It’s time to compile the list of players into a final draft board.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve profiled many players from several different positions that might interest the Dallas Cowboys in this week’s NFL Draft. If you’ve missed out on the scouting report of these players, you can catch up by selecting the following:
The players identified include official 30 visit players, some Dallas Day guys, and several other names that seem to fit the profile of what the team looks for at each position. And some of these names are just some of our personal favorites that have circulated around over here at BTB. Putting all the names together and we got a final list of 65 players spread out over all five rounds where the Cowboys will be picking.
As you can see, none of the blue-chip players are in play for the Cowboys since they have no first-round pick. That’s okay though because the Cowboys already have something even better. Here is what my first-round board would look like with a slight modification.
I thought maybe my Dallas bias was a little heavy there, but then the savvy Bryan Broaddus is even more optimistic.
If you need help killing time through Day 1 of the draft, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy these great Amari Cooper highlights…
Alright, back to business.
While the first board above is a nice little summary of names the team could be interested in, we decided to break it down even further and stack all of these players together. This provides a nice group of names for each round where the Cowboys pick. The numbers are their overall ranking, but keep in mind – not all the available players are mentioned. Positions like quarterback and offensive lineman are nowhere to be found so you’ll notice some gaps in between the numbers. They are also color coded by position.
Most of these players will be long gone before the Cowboys are up, including a handful of guys who might go in the first round. Some of these guys will make it to 58 and it’s just a matter of who will be the top player on their board.
If he slides, look out for: Taylor Rapp
The fallout from Rapp’s athletic measurements could mean this once-projected Day 1 selection drops all the way to the end of round two. The Cowboys love guys that are just good football players, but they also put an emphasis on athleticism. This makes Rapp a tough guy to gauge in terms of how the scouts view him. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Cowboys jumped up in jubilation if he was still there at 58, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if they passed on him sending Cowboys Nation in a frenzy. Regardless of his 40-time, he’s one of the smartest football players in the draft, and if he’s still on the board when the Cowboys are on the clock, that’s a Rapp.
My favorite pick: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
The highest ranked player who realistically could fall to 58 is Gardner-Johnson. There are several talented safeties that will go in this vicinity, but none of them have the breadth that Gardner-Johnson has. He’s an outstanding coverage corner who has great instincts and ball-hawking skills, but his improvement as a run defender would give the Cowboys the complete safety they’ve been looking for. CGJ is my “run to the podium” pick if he’s still available at 58.
Most likely pick: Juan Thornhill
There is so much to love about all the top safeties and if the Cowboys are lucky enough to land one, that’s a great start to their draft. Outside of CGJ, each of the top guys have a weakness to their game. Rapp and Johnathan Abrams are stellar box safeties, but have limitations in coverage. Juan Thornhill is an extremely athletic coverage guy, but doesn’t have the same tackling skills to play down low. There’s a trade-off either way, but Thornhill is still pretty solid in his weak areas and offers a more complete skill set. In a passing league, I always lean toward a coverage guy and Thornhill just seems like a perfect fit to the Cowboys safety group.
Don’t be surprised by: Deebo Samuel
If safeties are washed out, then that means it’s going to come at the expense of other positions. There are several good wide receivers expected to come off the board in the second round, but if teams are drafting elsewhere – that could open the door for one of the Cowboys top WR’s to slide. Deebo Samuel could very well be that guy as he could get passed up because of his size, but he offers a dynamic package. He’s quick, he’s got good long speed, but most importantly – he’s a very crafty route-runner who flies out of his breaks.
I want a top safety at 58, but I can’t help thinking that adding Deebo Samuel would create one of the most remarkable one-year WR overhauls the league has ever seen. pic.twitter.com/JaI62fG8D2
— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) April 21, 2019
Similar to the second-round board, most players from the third-round list will already be gone as well, but that won’t stop the Cowboys from pouncing on that great value pick.
If he slides, look out for: Damien Harris or Jace Sternberger
Cowboys fans are frightened by the possibility of selecting Damien Harris or Jace Sternberger in the second round, but that frown will turn upside down if those same players are available at 90. Both are expected to be gone by then, but should one of them make it that far – it just seems hard to lay off of it. Sure, the team already has Ezekiel Elliott and Harris won’t play enough to max out his draft cost. But adding him to the offense gives the team another bruising runner that allows the Cowboys to have a talented ball carrier from start to finish on Sundays as well as provide some added insurance.
The Cowboys need to find Jason Witten’s replacement and while it’s not smart to reach for a tight end, landing a talent like Sternberger late on Day 2 would be an absolute steal. The Texas A&M star doesn’t have the in-line blocking skills the Cowboys covet, but his route-running ability makes him a valuable over the seam threat.
My favorite pick: Amani Oruwariye
Sometimes you just have to trust your gut and my gut loves Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye. There are a slew of big corners in this draft and Oruwariye has both the build and the speed to be an effective defender. The thing that draws me to him is how well he gets himself turned around to make a play on the ball. For some reason that seems to be a lost art with the Cowboys cornerback group and it would be nice to get that back. He’s sneaky good as he is filled with anticipation and does a fantastic job tracking the ball.
Don’t be surprised by: L.J. Collier or Trystan Hill
If you are really high on either of those players, then you’ll be overjoyed if you hear their name called at 90 as both of them are good investments at this point of the draft. Collier doesn’t wow you with traits, but he’s very effective. He’s a guy that can step in and provide solid reps. Hill is still raw, but is extremely athletic and plays with a relentless spirit. His upside could turn into a nice fixture on the interior defensive line.
At the top of this list is the best available player at each of the positions from the main board. These are all players that are good enough to go a round earlier, but have some type of warts that could cause them to fall.
TE Kahale Warring is inexperienced and is a development project, but his athleticism offers plenty of upside. Learning alongside Jason Witten would put him on the fast track to stardom.
CB Isaiah Johnson Jr. is a development player that has many appealing traits for the position. Teams looking for an immediate starter will have to go elsewhere, but the Cowboy have the depth to wait it out.
RB Trayveon Williams is undersized, but he can be an explosive sidekick to Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys don’t have to use premium draft capital to land a very nice complementary piece to their ground attack.
S Will Harris is a smart, athletic cover defensive back, but too passive to make big splash plays. He puts the “safe” in safety.
DT Gerald Willis has flashed the ability to be a flat out steal if he’s around in Day 3, but there are character concerns and word on the street is that his meeting with the Cowboys wasn’t very favorable. He could be out of the mix for Dallas.
WR Mecole Hardman is a slot stud who could make the Cowboys look like geniuses for allowing Cole Beasley to walk, but his college tape is underwhelming.
My favorite pick: Daniel Wise
Outside of these BPA’s just listed, the Kansas star is a player who can provide good reps within the defensive line rotation. The Cowboys are going to need to add bodies to their defensive tackle group real soon as several of their own players are entering their last year under contract. Wise is a good value pick that can provide four more cheap years of solid contribution.
Remember these names: John Cominsky and Corey Balentine
The Cowboys get a compensatory pick thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs being so generous to Anthony Hitchens, but what will the team spend it on? The Cowboys love athletic guys who also produce and that’s what you get with Charleston’s John Cominsky. But can he get it done against higher competition? Balentine has the size, physical traits, and competitive spirit to be a nice depth corner for this team.
What can the Cowboys get in the fifth round and later? With most of the ready-made players likely taken off the board, it’s time to start looking for development guys that can be groomed into eventual contributors.
RB Bryce Love is going to be a great value for some team in the draft. Past knee injuries have everyone guarded, so he’ll inevitably slide. I’m partial to speedsters and the Stanford running back can flat out light it up if he gets in space. But he’s not just wheels as he’s got good vision and is a decisive runner. Throw in a RKG makeup and there’s a lot to love about Love.
DT Kingsley Keke is just the type of player the Cowboys love on the defensive line. He’s got a quick first step and provides position flex. This tweener will need to improve his pad level to be more of a consistent contributor in the trenches.
S Khari Willis is a nice late-round safety that could give the Cowboys help both in coverage and against the run. He’s a very instinctive player with the outstanding ability to assess what’s going on. He’s a little on the stocky side and reminds me of Patrick Chung, but like the New England safety – he changes direction really well. And like Chung, he’s a good leader and would be a great locker room guy.
CB Ka’Dar Hollman is one of my favorite under-the-radar guys in this draft. He has the same height, weight, and blazing speed as Anthony Brown, but also adds more quickness to his game. He’s very physical and has a bit of nasty to his game. Hollman could be a low-cost investment to replace Brown in the nickel corner role.
FINAL BIG BOARD