The NFL finalized the full order for the 2019 draft last week. The Cowboys will have six selections in the draft in total, including one compensatory pick.
To get a better feel for what type of player could be waiting for the Cowboys in each round, here’s an overview of the players selected in the past four years with the picks the Cowboys hold this year, along with a few selected metrics:
|2nd Round, No. 58 overall|
|2018||Isaiah Oliver, CB, ATL||0||0||2|
|2017||Ethan Pocic, C, SEA||0||0||15|
|2016||Sean Davis, CB, PIT||0||2||40|
|2015||Markus Golden, DE, ARI||0||1||25|
|3rd Round, No. 90 overall|
|2018||Deadrin Senat, DT, ATL||0||0||2|
|2017||Shaquill Griffin, DB, SEA||0||2||27|
|2016||C.J. Prosise, RB, SEA||0||0||2|
|2015||Carl Davis, DT, BAL||0||0||12|
|4th Round, No. 128 overall|
|2018||Kentavius Street, DT, SFO||0||0||0|
|2017||Josh Malone, WR, CIN||0||0||7|
|2016||Evan Boehm, C, ARI||0||1||13|
|2015||Jon Feliciano, G, OAK||0||0||8|
|4th Round, No. 136 overall|
|2018||Marquis Haynes, OLB, CAR||0||0||0|
|2017||Sean Harlow, G, ATL||0||0||0|
|2016||Devontae Booker, RB, DEN||0||0||6|
|2015||Tray Walker, CB, BAL||0||0||0|
|5th Round, No. 165 overall|
|2018||Jaylen Samuels, TE, PIT||0||0||3|
|2017||Jamal Agnew, CB, DET||0||0||0|
|2016||Tyreek Hill, WR, KAN||3||2||30|
|2015||Bradley Pinion, P, SFO||0||4||0|
|7th Round, No. 241 overalll|
|2018||Greg Stroman, CB, WAS||0||0||3|
|2017||Khalfani Muhammad, RB, TEN||0||0||0|
|2016||Charone Peake, WR, NYJ||0||0||1|
|2015||Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, CLE||0||0||0|
When I first set out to compile the data above, I thought it would show how there was a good chance the Cowboys would be able to put together another quality draft. And while they may still be able to do that, the last four years detailed above don’t provide a lot of reasons for optimism.
Draft lore holds that the top 100 picks are where you get your future starters in the draft. Except that hasn’t worked out too well for the teams drafting in the spots the Cowboys hold this year. The eight prospects drafted here with picks 58 and 90 have combined for just four starter seasons out of a possible 24.
And it doesn’t get much better beyond the top 100, even when considering that pickings have always been slim beyond the third round. From 2015 to 2018, 24% of the prospects drafted on the third day of the draft became starters for at least one season.
Of the 16 players drafted with the Cowboys’ final four picks, just three (19%) have managed to play at least one season as a starter.
Having already spent their first-round pick and picking where they are at the bottom of every round, the 2019 Cowboys don’t have a lot of draft capital to begin with. You can calculate the draft capital of each draft class by simply adding up the value of each team’s picks on the Trade Value Chart to arrive at a total value of each draft class.
Using that approach, I calculated how the Cowboys’ 2019 draft capital compares to the draft capital in each draft since 1992. The 2019 draft ranks 27th out of those 28 drafts:
|Year||Draft Capital||-||Year||Draft Capital||-||Year||Draft Capital|
Historically, the Cowboys have not done particularly well in drafts where they haven’t had a lot of draft capital, but then again, nobody said you weren’t allowed to pick multiple future Pro Bowlers and multi-season starters when you’re drafting at the bottom of each round.
How the 2019 draft class ultimately turns out is anybody’s guess right now, but if the Cowboys have done their homework on each prospect and stick to their draft draft board, then they have a chance of having a good draft. And it looks like that’s exactly what they intend to do, as Will McClay explained on the Hangin’ with the Boys show on DallasCowboys.com during the 2017 training camp.
When you go into a draft, you kind of get a feel for where the strength of the talent coming in is. And it just so happened that [in 2017] our needs matched the strength of the draft in the secondary. There were a lot of secondary players, there were a lot of defensive players that we felt, for the right price, up front and linebackers, that could fit and help us fill the void.
But really, you just have to pick the best players that are there is the philosophy that we apply, because if you go chasing players, and if you give away something to get something, well you’re giving something up. Especially if players are in the same range. So what we try and do is value players properly, then you’re going to pick the player at the right value and hopefully get him to supersede that value.
So we didn’t go into it with the philosophy “we’re going to address the secondary”. If there weren’t secondary people there, there’s still other parts of the team to fix. Then you’ve got to find another way to fix what you’re missing.