We got dueling three-wound mocks from the guys over at ESPN, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr. It’s a good thing they go three rounds as that allows us to see a couple of picks for the Cowboys. These mocks are their “A grade” mocks. Here is how they explain that:
It’s time for my “Grade: A” three-round mock, in which I play the general manager for each team at each pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
Yes, that means I’m making picks at the first 102 slots. I’m not projecting picks based on what I’m hearing around the league. No, this is me making three full rounds of picks based on what’s best for each team at that slot, so that each team gets an “A” grade.
Let’s jump right into it. First up is Kiper.
Round 2 (58): Gerald Willis III, DT, Miami (FL)
Round 3 (90): Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
Like the Browns, the Cowboys got a star receiver for their first-round pick, and they’re thrilled. Amari Cooper instantly made them a playoff contender last season. But their roster does have a couple of holes, particularly at safety and defensive tackle. Dallas’ problem is that there could be a run on safeties at the top of Round 2, which means it could miss out on guys like Juan Thornhill, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Deionte Thompson. Jerry Jones & Co. can then move on to address the other need, taking Willis, a powerful tackle who had 18 tackles for loss last season.
Hurd is a 6-foot-5 wide receiver who played running back at Tennessee before playing a season at Baylor. He has an intriguing size/speed skill set, though he’s still learning the position.
I’ll give Kiper props here for identifying the top two needs for the Cowboys, safety and defensive tackle. That may not be the universal consensus, but it’s probably the leading vote-getter.
Kiper fills the defensive tackle need with Gerald Willis. Our own OCC took a look at the defensive tackles in the draft earlier today and found Willis to be a disruptive tackle based on production (a 1.38 production ratio). Willis has been mocked to the Cowboys on more than one occasion and he is among the 30 visitors the Cowboys are having pre-draft.
Kiper does pass on some other names that have been associated with the Cowboys at #58, including a big one in safety Taylor Rapp. Solving the safety issue is preeminent among among many Cowboys fans and taking Rapp here instead of Willis might have satisfied that contingent.
Taking Hurd at #90 is betting on potential for down the line. Any receiver taking this year isn’t likely to see a lot of playing time given the top three of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb. Instead, there were a host of tight ends and running backs Kiper could have had at this spot including Trayveon Williams, Kahale Warring, Bryce Love, Jace Sternberger, and Justice Hill.
Round 2 (58): Oshane Ximines, DE, Old Dominion
Round 3 (90): Marquise Blair, S, Utah
Ximines is quick off his break and has snap in his hands as a pass-rusher, and getting him at No. 58 is decent value. Dallas needs to add some safety help as well, so we’re taking Blair in Round 3. He’s stout in run support. I’d also be looking for a tight end in the later rounds to join Jason Witten.
With the recent signing of DeMarcus Lawrence and the addition of Robert Quinn, plus a lot of depth behind that, taking a defensive end doesn’t feel like really addressing a need. If you feel Ximines is too much value to pass up here, I can see making that call. When OCC looked at defensive ends in the draft, Ximines was below average in SPARQ but was extremely productive with a ratio of 2.21, although the competition wasn’t top notch.
Some of the players McShay passed up include Dre’Mont Jones, Jace Sternberger, Zach Allen, Damien Harris and Amani Hooker.
McShay circles back around at pick #90 to get the safety help the Cowboys desperately need. Blair has been described as having a linebacker mentality in a free safety body. Others available at this pick include Bryce Love, Josh Oliver, and Andy Isabella.
So BTB, who had the better draft, Kiper or McShay?
Which mock draft do you prefer?
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