Dallas' offensive line was not the same this past season. Left guard was a major problem area, as Jonathan Cooper was not a viable replacement for Denver-bound Ronald Leary. Here's a much-needed upgrade over Cooper.
Billy Price is an excellent interior line prospect and could sneak into the top 20, as he can play both center and guard.
Rd. 2, Pk. 18
Justin Reid, S, Stanford
The Cowboys need better safety play, and they're interested in signing New Orleans' Kenny Vaccaro. If they can't get him, using a second-round pick on an upgrade makes sense.
Pick change; previously Antonio Callaway, WR
Rd. 3, Pk. 17
Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
The Cowboys could use another threat in the receiving corps, and they've shown that they're willing to take chances on troubled players. Antonio Callaway has some major off-the-field issues, but some team could give him a shot on Day 2.
Pick change; previously Marcel Ateman, WR
Rd. 4, Pk. 16
Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
Another receiver makes sense for the Cowboys, who need to add multiple downfield play-makers for Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys need a cornerback upgrade badly. At the combine, sources with Dallas told me they love Adoree' Jackson, but I don't have him getting to Dallas. The Cowboys could target King as they hosted him before the draft and he would be an upgrade for them.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder King has the length and size to match up against big wideouts while proving his excellent speed at the combine. Sources from multiple teams think that King could go late in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
King was part of a good tandem of Huskies cornerbacks with Sidney Jones. In 2016, King notched 44 tackles with 13 passes broken up and two interceptions. He also had quality production as a junior with 39 tackles, five passes broken up and three interceptions. King totaled 65 tackles as a sophomore.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
The Cowboys could double up on cornerbacks to address their weak secondary.
In 2016, Awuzie recorded 65 tackles with 12 passes broken up, four sacks and one interception. The 6-foot, 205-pounder has decent size to him, but is inconsistent in coverage. He allows separation and doesn't play as big as his listed size. In his bowl game, he was torched by Oklahoma State. Awuzie had 84 tackles with 12 for a loss, four sacks, seven passes broken up and two interceptions in 2015.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Nazair Jones, DT, North Carolina
The Cowboys lost Terrell McClain in free agency and could use more interior defensive line talent.
Jones had a solid 2016 season for the Tar Heels with 70 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three passes batted and a forced fumble. He is a disruptive defender who can defend the run and put some pressure on the quarterback. The 6-foot-5, 304-pounder played on the inside for North Carolina and has some versatility to man a variety of spots, but his best fit might come as a five-technique 3-4 defensive end.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio
The Cowboys grab some more pass-rushing competition.
Every year, there are some small-school prospects who get exposure at the college all-star games, and Basham took advantage with an impressive Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-3, 259-pounder has the quickness to be an edge rusher in the NFL and has athletic upside to develop.
As a senior, Basham recorded 50 tackles with 16 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks and two passes broken up. He put together some modest sack production as a junior (5.5), sophomore (4) and freshman (7.5). Basham ended his career with totals of 40 tackles for a loss, 28.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Treston Decoud, CB, Oregon State
The Cowboys grab more cornerback talent and competition.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Taylor McNamara, TE, USC
The Cowboys moved on from the predictably disappointing Gavin Escobar and could use some tight end depth.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Xavier Woods, SS, Louisiana Tech
Woods visited the Cowboys, and Dallas could target some safety and special teams depth.
The Cowboys drafted Chidobe Awuzie in the 2nd round, and stole Jourdan Lewis late in the 4th. After Demarcus Lawrence's breakout season, the Cowboys will need another pass rusher/ run stuffer to help strengthen an average defense. Maurice Hurts reminds me almost of Aaron Donald, mostly because like Donald, he doesn't have the ideal size of a DT, but his overall quickness and production all the field will make a him a sure-fire first round pick.
The Cowboys grab a difference-maker at the point off attack. <br> <br>
Payne played well against Florida State in the 2017 season opener, showcasing his freakish speed and athleticism. In 2017, he has 23 tackles and a pass batted.<br> <br>
Scouts who have looked ahead to the 2018 class have raved about Payne's potential. Coming from Alabama, it isn't a stretch, and Payne could take on the lead role for the Crimson Tide with Jonathan Allen moving on to the NFL. Payne (6-2, 319) is a run plugger with a lot of potential to grow. When given the opportunity to rush the passer in 2016, Payne was impressive, and sources have said that he helped set up sacks for Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson last season.
The most sexy pick for most drafts is to give Dallas a first round pass rusher, and there are certainly some players that make sense for that here, but I'd like to bring attention to a few notes on that: first being that I don't think Dallas is done with the Taco Charlton experiment this soon, and second being that I actually think that Maleik Collins and David Irving are, shockingly, not that good.
I wouldn't be surprised if Dallas ends up with 3 new bodies in the defensive front 7, and if one of those bodies is a DT. So we welcome Vita Vea, the quick rising, big bodied run-stuffing lineman to the party here. He would upgrade the interior of the line and may be able to swing into some pass rushing situations where necessary, and with a full class of CB's in the Day 2 tier and no true wideout worthy of this pick, I think Vea will hold a premium for Dallas that they simply cannot pass up.
With Stephen Jones calling the shots lately in the war room the Cowboys have generally drafted best player available at a position of need generally. For the most part they really have not reached much and the one time they did for Travis Fredrick it turned into gold. They currently have David Irving listed at tackle, but he has shown good ability at the end spot. Bringing in another tackle to take his vacated spot would be a smart move and Wilkins is the best player on the board at this juncture. Wilkins is a high energy, strong, and athletic tackle who is constantly active in both the run and pass. However, I can see him slide a bit due to already being an almost finished product and in the first round most team's shoot for upside to develop. For the Cowboys though they need guys who can step in and play right away on their mediocre defense.
Last Mock Pick: Justin Reid S Stanford
Another surprise playoff favorite not making it into the playoffs. Just look at their difficult schedule against top quarterbacks and how young and inexperienced their secondary will be. Plus, team's should have a better game plan against Dak and Zeke to slow them down their sophomore year. Also, like the Raiders their division will be one of the more difficult one's to come out of. I actually liked what they did at the corner position in the draft getting Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, but young defensive backs take a bit to adjust to NFL speed. They could still use a safety to pair with Byron Jones as well, and Derwin James if he plays like he did his freshman season after his knee injury should be a great pick.
Last Weeks Selection: Derwin James S Florida St