In our first mock, we stuck close to some of the early favorite prospects for the Cowboys, prior to the NFL Combine. You can review the first edition below:
Now that the NFL Combine is complete, we will see various prospects rise and fall depending on their testing numbers. Though the prevailing view is to always trust the tape, we know that some measurements will affect draft stock both positively and negatively. It’s just how it goes.
For our second mock, we put a few of the Cowboys offseason storylines into perspective ahead of free agency on March 16th.
PICK 17: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Why it makes sense: After his 4.39 40-time at the Combine, CJ Henderson has made his way up the draft boards to being considered by some as the second-best corner on the board. It’s looking increasingly likely that the Cowboys will not be able to retain Byron Jones. This pick of CJ Henderson makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys because they need a good cover cornerback, that’s exactly what Henderson is and he’ll play right away.
Connor’s Scouting Report: Henderson is the second-best pure cover corner in this draft class, pairing excellent size and athleticism to make life difficult for opposing receivers. Henderson lacks ideal ball skills, and needs to become more physical as a run defender, but in terms of pure cover ability, Henderson is as good as it gets.
PICK 51: Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
Why it makes sense: Kyle Dugger doesn’t have the name recognition as many other safety prospects because Dugger is a DII player. However, his collection of abilities and balanced skill set will make a great fit for the Cowboys. Not only do the Cowboys need a safety to pair with Xavier Woods, they just need talent, in general, on the back end of their defense. Dugger could grow into a very useful tool in the Cowboys’ new defense under Mike Nolan.
Connor’s Scouting Report: Kyle Dugger would be quite the selection in the second round. Having both athleticism and cover ability to play as a strong-safety, but also the size and tackling skills to play as a linebacker, Dugger is an ideal fit for the Cowboys defense. Though the lack of competition questions are legit, Dugger proved at both the Senior Bowl and combine that he is more than ready to compete in the NFL. Dugger would provide Mike Nolan with extraordinary versatility as a back-seven Swiss-army-knife.
PICK 82: Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU
Why it makes sense: Rashard Lawrence deserves higher consideration for a guy that made big contributions to LSU’s title run this past year. Lawrence has the right mentality for what the Cowboys want in an elite run defender. He’s nasty, mean, powerful, and tough as they come. His plan is to deliver some pain to his opponents, which is a great combination for what the Cowboys want on their defensive line.
Connor’s Scouting Report: After a very strong junior year, Lawrence had a rather quiet senior year in LSU’s national championship run. Lawrence has adequate size, and has some juice firing off the ball, but will likely start his career as a stout-run defender while developing his pass rush arsenal. In the third round, Lawrence would provide depth, versatility, and up-side as a 3T/1T on the Cowboys DL.
PICK 113: Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt
Why it makes sense: Jared Pinkney is on track to become an eventual NFL starter but will need a little more work. The Cowboys are placing a tender on Blake Jarwin and hope that he can take the next step in 2020. However, in Pinkney, the Cowboys grab a tight end that has playmaking ability and athleticism. There is no doubt that Mike McCarthy can find a role for Jared Pinkney in his offense.
Connor’s Scouting Report: Coming into the year, Jared Pinkney was one of my favorite TE prospects, but in Vanderbilt’s struggling offense, Pinkney struggled to generate any sort of legit production. After a slow senior year, Pinkney had an up-and-down Senior Bowl, and tested poorly at the combine. While his offseason hasn’t been great, there is hope that in the right offense, Pinkney can develop into a solid contributing TE with what he offers as a receiver and blocker due to his size and strength.
PICK 146: Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
Why it makes sense: The Cowboys are likely finished with the Tavon Austin experiment and Mike McCarthy will make re-signing Randall Cobb another priority after Amari Cooper. What the Cowboys really need is a young speedster that can also work in the short and immediate field. Devin Duvernay is often called a one-trick pony as a slot-only player but he does that better than any prospect in this class. The Cowboys offense will continue to evolve with a player like Duvernay at their disposal.
Connor’s Scouting Report: Devin Duvernay on day three is tremendous value for the Cowboys offense. Coming out of Texas, Duvernay is known for his deep-threat and after the catch abilities. While still developing as a route-runner, Duvernay has tremendous athleticism, and should be an instant contributor as a deep-threat target.
PICK 208: Trevis Gipson, DE, Tulsa
Why it makes sense: Trevis Gipson is a very raw athlete, who is still right in the middle of his development. Still, he’s got some elite edge rusher traits and that’s what you look for late in the draft. The Cowboys are hoping to re-sign Robert Quinn and they also have Dorance Armstrong on the roster for depth. Gipson would be a great addition for Jim Tomsula to tap into his freakish athletic profile and develop him for the NFL.
Connor’s Scouting Report: In this years weak EDGE class, Trevis Gipson is actually a intriguing day three pass rusher. Gipson is an excellent athlete still learning how to rush the passer consistently. Gipson had some solid reps at the senior bowl, and will get drafted off of the physical and athletic traits he possesses at the position.