My apologies for this pick being up a little later than normal. I had a flight get in pretty late last night/early this morning and slept in for a while. But, we’re back into the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft with the Dallas Cowboys at pick #19. Let’s review how the last five picks have gone.
14. Green Bay Packers - Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
15. Arizona Cardinals - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
16. Baltimore Ravens - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
18. Seattle Seahawks - Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Now, on to the Cowboys, who missed the 2017 postseason just a year after being the #1 seed in the conference. What do they need to do to get back to the playoffs in 2018? Let’s take a look at what they’ve done this offseason.
2017 record: 9-7 (2nd place, NFC East)
DE Kony Ealy (free agent signing), OT Cameron Fleming (free agent signing), OL Marcus Martin (free agent signing), WR Deonte Thompson (free agent signing)
CB Bene Benwikere (signed with Arizona), WR Dez Bryant (released), WR Brice Butler (signed with Arizona), OL Jonathan Cooper (signed with San Francisco), LB Anthony Hitchens (signed with Kansas City), LB Kyle Wilber (signed with Oakland)
Cornerback - The Cowboys don’t have a lot of playmakers in the secondary, as they gathered just ten interceptions all of last season. There’s talk that they could move safety Byron Jones to corner, but they’re probably better off getting one out of a very deep class at the position.
Defensive tackle - The Cowboys are solid on the outside with DeMarcus Lawrence being retained and Taco Charlton continuing to develop. But, they could use some more push on the inside, as well as some depth.
Linebacker - Sean Lee is going to miss games every year, and though Jaylon Smith showed some promise last year in coming back from injury, no one knows if he’s ever going to reach his full potential either. Couple that with the loss of Anthony Hitchens, and the Cowboys could use some help at the linebacker position.
Offensive line - Yes, the Cowboys need offensive line help. Who would have thought that? The Cowboys are very good at three of the five spots on the line, but they could use help at either left guard or right tackle, depending on what they want to do with La’el Collins. They could also use some depth in the event that Tyron Smith goes down again, as things really went south when he got injured this past season.
Wide receiver - This was a need for the Cowboys before the release of Dez Bryant, as it appears that he’s on a downhill slide at this point. But the Cowboys do need more bodies at the position.
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan - Hurst gave everyone a scare at the Scouting Combine when he was diagnosed with a heart ailment and sent home early. He has since been cleared, however, and if teams have enough confidence in the clean bill of health he’s been given, he could be the sort of 3-technique tackle that can provide the interior pass rush that the Cowboys very much need.
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado - Oliver is next on the board as far as corners are concerned, at least in my view. He’s a big, rangy type of corner that seems to be well-suited for playing press coverage, and certainly has the talent to develop into a top-notch corner.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Southern Methodist - Sutton seems to be the #2 wide receiver prospect on the board behind Calvin Ridley, and he’s a different type of receiver, too. At 6’3” and about 215 pounds, Sutton has all of the physical abilities needed to develop into a very good boundary receiver at the next level. If the Cowboys are looking for a Dez Bryant replacement, this might be a good place to look.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State - I’ve got Vander Esch as the second-highest inside linebacker type on the board, though your mileage may vary on that. He’s not just a two-down middle linebacker, as he’s quite good in coverage and has the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline. He can definitely be a Day 1 starter for this defense and stay on the field for all three downs. He could probably even play outside if the Cowboys wanted to put him there.
Connor Williams, OL, Texas - With the Cowboys’ needs on the offensive line, Williams could be the sort of player they need. He’s listed as a tackle, but if the Cowboys decided to keep La’el Collins at the tackle spot, he could pretty easily slot in at left guard. Plus, I’m sure Jerry would love to bring in a Longhorn, given the opportunity.
That’s all for the Cowboys, ladies and gentlemen. Tomorrow, we finish off the non-playoff portion of the draft order and find our last NFC North rival with the Detroit Lions at pick #20.
With the nineteenth pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Dallas Cowboys (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Connor Williams, OL, Texas