (Brugler: 88th)
Analysis: The focus has been so skewed toward Dallas needing a free safety this offseason. While some only perk up at the thought of an Earl Thomas trade, don’t forget that the Cowboys missed Barry Church last season. Plus, a Kris Richard secondary is nothing without it’s boom stick, that’s Edmunds here. He has all the burst and quickness as a former cornerback would be. He’s a versatile weapon that consistently sets the energy levels and tone for his defense. Dallas just doesn’t have that player right now that can bring that heat down after down on defense.
The third round closes and the Cowboys see a player they are not only high on but he just so happens to be the top player available at his position, no time to wait.
Dallas sends picks 116 + 171 + 193 (98.4 points) to the Packers for pick 101 (98 points)
Pick 101 (From GB): Cowboys select Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech (Brugler: 121st)
Analysis: Dallas goes back to the well of Hokie defensive talent, the run defense in Dallas just got a huge dose of help with Settle coming in. Settle is not the incredible pass rusher type but he does his job very well. His motor is fantastic and he’s a certified pocket destroyer. It’s high time they invest just a little in finding a quality guy that eats up blocks, clogs rushing lanes, and collapses pockets.
Pick 192: Cowboys select Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa (Brugler: 194th)
Analysis: This is all about adding another wrinkle to the offense, Wadley is as durable as they come and was a do-everything back in college. In the NFL, he’ll fit the role of a scat back that turns heads in space. Wadley will bring just a little more speed and juice to the offense.
Pick 236: Cowboys select Justin Lawler, DE, SMU (Brugler: 344th)
Analysis: Why fight for the guy on the free market when you can snag him early? Lawler isn’t this amazing prospect with the pedigree of a top pass rusher. Still, 226 tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss, and 17 sacks would suggest he deserves a chance to compete for a rotational role.