After an off-season from hell, the Dallas Cowboys and their fans are excited for Draft week to start this week. Yet with less than a week to go, it is a huge question mark on what the Cowboys plan to do in this draft. Releasing Dez Bryant didn’t make things easier either.
So I decided to put on my GM hat and run through a mock draft to see what the Cowboys will do this week. I didn’t pick on what I personally thought would make the team better but what I think would happen this weekend. There are also no trading scenarios here, but I do think trading has a big shot to happen this week if things fall the right way. So let’s see who will be joining America’s Team in 2018, according to me.
Round 1, Pick 19: Leighton Vander Esch, ILB Boise State:
If the Cowboys do stay put at 19, then this was an easy choice for the team. Both Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith are unreliable to stay healthy or productive this season and the depth behind both players is weak. Vander Esch immediately starts for this defense and he will become a tackle machine. He has great instincts, including knack for always being around the football. His athleticism is off the charts and allows him not only to be effective as a run stopper but play in coverage as well. The Cowboys have taken risks at this position in the past and so far they have seen mixed results. Now it is time for the sure thing in a linebacker who will help solidify a shaky and weak position group.
Round 2: Pick 50: DJ Moore WR Maryland:
Since the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, speculation has run rampant that the first round pick has to be a receiver. While a receiver is beneficial for this team, going linebacker in the first round is the better option since there is a significant drop off with the talent. Waiting to the second round to get a player like DJ Moore makes the move worth it. While he might not be considered the best in his class, he actually fits perfectly with the Cowboys. Moore has a good size and speed and people describe him as slippery after the catch. Uses his athleticism to escape from defenders and is hard to tackle after the catch. He does need to work on his routes and his 50/50 balls. He also is ineffective as a downfield threat and is only useful in certain situations. Yet, with some work, Moore could easily compete with Terrance Williams for the second wide out in the Cowboys system.
Round 3, Pick 81: Hayden Hurst TE South Carolina:
This is where I might lose most of the readers. The fact is that tight end is now becoming a huge need for this team since James Hanna retired last week and Jason Witten getting close to retirement. In Hurst, you get the do all player. He can be moved all over the field, catch pretty much anything thrown in his direction, especially in high traffic. Once he has the ball, he runs hard with power and doesn’t drop the football. According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, a good comparison is Dallas Clark. His only problems come from the fact he will be a 25 year old rookie and this is pretty much how big he will grow to be. He also struggles in some blocking situations. Either way, this man is the perfect candidate to play immediately and be groomed as Jason Witten’s successor.
Round 4: Jessie Bates Safety Wake Forest:
The Cowboys continue their search for the right combo of players to fill their safety needs and here comes Jessie Bates to the rescue. He is really a steal if he is still around in the fourth round, he could immediately bring an impact to the defense early on. He is known for his incredible ball skills that can fill up the stat sheet. He has the athleticism to keep up with almost anyone and his instincts are excellent. Can process a quarterbacks decisions just as fast as the quarterback can. The only weaknesses for this player are that he takes terrible angles when trying to make open-field tackles. He is also just a two-year starter, so he does need a lot more time to develop than other players. Yet, overall his talent is too much to pass up.
Here are the rest of the Cowboys picks:
Round 4 Pick 37: Kentavius Street DL North Carolina State
Round 5 Pick 34: Nick Nelson CB Wisconson
Round 6 Pick 18: Kurt Benkert QB Virginia
Round 6 Pick 19: DJ Reed CB Kansas State
Round 6 Pick 34: Poona Ford DL Texas
Round 7 Pick 18: Desmond Harrison, OT West Georgia
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