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Thread: Norris - NFL Draft Needs: Cowboys

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    Administrator boozeman's Avatar
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    Norris - NFL Draft Needs: Cowboys

    NFL Draft Needs: Cowboys
    Josh Norris
    Rotoworld.com
    Monday, April 9, 2018


    Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.

    For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.


    Cowboys Team Need No. 1: Defensive Line

    Silva’s Analysis

    Retaining LE DeMarcus Lawrence (franchise tag) and DT David Irving (second-round tender) were necessary moves. Dallas’ defense still has a depth problem up front, especially on the interior. Lawrence and Irving are both in contract years, and there isn’t a true weak-side edge rusher on the roster.


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    Cowboys Team Need No. 2: Defensive Back

    Silva’s Analysis

    The Cowboys are brimming with youthful potential in the secondary but no locked-in building blocks beyond sophomore RCB Jourdan Lewis, who looks like a hit from last year’s third round. Up-and-down 2016 first-round pick Byron Jones is expected to move to corner, creating a void at safety.

    Cowboys Team Need No. 3: Pass Catcher

    Silva’s Analysis

    Linebacker is arguably just as big a need as any position on Dallas’ to-do list. The Cowboys are believed to be interested in a new middle linebacker, moving Jaylon Smith to Sam. I went with pass catcher here because Cole Beasley’s future with the team seems bleak, and neither Allen Hurns nor Deonte Thompson offers a reliable deep threat. The Cowboys’ 2017 pass catchers couldn’t beat man coverage, a flaw exposed especially glaringly during Ezekiel Elliott and LT Tyron Smith’s multi-game absences. A pass-catching upgrade could also come at tight end, where Jason Witten is on his last legs.


    Norris’ Mock Draft

    Round 1 (19): LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State - I know it wasn’t a top three need that Evan highlighted, but linebacker is a major void. The team just lost their most consistent player (from a health standpoint) at the position. Vander Esch offers uncommon size at the position and tested like the most athletic linebacker at the NFL Combine. There’s still plenty to work on, but the skills are there to be turned into consistent talent.

    Round 2 (50): DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford - I know Rod Marinelli wants to feature upfield interior linemen. From a production standpoint Phillips fits (27 tackles for loss over the last two years). While I don’t think that is the foundation of his game, I’m not naive enough to believe others will feel the same. The true upfield disruptors likely will be drafted in the first round.

    Round 3 (81): EDGE Arden Key, LSU - The Cowboys have been known to take risks at the edge position. I think Key is destined for a round three selection, if not later. Thus far he has not answered questions or slowed concerns that sidetracked his 2017 season. It is difficult to find third-round plus pass rushers with perceived upside, so Key is likely worthy of this pick.

    Round 4 (116): S Tarvarius Moore, Southern Miss - I’m a big fan of Xavier Woods and think he’ll sustain starting caliber play. Moreover, Moore is one of the more talented players at the position I’ve seen in this class. I have a feeling we are catching up on him on the outside, but he has fans inside the NFL.

    Round 4 (137): WR Antonio Callaway, Florida - I reported the other day that Callaway would be visiting the Cowboys. It makes too much sense. Callaway is widely viewed as a very good talent, but he needs one team to give him a chance after multiple speed bumps in college.

    Round 5 (171): DL Deadrin Senat, USF - Players like Senat are difficult to gauge. I think he is a top 100 talent, but he also presents an undersized frame. Some teams care, some teams won’t. Either way, he offers upfield disruption from multiple interior alignments.

    Round 6 (192): OL Cole Madison, Washington State - An offensive lineman who can fill a utility role at tackle and guard.

    Round 6 (193): RB Ito Smith, Southern Miss - The Cowboys don’t have an “air” back on their roster, and didn’t in 2017 either. They’ve shown interest in Ito and Nyheim Hines.

    Round 6 (208): TE Marcus Baugh, Ohio State - I’m a big believer in Rico Gathers, but a concussion kept him out of 2017. Baugh possibly could add depth to the position. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Cowboys attack the position earlier in the draft.

    Round 7 (236): WR Robert Foster, Alabama - Foster might be this year’s Noah brown. Big school, athletic and limited production.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Simpleton's Avatar
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    I'd take that draft right now, no questions asked.

    I wouldn't be thrilled with taking risks on Key and Callaway in back to back rounds but aside from that there isn't much to complain about. I really like Vander Esch, Phillips in the 2nd would be a coup, I like Moore's upside in the 4th and trust Richard after the way Griffin developed under him, and Senat/Madison/Ito Smith would be an amazing 3rd day.

    I like the Callaway risk more than the Key risk, so just change that 3rd to someone like DaeSean Hamilton, Braden Smith, Dante Pettis, Duke Ejiofor, Okoronkwo, Michael Gallup, or Tre'Quan Smith and I think it's a home run.

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    Senior Member Genghis Khan's Avatar
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    We shouldn't draft for need but our top needs are linebacker and safety. I wouldn't put DL up there.

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    Senior Member Cowboysrock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton View Post
    I'd take that draft right now, no questions asked.

    I wouldn't be thrilled with taking risks on Key and Callaway in back to back rounds but aside from that there isn't much to complain about. I really like Vander Esch, Phillips in the 2nd would be a coup, I like Moore's upside in the 4th and trust Richard after the way Griffin developed under him, and Senat/Madison/Ito Smith would be an amazing 3rd day.

    I like the Callaway risk more than the Key risk, so just change that 3rd to someone like DaeSean Hamilton, Braden Smith, Dante Pettis, Duke Ejiofor, Okoronkwo, Michael Gallup, or Tre'Quan Smith and I think it's a home run.
    Yep love it except for Arden Key. Callaway is worth the risk.

  6. #5
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boozeman View Post
    Norris’ Mock Draft

    Round 1 (19): LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State - I know it wasn’t a top three need that Evan highlighted, but linebacker is a major void. The team just lost their most consistent player (from a health standpoint) at the position. Vander Esch offers uncommon size at the position and tested like the most athletic linebacker at the NFL Combine. There’s still plenty to work on, but the skills are there to be turned into consistent talent.

    Round 2 (50): DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford - I know Rod Marinelli wants to feature upfield interior linemen. From a production standpoint Phillips fits (27 tackles for loss over the last two years). While I don’t think that is the foundation of his game, I’m not naive enough to believe others will feel the same. The true upfield disruptors likely will be drafted in the first round.

    Round 3 (81): EDGE Arden Key, LSU - The Cowboys have been known to take risks at the edge position. I think Key is destined for a round three selection, if not later. Thus far he has not answered questions or slowed concerns that sidetracked his 2017 season. It is difficult to find third-round plus pass rushers with perceived upside, so Key is likely worthy of this pick.

    Round 4 (116): S Tarvarius Moore, Southern Miss - I’m a big fan of Xavier Woods and think he’ll sustain starting caliber play. Moreover, Moore is one of the more talented players at the position I’ve seen in this class. I have a feeling we are catching up on him on the outside, but he has fans inside the NFL.

    Round 4 (137): WR Antonio Callaway, Florida - I reported the other day that Callaway would be visiting the Cowboys. It makes too much sense. Callaway is widely viewed as a very good talent, but he needs one team to give him a chance after multiple speed bumps in college.

    Round 5 (171): DL Deadrin Senat, USF - Players like Senat are difficult to gauge. I think he is a top 100 talent, but he also presents an undersized frame. Some teams care, some teams won’t. Either way, he offers upfield disruption from multiple interior alignments.

    Round 6 (192): OL Cole Madison, Washington State - An offensive lineman who can fill a utility role at tackle and guard.

    Round 6 (193): RB Ito Smith, Southern Miss - The Cowboys don’t have an “air” back on their roster, and didn’t in 2017 either. They’ve shown interest in Ito and Nyheim Hines.

    Round 6 (208): TE Marcus Baugh, Ohio State - I’m a big believer in Rico Gathers, but a concussion kept him out of 2017. Baugh possibly could add depth to the position. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Cowboys attack the position earlier in the draft.

    Round 7 (236): WR Robert Foster, Alabama - Foster might be this year’s Noah brown. Big school, athletic and limited production.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

  7. #6
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
    Yep love it except for Arden Key. Callaway is worth the risk.
    Dude, if I get Phillips, Senat, Callaway, AND Tarvarius Moore... well, just see the gif above.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

  8. #7
    Senior Member Cujo's Avatar
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    Key seems a little light in the ass for what we like to do. I don't think he's a realistic selection.

  9. #8
    Senior Member lostxn's Avatar
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    My lord I would love that draft though Brugler seemed to think if we want Moore we'd have to take him at 50. I'm fine rolling the dice on Calloway and Key.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Cowboysrock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Key seems a little light in the ass for what we like to do. I don't think he's a realistic selection.
    Key actually is like a less talented version of Randy Gregory. At least size and body structure wise they are similar. Gregory was just way more athletic and talented.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Cowboysrock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostxn View Post
    My lord I would love that draft though Brugler seemed to think if we want Moore we'd have to take him at 50. I'm fine rolling the dice on Calloway and Key.
    You're not getting Moore at 50. You'd have to go first round to get him.

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