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Pro Football Focus three-round mock: Who did the Cowboys take?

Three rounds of mock goodness courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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Pro Football Focus recently completed their latest version of a three-round mock draft. As they evaluate team needs and attempt to guess the draft strategy of each team, some interesting players were chosen at different spots. How well did they do in picking for the Cowboys? Well, let’s take a look, shall we?

First Round

One thing that this mock did was to show how easily things can shake up once the QB sweepstakes begin. The first three picks taken off the board are Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns), Sam Darnold (New York Giants), and Josh Rosen (New York Jets). Surprisingly, the Denver Broncos don’t go with a quarterback at No. 5 (they pick fan-favorite Derwin James instead), but that still allows several great talents to fall...

Wow. Merry Christmas to those teams.

A fourth quarterback is finally taken before Dallas is on the clock, but it’s not the one you might expect. The Arizona Cardinals take Lamar Jackson with the 15th overall pick leaving Josh Allen still on the board. The Cowboys are able to cash in on the QB craziness as well as it allows a beast in the middle to slide to them at 19.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to taking a defensive tackle early. Either you think their job description isn’t valued as much to warrant using such a large draft resource or you believe the player is so talented that it justifies such an investment. Vita Vea is the latter. Our own Tom Ryle recently discussed the importance of investing in the trenches early as the Cowboys attempt to keep up in the “arms race” that is going on in the NFC East when it comes to the pass rush and developing weapons on mass destruction. Make no mistake about it - Vea has a lot of mass and Vea creates a lot of destruction. Selecting a player like Vea would literally help entrench the defensive line and immediately turn the 1-tech DT spot from a weakness to a strength.

Second Round

The Cowboys are taking a close look at wide receivers in this draft and even have three of the top ranked wide receivers (Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore, and Christian Kirk) scheduled for official pre-draft visits. If the team doesn’t select a wide receiver in the first round, then they could look to Day 2 to grab one. PFF selects my pet cat, Equanimeous St. Brown, at pick 50.

There is a lot to like about St. Brown. He’s got a long, athletic build and has great speed for a player his size. The Cowboys are making a concentrated effort in improving the separation for their receivers and he’s got an extra gear to accelerate and leave defenders behind. St. Brown is a smooth mover, can adjusts his body to throws, and uses his hands well to haul in the catch.

If you’re looking for this year’s Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster second-round steal receiver, this could be the guy.

Third Round

As much as I love the first two picks in this mock, I equally loathe this one. It’s very possible the Cowboys look for the eventual replacement of Jason Witten in this draft. And it’s even possible they address the position on Day 2 in the draft. But if they took Jordan Akins in the third round, the haunting bellows similar to the Gavin Escobar announcement would fill our living rooms.

The tight end from Central Florida is a good space player as he creates good separation and nice throwing windows for his quarterback. He has great run after the catch ability as over 40% of his catches went for 20+ yards. At the Senior Bowl he was constantly getting open.

But there are two big issues with Atkins. First off, he’s a terrible blocker and that’s just blasphemous when you are talking about the tight end position for the Dallas Cowboys. Second, this seems really early to go after a player of Atkins skill set. If he’s a player they like, the team could wait until Day 3 and have a good shot at getting him. I haven’t seen him very high on a lot of draft boards and this pick seems way out of left field.

It should be mentioned that offensive tackle Kolton Miller from UCLA is still on the board and is mocked to the New England Patriots at pick 95. You give me Miller at 81 and this would be me after the first two days of the draft.

What do you think about this mock?