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2018 mock draft tracker: The consensus pick for the Cowboys after Dez Bryant’s release

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  • 2018 mock draft tracker: The consensus pick for the Cowboys after Dez Bryant’s release

    2018 mock draft tracker: The consensus pick for the Cowboys after Dez Bryant’s release

    What do the mocks say now that the Cowboys have released Dez Bryant?
    By Dave Halprin Apr 17, 2018, 12:00pm CDT


    Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
    This is our first mock draft tracker after the release of wide receiver Dez Bryant. While wide receiver had been a popular choice even before Bryant’s release, it is now the consensus position for mockers. There is a lot of depth at receiver in this draft so many Cowboys observers caution against having to go receiver in the first round, but the mocks are doing it anyway.

    In our most recent tracker, we looked at 13 mock drafts for the Cowboys, and 10 of them had the Cowboys going wide receiver in the first round. D.J. Moore has emerged as the consensus candidate with six mocks placing him as the Cowboys pick. Courtland Sutton and Calvin Ridley make the grade in two mocks apiece.

    That leaves three mocks. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, defensive end Harold Landry and guard Will Hernandez populate those three remaining mocks. For the first time in 2018, our mock draft tracker doesn’t have a defensive tackle in the survey.

    LINEBACKERS
    Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
    • EDS Football (Staff), Apr 15 Not only has Vander Esch had a private workout and an official visit with the Cowboys, but his selection would help fill the void created by the free-agent departure of Anthony Hitchens to Kansas City. Despite being only a one-year starter and former walk-on, LVE has sideline-to-sideline range, great size (6-foot-4, 256 pounds) and was highly productive (141 tackles) as the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in 2017. Per PFF, the athletic linebacker led all FBS inside linebackers in run stops (and percentage) in 2017. And as Tony Pauline notes, Vander Esch "looked tremendous in position drills" at Boise State's Pro Day earlier this month. Pauline went on to write that LVE "was fluid and explosive and once again showed no stiffness moving around the field. For Vander Esch, today’s position drills were the perfect complement to his knockout testing at the combine."



    WIDE RECEIVER
    Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
    • SB Nation (Kadar), Apr 16 If teams are down on Ridley because of his slight 189-pound frame, the Cowboys could be the benefactor. After releasing Dez Bryant, Dallas now has a big need at wide receiver. Ridley could step directly into the lead receiver spot and should produce consistently with Dak Prescott throwing him the ball.
    • The Athletic (Burke/Sturm), Apr 17 In these uncertain Cowboys WR times, I am taking the best route-running receiver in this draft (and angering D.J. Moore enthusiasts). I certainly recognize that the Cowboys may be locked on a linebacker here, but Ridley getting to 19 is too good to pass for me. — Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm)


    D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
    • The Ringer (Kelly), Apr 17 With Dez Bryant no longer in the picture, the Cowboys need to add some playmaking receivers. Moore’s just the type of tool that Dak Prescott could utilize: A standout on “layup throws” like quick slants, curls, digs, and screens, the former Maryland star has extraordinary elusiveness and speed after the catch, capable of taking a short pass and turning it into a big gain on any given snap.
    • CBS Sports (Brinson), Apr 17 After getting rid of Dez Bryant, it's pretty difficult to imagine the Cowboys not investing in the wide receiver position early in the draft.
    • CBS Sports (Trapasso), Apr 16 The Cowboys are a team that prioritizes athletic traits in their early-round picks (see: Byron Jones, Zeke Elliott, Taco Charlton), and Moore is a gifted, explosive player on the field. Oh, and he'd fill a major need.
    • USA Today (Middlehurst-Schwartz), Apr 17 After dispatching Dez Bryant, Dallas has a need at wide receiver too large to ignore. Moore thrives on creating separation and picking up yards after the catch on out routes and screens, which would be a boon for Dak Prescott.
    • Chicago Sports Tab (Bamford), Apr 15 For the first time, Calvin Ridley isn't the top receiver off the board. Moore is rising quickly and has the look of an elite player who, with the departure of Dez, makes this a strong fit for the Cowboys. Dallas also has needs at linebacker and safety, but they'll go receiver in the first now.
    • Draft Blaster (Staff), Apr 17 The Cowboys’ offensive line was just not the same this year, but some of that was injuries and developing chemistry. They have enough key pieces that they don’t have to panic and address the position early in the draft. With three of their five positions locked down, they should be looking to add two offensive linemen through the draft and another in free agency and then let the competition unfold. They have found their edge guys on the defensive line, but have a big need in the middle. They also will need to find a WR and TE to replace key players at the end of their careers. D.J. Moore is everything you want on and off the field, and will solidify an already talented wide receiver core.


    Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
    • NFL.com (Jeremiah), Apr 17 Sutton is well-liked in personnel departments around the league and the Cowboys have a pressing need at wide receiver.
    • SEC Country (Riley), Apr 17 Defensive line could be an option, but wide receiver is also a need for the Cowboys. Sutton had a very impressive combine, and given his size, he could be a matchup nightmare for teams.



    DEFENSIVE END
    Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
    The Big Lead (McIntyre), Apr 17 I’ll probably switch this back to WR next week, but remember, in recent years the Cowboys haven’t done the obvious.
    GUARD
    Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
    Bleacher Report (Sobleski), Apr 16 A turning point occurred within the Dallas Cowboys organization when the front office decided to select a future All-Pro guard (Zack Martin) instead of a flash-in-the-pan quarterback (Johnny Manziel). Forget Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. The team's strength resides along its offensive line. Yet one position remains unsettled since Jonathan Cooper didn't secure left guard last season. UTEP's Will Hernandez is a natural fit between Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick. A connection exists between all three since they share the same agent, according to SB Nation Radio Cowboys reporter Bobby Belt. The group, including Hernandez, spends time together away from training, too. Another big ugly to complete the offensive line is the right move to make the entire team better.
    I was on the draft LVE train. I was for trading for Amari before it happened.
    'nuff said

  • #2
    There is one compelling reason we may draft a WR - Jerry Jones. He will want to make a splash. I actually could see him taking Ridley for just that reason. I still think Moore is a better choice and The Ringer's comments above reflect that.
    I was on the draft LVE train. I was for trading for Amari before it happened.
    'nuff said

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd rather trade up and get a premium guy like Vea, Roquan, edmunds, or derwin than take any wr in the 1st.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mcnuttz View Post
        I'd rather trade up and get a premium guy like Vea, Roquan, edmunds, or derwin than take any wr in the 1st.
        Agreed

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mcnuttz View Post
          I'd rather trade up and get a premium guy like Vea, Roquan, edmunds, or derwin than take any wr in the 1st.
          Yeah I would prefer to not give up an elite WR prospect and a starting prospect to get an elite LBer prospect. Seems like bad math to me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
            Yeah I would prefer to not give up an elite WR prospect and a starting prospect to get an elite LBer prospect. Seems like bad math to me.
            Where is this elite WR prospect? Ridley? Meh. Old, and most years he's a late first, early 2nd rounder. Not impressed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NoDak View Post
              Where is this elite WR prospect? Ridley? Meh. Old, and most years he's a late first, early 2nd rounder. Not impressed.
              He's 23, and he was a top 10-15 pick all season long. So I don't buy the made up narrative the he isn't elite because he isn't 2 inches taller. I'll bet he puts up better numbers than all 3 first round WR's from a "more talented" group last year. Give me Ridley over Mike Williams types any day.

              It's not to knock Roquan because I love him. It's rare that you see a small LBer like him considered "elite" but the NFL is trending away from giant LBers and deservedly so. But he isn't worth a high end WR and a solid starter somewhere else. He just isn't. I'm not sure if people are overrating Roquan or underrating Ridley but it's probably a little of both. Roquan is an excellent player but I'm not sure he's worth trading premium resources to move up for. I don't think he's going to have that "big" of an impact on the defense.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't recall ever saying anything about Ridley's height, but ok.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NoDak View Post
                  I don't recall ever saying anything about Ridley's height, but ok.
                  Yeah you just called him old. He's 23. Guys like Roquan Smith are 21. Not sure 2 years makes a player not "elite"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                    Yeah I would prefer to not give up an elite WR prospect and a starting prospect to get an elite LBer prospect. Seems like bad math to me.
                    Our top defensive picks each draft since Ware in 2005...

                    2006 - Bobby Carpenter
                    2007 - Anthony Spencer
                    2008 - Mike Jenkins
                    2009 - Jason Williams
                    2010 - Sean Lee
                    2011 - Bruce Carter
                    2012 - Morris Claiborne
                    2013 - J.J. Wilcox
                    2014 - DeMarcus Lawrence
                    2015 - Byron Jones
                    2016 - Jaylon Smith
                    2017 - Taco Charlton

                    The offense is fine, but we need some blue chip talent on the defense. Not an injury risk, not a work out warrior, but a guy who can spark a change of direction on the defense...much like the Tyron pick did for the offense back in 2011.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And for the record, I'm not a fan of taking another OL in the 1st either.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mcnuttz View Post
                        And for the record, I'm not a fan of taking another OL in the 1st either.
                        To be fair last year was an almost entirely defensive draft. We have drafted LBers high, Dlineman high, and corners high. We have been far from ignoring the defense in the draft. If anything it's WR that we have ignored for way too long.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                          Yeah you just called him old. He's 23. Guys like Roquan Smith are 21. Not sure 2 years makes a player not "elite"
                          I also never said somebody's age makes them elite or not. If it did, there would be about 300 elite players entering the draft this year.

                          I just don't see Ridley as being an elite WR. Regardless of his age or height. He's very good, but him being 23 is a drawback, whether you want to admit it or not. Has he hit his physical ceiling already? Possibly. He'll be 27-28 when it's time for his 2nd contract. The same age as Dez when his supposed "decline" started. Hell, Dez is only 29 now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NoDak View Post
                            I also never said somebody's age makes them elite or not. If it did, there would be about 300 elite players entering the draft this year.

                            I just don't see Ridley as being an elite WR. Regardless of his age or height. He's very good, but him being 23 is a drawback, whether you want to admit it or not. Has he hit his physical ceiling already? Possibly. He'll be 27-28 when it's time for his 2nd contract. The same age as Dez when his supposed "decline" started. Hell, Dez is only 29 now.
                            Nope I'd actually prefer that he was 21 as well. But 23 years old is pretty normal for an NFL rookie. They aren't really old until you start talking about 25 year old rookies. So I don't think being 23 moves the needle much at all. At least it doesn't for me.

                            He looks like a young Marvin Harrison to me which is why I consider him elite.
                            Last edited by Cowboysrock55; 04-18-2018, 08:31 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mcnuttz View Post
                              Our top defensive picks each draft since Ware in 2005...

                              2006 - Bobby Carpenter
                              2007 - Anthony Spencer
                              2008 - Mike Jenkins
                              2009 - Jason Williams
                              2010 - Sean Lee
                              2011 - Bruce Carter
                              2012 - Morris Claiborne
                              2013 - J.J. Wilcox
                              2014 - DeMarcus Lawrence
                              2015 - Byron Jones
                              2016 - Jaylon Smith
                              2017 - Taco Charlton

                              The offense is fine, but we need some blue chip talent on the defense. Not an injury risk, not a work out warrior, but a guy who can spark a change of direction on the defense...much like the Tyron pick did for the offense back in 2011.
                              Need an impact player. Hell I’d settle for a legit 1st rounder anywhere in the front seven.

                              With so many QBs and overrated WRs available it can push one of the solid defenders down to us. Or if a QB falls to 19 we might be able to engineer a trade down.

                              But screw reaching for a WR. This isn’t the year.

                              Comment

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