Looking ahead to the April NFL draft.
Based on what the Dallas Cowboys perceived needs are in this draft, having a first-round pick this year may not hurt as badly as it would in other draft seasons. While no one exactly agrees on what the Cowboys needs are, there is a consensus out there that safety and tight end are two positions that could use some help. Also, defensive tackle tends to show up on lists. In general, those positions tend to come off the board later than other glamour positions like quarterback, wide receiver, defensive end, cornerback, etc. So the Cowboys may be able to pluck a very talented player at one of those need positions when their turn comes around in the second round.
Safeties tend to show up a lot for the Cowboys in mock drafts. Some of the most recent ones focus on Johnathan Abram from Mississippi State.
59) Cowboys: S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
Abram is a versatile safety — he recorded two interceptions, three sacks and nine tackles for loss in his senior season. The Cowboys’ secondary lacked for playmaking this season, but he’ll help change that dynamic.
If there is one thing to be said on the negative side about the Cowboys secondary in 2018 is was that they rarely made made splash plays, or more precisely, caused turnovers. Any help in that area would be a huge help for the 2019 season.
58. Dallas — Taylor Rapp, SS, Washington, Jr.
A dynamic playmaker like Rapp might be the final piece of this elite defensive puzzle. Top needs: S, TE, OL
Additionally, last week we saw a few mocks go with Jaun Thornhill, Safeties are definitely getting a lot of play in Cowboys mocks.
Last week tight end showed up too, and this week we got another.
Irv Smith Jr. – Alabama
Career Stats: 58 recs, 838 yards, 10 tds
Irv Smith Jr. is a big and talented tight end from Alabama. Coming in at 6-foot-4, 241 pounds, Smith has the height the Cowboys like in a tight end and he is only a junior. He has the ability to move all over the field to create mismatches. The Cowboys needed to find a threat at tight end and they got one in the talented Mr. Smith.
I’m a little skeptical that Smith would last this long, but a lot can happen between now and draft day. We’ll have to see how he tests at the combine and at his Pro Day.
With David Irving unlikely to return to the fold, many observers are looking for the Cowboys to add help in the middle of the defensive line.
58 DALLAS COWBOYS: GERALD WILLIS III, DT, MIAMI (FL)
Replacing David Irving with the former Hurricane lineman who led the ACC in TFL this season with 18.0. Listed at 6’4″ 300 lbs, Willis has the talent to step in and be a day-one starter for the Cowboys as a second rounder. Landing in Dallas with coach Rod Marinelli, Willis could see a Pro-Bowl ceiling in the NFL after reemerging on the scene this year in his senior season.
And finally, you can never go wrong with having a rotation of pass rushers in today’s NFL.
58. Dallas: Oshane Ximines
School: Old Dominion
Position: Defensive end
Sack master DeMarcus Lawrence and interior presence David Irving are entering free agency. In other words, don’t be shocked if the Cowboys use their first selection in the 2019 Draft on the defensive line unless one of the top tight end slips.