We are officially through one round in the 2018 NFL Draft. As always in the draft, unpredictable decisions led to a variety of talented players to slide down the board, entering an area where the Dallas Cowboys could have made a move if they wanted to. But despite the variety of options available for the Cowboys with the No. 19 pick or in a trade-up, they were fine going with the player they have had their eyes on for a couple of weeks now.
At 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, with good instincts and plus athleticism, Vander Esch can immediately be inserted in the rotation with linebackers Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith. His versatility allows him to do a variety of things, but Charean Williams reported that the Cowboys will go with a look that features Lee at weakside linebacker, Smith at strongside linebacker, and Vander Esch in the middle manning the MIKE linebacker position.
Despite filling a need and receiving an A draft grade from CBS Sports, the Cowboys still have more work to do in this draft class. Let’s take a look at the rest of this draft and see which direction the Cowboys could go in now that they have invested a resource at the linebacker spot.
Round 2, Pick 50: Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU
Despite both Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore on the board when the Cowboys were drafting, Dallas went away from the receiver position. However, they will definitely look to address it in the coming rounds, and that could happen in the second round when the Cowboys come on the clock next. In recent weeks, there has been growing interest with the Cowboys and in-state prospect Courtland Sutton. In fact, even ESPN’s Louis Riddick threw out the name as a possible first-round candidate.
Due to the amount of talented players on the board, it could push a guy like Sutton down the draft, and perhaps into the Cowboys’ arms. At 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, Sutton has a spectacular combination of size and power. He has the ability to go up and bring down the football, a trait the Cowboys need.
An option with a huge catch-radius and toughness, Sutton would have no problem making catches in traffic. To go with that, he also is a plus blocker, which could be huge for his ability to play right away in the NFL.
Round 3, Pick 81: Tarvarius Moore, Safety, Southern Mississippi
There was a thought that the Cowboys would attempt to trade up to bring in Derwin James. Instead, the Cowboys stayed true to their draft board and went with Vander Esch. Fortunately, with the way things are playing out and how talented prospects keep falling, there are going to be options available at the safety position for the Cowboys.
One player they could go after is a player that visited The Star for a pre-draft visit. Tarvarius Moore drew a ton of eyes in 2017, even to the point where he would be hearing his stock soar. With plus ball skills to go along with his athleticism, Moore has the makings of being a solid starting safety in the NFL.
Yes there are issues of the competition he played against, declaring him somewhat raw to enter the NFL, but he did not just beat the competition in the Conference USA. He absolutely dominated it. Moore was not offered an invitation to the combine, but he put on a show and a half at Southern Mississippi’s pro day. He ran a blazing 4.32 in the 40-yard dash and had a vertical jump of 38.5 inches.
Because of the interest they have already shown in Moore, there is a possibility that he could be high on their board once the Cowboys roll around in the third round of the draft. Moore would immediately give defensive backs coach Kris Richard a project to work with and a guy who will contribute immediately on special teams.