The NFL Draft is just three weeks away. Are you excited? I know I am.
It’s going to be fun to see which players the Cowboys select when they are on the clock. There have been so many names surface as potential draft choices for this team. To help get a better idea of which players might be selected, we’ve put together a draft board of the top 100 players. These players have been separated into groups based on grades that project what round they should be drafted in. From previous leaked draft boards, we have somewhat of an idea of how many players are usually in this group for the Cowboys. With the help of the BTB community, names have been shuffled around and stacked accordingly. Here is an updated version of the BTB draft board.
Note: Players shaded with a lighter color are not likely to be taken as early in the draft by the Cowboys because the team already has Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Those positions are fair game later in the draft.
First Round Grade - 14 total players
Are these the players the front will have first-round grades on? It’s tough to say, but they have been the most popular choices among the Cowboys fans recently. It would be great if one of the first-round graded players fell to 19. Athletic star defensive players like Derwin James and Roquan Smith have been talked about a lot as optimal choices for the team, but not only would one of them have to fall in the draft, the team would most likely need to surrender a Day 2 draft pick in order to move up to get him.
Vita Vea and Calvin Ridley are a couple first-round graded players that some are crossing their fingers for. With the possibility of the quarterback sweepstakes taking place in the first half of Day 1, the hope is that it will leave some good options available when it’s the Cowboys turn to pick. Harold Landry moves into the first-round group. He was one of the best pass rushers in 2016, but injuries slowed him down last season. He looked sharp at the combine and is starting to move up the mocks. Would the Cowboys be interested in taking another edge rusher in the first round?
Second Round Grade - 26 total players
There are 26 total players with second round grades, but they are split into two groups. If the Cowboys aren’t able to get a first-round graded player, they’ll have to choose from the top ranked players in the second-round group. There are several good players from this group to choose from. In fact, our own Michael Sisemore laid out a trade-back plan that would help the team secure two of these players in the draft. If the Cowboys don’t have a player they are excited about when 19 rolls around, fans would love to see them try to move back to position themselves to gain a better overall draft haul.
The back end of the second-round graded players are:
There is a lot of variation from team to team when it comes to stacking players so even though the Cowboys don’t pick until 50 in the second round, they should be able to get a player from their second-round group. Are there any players from this group that you would be happy to see fall to 50?
Third Round Grade - 32 total players
It would be great if the Cowboys could fill out both picks 81 and 116 from this group. There are couple good options at several positions of need for the team, such as:
- WR - Anthony Miller and James Washington
- LB - Josey Jewell and Malik Jefferson
- G - Austin Corbett and Frank Ragnow
- DT - Tim Settle and B.J. Hill
- FS - Justin Reid and Rashaan Gaulden (CB who can play safety)
Some of these players won’t make it out of the second round, however - some will fall. There should be at least a few choices from this group that would be solid picks at 81 and great value picks at 116. Which of these players do you think they can get who can help the team the most?
Fourth Round Grade - 28 total players
Rounding out the top 100, it would be great if the Cowboys could get players from this group for their fourth- and fifth-round compensatory pick (137 and 171 overall). There is still some good talent here that can have a role on the team and provide useful snaps, such as:
- Good coverage linebackers like Darius Leonard or Fred Warner
- Wide receiver steals like Donte Pettis or DaeSean Hamilton
- Upside sleeper defensive tackles like Nathan Shepherd Foley Fatuskasi
- Offensive line depth like Desmond Harrison or Wyatt Teller
- Complementary running backs like Nyheim Hines or John Kelly
Again, many of these names will be gone by the end of the fourth round, but some will inevitably slide. Are there any names from this group that you could see falling who would strengthen the Cowboys depth?
Bonus Prospects - 15 total players
Some Top 100 boards only give you 100 players. How unoriginal is that? But not here at BTB as we go the extra mile and throw in some extra prospects. While some players won’t make the top 100, they should still be names to keep an eye for the Cowboys. These players include those who have athletic upside, but for one reason or another (raw, poor-character, etc.) will fall down the draft board. Do you have any sleeper candidates that you think should be on the list?
Let’s hear what you think about these rankings. Which players deserved to be moved up? Are there players on here that are being over-hyped? We will put together one final board leading up to the draft so make sure to get your comments (and recs) submitted down below.