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2019 NFL Draft: Eight “flagged” prospects that could fall to the Cowboys in the second round

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The second round has always been one of chance for the Cowboys.

Big 12 Championship - Oklahoma v TCU Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Cowboys have a deep history of taking risks in the second round. Whether it’s injury or off the field issues, history shows that they don’t mind spending their second-round pick on wild card players. In the past it’s been guys like Sean Lee, Randy Gregory, and Jaylon Smith, but with the draft coming up next week, are there any guys who could potentially fall into the Cowboys lap at 58th overall due to those “flags”?

Injury “Flags”

Montez Sweat - Mississippi State - EDGE

Arkansas v Mississippi State Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Last year we saw a first round player in Maurice Hurst fall all the way to the sixth round due to a rare heart condition that left him off many teams boards. This year we have a similar issue with Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat. Sweat, a 6’6” 260lb EDGE rusher, has top 15 traits, but this heart condition could see him go much later than the tape and testing suggest.

It has been reported that the heart condition that Sweat was diagnosed with isn’t quite as serious as the one Hurst was diagnosed with in 2018, but could it be enough to push Montez Sweat all the way to 58th overall? We’ll have to find out.

Probability of being there: Low

Marquise Brown - Oklahoma - WR

Oklahoma v West Virginia Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Marquise Brown is one of the top talents at wide receiver in this draft class. From elite route running ability to his dynamic after the catch skills, Marquise Brown is a barrel of fun. Unfortunately for Brown, his health has not been as reliable as his play on the field. Brown has suffered multiple lower body injuries throughout his career at Oklahoma and was unable to take part in any testing and/or drills this offseason due to rehabbing his Lisfranc injury.

Brown’s size and injury history are without a doubt concerning, but if he is on the board at 58th overall the Cowboys would need to seriously consider taking Oklahoma’s “Hollywood” Brown.

Probability of being there: Very Low

Jeffrey Simmons - Mississippi State - DT

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Mississippi State vs Iowa Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffery Simmons has both off the field and injury concerns, but before tearing his ACL during combine training he was slated to go in the top 10. Unfortunately for Simmons, he will now be waiting a bit longer to hear his name called on draft night.

On the field, Simmons plays with tremendous power at the point of attack, but moves extremely well for a 300+ pound lineman. Simmons plays with ideal hand technique and showed the ability to shoot gaps to make plays in the backfield. Without the off-the-field and injury concerns Simmons would have no chance of falling out of the first round, but with those issues he now becomes a possibility for the Cowboys in the second round. Dallas desperately needs to add talent to the interior of their defensive line even if that means drafting a player that won’t make an impact in 2019.

Probability of being there: Very low

Deionte Thompson - Alabama - S

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Going back to the time where the Cowboys were still playing meaningful games in the 2018 season, many draft analysts had Deionte Thompson ranked as a top five prospect in the 2019 NFL draft. A disappointing second half of the season along with a wrist injury that kept him out of the combine and pro day leaves many scouts wondering how “tough” and how “athletic” Deionte really is.

With safety being one of the Cowboys’ biggest needs having a player of Thompson’s caliber on the board at 58 would be a very intriguing option, but drafting a guy that wasn’t able to answer some of the biggest questions surrounding his game due to a wrist injury will leave many teams left scratching their heads.

Probability of being there: Very high


Personality “Flags”

Jerry Tillery - Notre Dame - DT

Vanderbilt v Notre Dame Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jerry Tillery’s “personality concerns” have more to do with having other interests outside of football. Whether you or I view that as a concern is a conversation for a different day, but NFL teams often view “busy” players as possible flags due to the mind being focused and interested in other things other than the game of football.

Jerry Tillery the player is right up there with some of the best interior defensive lineman in this draft class. He plays with tremendous explosiveness, flexibility, and power in his upper half that would make him a disruptive 3-technique for the Cowboys, a position that could use some upgrading. Tillery ended up being my last first-round grade, but could his interest in other things in his life make him fall into the Cowboys lap?

Probability of being there: Medium

Jachai Polite - Florida - EDGE

Florida v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

It will be hard to find a player that has a had a worse draft process than Florida’s Jachai Polite. After bombing the combine, possibly faking an injury, then backing up his bad combine with a bad pro day, it’s safe to say Polite’s pre-draft process did not go as planned.

Due to his atrocious testing and personality questions stemming from combine interviews, Polite went from a sure-fire top 20 pick to likely being available in the second or third round. With the Cowboys signing DeMarcus Lawrence to a monster long-term deal and trading for veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn, finding a developmental right defensive end would be a win-win for both the team and the player.

Despite what the combine numbers say Polite plays with a tremendous first step, can bend with the best of them, and showcased a variety of pass rushes moves (spin, cross-chop, two-hand swipe, swim) to win screaming off the edge at the University of Florida. With long-term questions regarding Randy Gregory, Taco Charlton, and Dorance Armstrong, adding a talent of Polite’s caliber would be a high-risk, high-reward selection for the Cowboys.

Probability of being there: High


Athletic “Flags”

Dre’Mont Jones - Ohio State - DT

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ohio State Buckeye Dre’Mont Jones was once viewed as one of the more athletic defensive tackles in this draft class due to his ability to get up field with impressive quickness and change of direction skills. When the tape says one thing but the combine numbers say another, NFL team normally seem to shy away from the player.

At the combine, Jones ran a 5.12 40-yard dash, 7.71 3-cone drill, and had a 31.5” vertical jump listed at 6’3” 281lbs. The tape for Jones shows a guy that plays much more athletic than his combine numbers suggest, but NFL teams analytical departments put great value into combine numbers. Could Jones’ poor combine performance allow him to fall all the way to the Cowboys?

Probability of being there: Medium

Taylor Rapp - Washington - S

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys fans everywhere have their fingers and toes crossed that Taylor Rapp could somehow fall to the Cowboys at 58th overall. Before the Washington pro day most thought the odds of Rapp making it to the Cowboys were little to none, but after running a 4.73 40-yard dash at his pro day, that has not really changed.

Similar to Dre’Mont Jones, the tape tells a different tale. On tape Rapp plays with great quickness and sideline to sideline range when lined up in the box. Since running the 4.73 many media, draft analysts, and former-scouts seem to believe that there’s a great chance that Taylor Rapp could be available at the end of the second round. If he’s on the board when the Cowboys are on the clock at 58, it should be a no brainer for Will McClay, Stephen Jones, and the Cowboys front office.

Probability of being there: Slightly above medium


We will have to wait and see whether it’s one of these players or not, but in almost every draft there seems to be a player or two still on the board in each round that most wouldn’t expect to be when their team is on the clock. We will find out in a just a few days if the Cowboys will take yet another risk in the second round with the 58th overall pick.