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Cowboys Draft Grade and Final Thoughts

Grading drafts is always a difficult assignment as do you grade on your board, others boards, or a combination? That also only attributes value and I’ve found that great picks are rarely pure value plays but often a combination of value, fit, and need. Talent is the most important factor but if Sam Darnold fell to #14 and the Packers took him, is that a great pick? Value wise it’s the best pick in the draft as my #1 player goes #14 to them but he likely only plays when Rodgers is injured and he’s likely not even the successor to Rodgers since his 5 year contract would end with Aaron being 39 years old and showing every intention to playing into his 40s like Brady, Brees, and Manning. In fact, after adding need and fit to the equation, I could be talked into Darnold at #14 being a terrible pick. Also picks are notoriously difficult to grade immediately as there is no player in this draft who is a surefire Pro Bowler. Myles Garrett last year was one of the highest non-QB grades I’ve ever given out but he had a very meh rookie year. Yes, it was injury plagued but even your “pound the table” 1st Overall pick guys can be slow out of the gates. Overall though I think the Cowboys had an especially difficult draft to grade as they had some great value picks, with a few of them even at need areas (Connor Williams at LG, Michael Gallup at WR, Cedrick Wilson at WR) but they ignored their biggest need (TE) and often took good values (QB Mike White, RB Bo Scarbrough) at spots where there is no obvious path to playing time. I mean I love that they got a 4th round graded player in Bo in the 6th round but he’s not better than Rod Smith and Tavon Austin is their #3, scat back guy so if they don’t keep 4 RBs he’s not making the roster. Even if they do, he only plays if Zeke gets suspended again or is hurt so how exactly do you grade that pick? Yah great value, now you have a good #4 RB who’ll never see the field, great pick Cowboys! I would have rather seen them draft a safety lower on their board who could compete for that #4 S spot behind Frazier, Heath, Woods which is currently unoccupied. The Cowboys draft is similar to the Bengals this year, and that is a great thing as the Bengals are year in and year out one of the best drafting teams in the league. Neither teams first round was terribly impressive to me (Billy Price was a 3rd round grade on my board as was Leighton Vander Esch) but then they hit their stride and got one steal after another. The Bengals selections of DE Sam Hubbard in the 3rd (Late 1st round grade on my board), LB Malik Jefferson in the 3rd (Late 2nd), RB Mark Walton in the 4th (Late 3rd), DE Andrew Brown in the 5th (3rd), and Darius Phillips in the 5th were all good value (3rd-in fact he was one spot lower than their first round pick Brian Price to put it in perspective). The Bengals came away with one immediate starter in Price, as he fills a massive need, but could easily come away with two more starters and three more rotational players. To add six guys in one draft that could see playing time is impressive and the Bengals do that year in and year out. Below are the Cowboys picks and my thoughts on them:

Leighton-Vander-and-Brian-Urlacher

Is he Brian Urlacher or Bobby Carpenter?

(Round 1: 19th Overall) Leighton Vander Esch-I didn’t like the value (#76 Overall on my board) and also didn’t think LB was one of the team’s biggest needs. In fact it was #5 on my list of needs for them with TE, LG, FS, and WR all being bigger needs in my eyes. Call me naive but in an era where there is rarely three linebackers on the field, I’m fine with another year of Sean Lee and Jaylen Smith as the starters with Damien Wilson and a mid round draft pick this year as depth. Yes, Lee is 32 years old but he basically played all 16 games just two years ago (missed the meaningless season finale vs. the Eagles that year as a precaution). Also Smith was so much better in 2017 than he was in 2016, when he barely could walk and didn’t even step onto the field, that I wonder why everyone thinks Smith’s 2017 is his ceiling and the best you’ll ever see him at? Leighton is a big, athletic kid who shows some rare traits in coverage. If you are a fan of his you think he’s a poor man’s Brian Urlacher and is just starting to come into his own. You also don’t mind his mediocre physicality because, “hey we can coach him up.” If you are a critic of him you think he’s never going to be physical, he only was productive one year, he’s still very raw, he’s another injury prone linebacker (a terrible fit next to Lee and Smith), and he probably would have been available 5-10 picks later so why not trade down. I’m giving this pick a as the Cowboys see Smith everyday and I do not so if they think LB is such a big need then maybe they haven’t seen Smith progress at all in the past 6 months and feel that he’ll never be more than the average linebacker he was in 2017. This was a need pick and the Cowboys overpaid in my opinion, but I’m thankful it was arguably the only need pick they made all draft.

Connor Williams

#1 guard in this draft on my board, ahead of even Quenton Nelson taken #6 Overall

(Round 2: 50th Overall) Connor Williams-If you read my blog Friday night you might have been confused how I both could curse the Cowboys for getting leapfrogged by the Eagles for TE Dallas Goedert AND love the Williams pick. Here’s the logic: Goedert was one of the more underrated players in this draft in my eyes as I saw legit Pro Bowl potential in him and had a mid 1st grade on my board. Add in the fact it filled the team’s BIGGEST NEED and it is very disappointing that Goedert went 1 pick earlier. Also I loved WR Courtland Sutton and the Cowboys, per numerous sources, were going to take him at #50 if he dropped to them, but for neither player (both who had mid 1st grades on my board) were they willing to move up at all to guarantee they got an upper echelon talent in this draft. Call me reckless but having S Derwin James go 2 spots early in the first round and WR Courtland Sutton go 10 spots early in the second round and TE Dallas Goedert go 1 spot early in the second round aggravated me as all were Top 15 players on my board who would have come in and been immediate impact players. I would have traded up for one or both of those players, depth be damned! A draft with Derwin James and Dallas Goedert but minus a 3rd and 4th rounder to me makes more sense than the haul they brought back, even though I love what the Cowboys did with those 3rd and 4th rounders (Michael Gallup/Doran Armstrong). I think the Cowboys did the wrong thing by playing it safe this year and not moving up. THAT BEING SAID, once they were on the clock at #50 Connor Williams was a great selection as he was the #2 Available on my board and really #1 as Orlando Brown had a higher grade on my board but as I mentioned on my draft blog he was one of a handful of guys I would have adjusted their draft grade on if given a second chance (Hayden Hurt, RJ McIntosh being two others). Connor is a Day 1 starter at LG, an obvious need area for the Cowboys, and has Pro Bowl potential. This pick will look great years from now and gives the Cowboys flexibility this year if Tyron Smith gets injured, they even talked about how this pick was the team’s reaction to the Falcons game when Chaz Green struggled so badly. It also gives them flexibility next offseason in the Zack Martin negotiations. I’m still under the expectation that they get a long term deal with Martin but if it gets to a point where it is a Martin OR DeMarcus Lawrence not both type situation then I’m firmly in the Lawrence camp. Lawrence was #2 for DPOY last year and is more impactful than Martin, simply because of the position he plays.  Hopefully the Cowboys can keep both players long term but Connor gives them the option to move on from Martin without ravaging their OL. Despite missing out on Dallas Goedert by one pick (which would have been an A+) the Cowboys still made a great pick in Connor Williams (#22 Overall) and get an A.

Michael Gallup

Michael Gallup is a well rounded WR who can run any route and just makes plays.

(Round 3: 81 Overall) Michael Gallup-He was #51 Overall on my board but I’m not shocked he fell to the 3rd because he plays better than he tests. Gallup is that cliche “just a football player” and I think he could easily become one of Dak Prescott’s favorite targets on the field and best friends off the field. Gallup is a football lifer who will spend his offseasons running routes with Dak and developing that chemistry which was so obviously lacking with Dak and Dez. This pick checks all the boxes as it’s great value, a great fit, and fills a need. He isn’t a true X receiver who command double teams but he’s probably the most physical wide receiver on their roster now (Allen Hurns is his biggest competition). He also projects as a decent red zone threat, though likely in the 8 TD range not the 10-13 which the stars get. I’m disappointed the Cowboys never really replaced Dez this draft but I understand their strategy of being a run oriented attack with a bunch of #2 and #3 wide receivers for Dak to throw to. That strategy will work perfectly until it doesn’t and then you’ll be blown out when a team can shut down your running game with numbers and stay with your wideouts in single man coverage, think the Denver Broncos blowout loss. Gallup probably doesn’t have the talent to change that kind of game’s outcome but he’ll add a physicality to their wide receiver corp that Williams, Beasley, and Deonte Thompson lack. Great value, great fit, and fills a need. A+

Dorance Armstrong

Look at those long arms, they’re like vines.

(Round 4: 116 Overall) Dorance Armstrong-No one will love this pick or the Cedrick Wilson pick more than me as these two kids were sleepers on my board. Armstrong is a guy who jumped off the film when I scouted him due to his good frame, long arms, and underrated quickness. He actually reminds me a little of a weaker DeMarcus Lawrence (lacks Lawrence’s crazy big hands) and also reminds me of a poor man’s JPP. In 2016 he had double digit sacks and just got far more attention from offenses in 2017, resulting in a down year. Watch the film though and you saw the same guy with good strength, quickness, and great length. I think this kid is a little raw and is more of a projection guy as right now he’s only 6’3 255 lbs and lacks the pure speed to win the edge or the strength to win consistently in battles with 300 lb grown men. In 2 years though when he bulks up to 6’3 270 with ’34 arms and good bend and quickness he could be a very good SDE opposite perennial Pro Bowler DeMarcus Lawrence. That’s the dream and getting him at #116 (#63 Overall on my board) qualifies as a steal. A

(Round 4: 137 Overall) Dalton Schultz-Yah they picked a TE, boo they picked Schultz. Honestly at #137 I was no longer terribly interested in this TE class (Tyler Conklin being the last guy left on the board I liked) but this was a good AND DEEP TE class so it’s very disappointing the Cowboys waited till their 5th selection to address their biggest need as by then the talent had all but dried up. A move up for Dallas Goedert in the 2nd, Mark Andrews in the 3rd, or Ian Thomas in the 4th was more than warranted as these guys all projected as starters. Schultz does not as he’s both raw and has a #2 TE type ceiling (#182 Overall on my board). I love the fact that his coach said he’s one of the best all around TEs they’ve had at Stanford in a long time but honestly what he’s getting at is the kid can block. Zach Ertz, Levine Toilolo, and Coby Fleener never were much as blockers so it’s important to understand what his coach is saying. No, he doesn’t think Schultz is better than Ertz, he’s just a better blocker. The Cowboys already have a project type TE in Rico Gathers so I am unimpressed with adding another one, regardless of the high praise by his Stanford coach. C+

(Round 5: 171 Overall) Mike White-Mike is the first of two picks (Bo Scarbrough later being the second) in that I love the value but question the fit and need. Last year the Cowboys kept two QBs on the roster. Unless they change that philosophy, Mike White might not make the roster as Cooper Rush looks like a good one. White has a big frame, strong arm, and put up numbers. I liked his film (#124 Overall) so he’s good value but he both doesn’t fit the Cowboys expected new style of play with Dak Prescott (another dual threat QB would make more sense as a backup) and it’s arguable if White is even an upgrade over Rush. I hope they keep 3 QBs as I like both White and Rush but with their logjam at WR and CB I think there is a legit chance White doesn’t make the roster. Good value, questionable fit, and not a need at all. B-

(Round 6: 193 Overall) Chris Covington-I never saw LB as a big need so after taking Leighton in the 1st I really didn’t think the team needed another LB. Also I’d never heard of Covington and understood why after I researched him as he was a one year starter at Indiana who formerly played QB for them. His film was okay as he had some bend and agility and showed a burst but his Combine measurables were mediocre and his production wasn’t great even in his one and only season so I see him as a camp invite. Checking around the internet I didn’t see anyone going to bat for him so I think this is just a clear reach. He’s likely a practice squad player and I’m sure they love his makeup (“former QB who just understands the game. We’ll actually have a real QB of the defense when he’s out there!”) but this is a bad pick. F

(Round 6: 208 Overall) Cedrick Wilson-And then you totally redeemed yourself! Wilson is neck and neck with the Ravens selection of DeShon Elliott at #190 as the best value pick in the entire draft. Wilson was taken #208 and was #32 on my board! Not #132 which still would have been good value, #32. Now I scout guys and make my board solely on how I view them so I get outliers like him every year BUT that’s why I do it. Everyone loved Saquon Barkley and Roquan Smith this year but what about those other guys. I had a 1st round grade on Keenan Allen who went in the 3rd round and he’s now one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, I win. I had a 2nd round grade on Marvin Jones who went in the 5th round and he’s now a top end #2 WR or a low end #1 WR who is coming off an 1,100 yard season, I win. Awhile ago the Cowboys took WR Danny Coale in the 5th round and then added undrafted free agent WR Cole Beasley. I pointed out that I had a much higher grade on Beasley than on Coale and could see him beat out Coale for a job, which is what he did, I win. I point that out not to brag (maybe to brag a little) but I love finding the steals in drafts and consider it to be the most exciting part of the process. Wilson is a steal in my book. He’s tall, has good hands, good long speed, runs routes well, and makes plays with the ball in the air. He’s a little like Marvin Jones, ironically enough, in that he projects as a high end #2 WR with good red zone potential. I see a 60 800 8 TD type season being a consistent outcome for him with a few 1,000 yard seasons and/or 10 TD seasons being possible. I actually had him graded out better than Michael Gallup by a few spots (#32 vs. #51) so it will be interesting to watch them compete. I think Terrance Williams better be ready to perform as his roster spot is in jeopardy with these two new kids joining Hurns and Thompson this offseason. Wilson is a great value, great fit, and fills a need. A+

(Round 7: 236 Overall) Bo Scarbrough-Bo is a poor man’s Derrick Henry who at one time looked to be a player. I had a 4th round grade on him (#138 Overall) so he’s a great value but is he ever going to see the field? On one hand, he’s a 7th rounder so it’s not that worrisome if he makes a roster or not. On the other hand, I said the same thing when they took RB Darius Jackson two years ago in the 7th round as there was a logjam at RB and he never really had a chance to make the team. In fact Jackson ran well in the preseason and was picked up by another team after he was cut which shows the kid had talent BUT it didn’t matter because there was no place for him on the roster. They just made the RB position a difficult one on cutting day as they aren’t cutting Rod Smith or Tavon Austin so they have now pigeonholed themselves into keeping four RBs on their roster or cutting a good player in Scarbrough. Again, with a logjam already at WR and CB, the last thing the Cowboys needed to do was create another one at RB so I question this pick. Great value, average fit, not a need at all. C

Summary: The Cowboys added a lot of talent to their roster this weekend. They surely added a starting LG in Connor Williams, possibly added a starting LB in Leighton Vander Esch, and now have possible contributors in WRs Michael Gallup/Cedrick Wilson and DE Dorance Armstrong. Throw in some roll of the dice types in QB Mike White, TE Dalton Schultz, LB Chris Covington, and RB Bo Scarbrough and you have a good draft that could become great if Leighton becomes a star and/or one or two of the roll of the dice prospects pan out. It’s a great haul overall with my only worry being that they left the draft without a clear replacement for Dez Bryant or Jason Witten and seem content in having Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath battle it out for the FS spot, which worries me a bit. I would argue that this Cowboys team did not need 9 draft picks added to it and some of the 3rd-7th rounders should have been used to move up for a star player like Derwin James in the 1st or a player that perfectly fills a need like TEs Dallas Goedert in the 2nd, TE Mark Andrews in the 3rd, or TE Ian Thomas in the 4th. Overall though the Cowboys had a very good draft and seem to have really improved in how they handle Days 2 and 3 of the draft. This consistent addition of contributors after the 2nd round (Maliek Collins/Dak Prescott/Anthony Brown in 2016, Jourdain Lewis/Ryan Switzer/Xavier Woods in 2017, and possibly Michael Gallup/Dorance Armstrong/Cedrick Wilson in 2018. Those cheap starters/key backups are how Dallas will be able to afford to pay their core nucleus of Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Zeke Elliott, and DeMarcus Lawrence. It also could allow them to take a run at 2019 free agents like Earl Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, Ziggy Ansah, Brandin Cooks and other bigger names less likely to hit the free agent market like Odell Beckham, Jadeveon Clowney, and Aaron Donald. The Cowboys impressive Day 3 drafts will go a long way toward allowing them to retain their top players and add key free agents down the road and I think they did a good job of that on Saturday.

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Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) Live Blog

TE is still a HUGE need for the Cowboys so remember these three names (Ian Thomas, Tyler Conklin, and Christopher Herndon). Also talented players like DT Maurice Hurst, DT RJ McIntosh, S DaShon Elliott, WR Cedrick Wilson, and CB Tarvarus McFadden are still on the board with all projecting in my eyes to be future starters. These guys will go early so a trade up makes sense for the Cowboys.

101. Panthers: Ian Thomas-Well that was quick. I thought he was the last starting TE available in this draft with the next two guys projecting more as good #2 TEs or H-backs. He was my #67 Overall AND fit a massive need for Dallas. Why not trade up! Five minutes in, I’m already pissed at the Cowboys for not trading up. Wow, this already takes me right back to yesterday. Ahhhh!!!

103. Texans: Keke Coutee-I had him #157 Overall so I wasn’t that into him BUT he’s an interesting pick and I’ll watch his career as he has some great film and could be an explosive slot receiver and kick returner. The kid is tiny though and he is more fast than quick with good slot receivers usually being the opposite (quicker than fast like Welker, Amendola, Beasley, etc.). I see talent in him but smell bust so he has a chance but I’m betting against him.

104. Colts: Nyheim Hines-Love this pick! I didn’t see the talent being that different between him and late 1st rounder Sony Michel. He was my #75 Overall and the RB class has been decimated in this draft so I love this pick. First good pick of the Colts all night.

105. Browns: Antonio Callaway-He wasn’t on my board because he didn’t play last year BUT this kid has 2nd round talent. He’s got crazy off the field issues so I’m honestly surprised he was drafted but the kid is a decent route runner, explosive and was productive at Florida. I just heard McShay say he was the best WR in this class on the field, totally disagree. I get tired of the media trying to make guys fall seem worse than it was (Top 10 pick drops to 4th round). He is 5’10, had fumbling issues, and had up and down production. All of that is his on field stuff so without his off the field issues he’s a mid to late 2nd to me BUT with his issues I wouldn’t touch him. Roll of the dice things make sense once impact guys are off the board so to me this is too early with Hurst, McIntosh, Wilson, Tyrell Crosby, etc. still on the board.

106. Broncos: Josey Jewell-Some love this pick as he had elite production (Mayock had him #72) but I smell bust (#174 on my board) as he was just embarrassingly bad in space and is very overrated. It’s a classic Elway pick as he really values production but I think this kid will be gone in 3 years. Just watch the Penn State film and you’ll see why I don’t consider him NFL caliber. Yes, Barkley is a beast, but it was like an NFL player going up against a High Schooler. Jewell literally couldn’t get close enough to touch him on MANY plays.

107. Jets: Chris Herndon-Another TE goes off the board, what are the Cowboys doing at that position exactly? Herndon is interesting as he has some film that makes me think he’s a future starter but he was up and down production wise and was stuck behind former 1st rounder David Njoku for part of his career. He has a good frame and great agility with Miami using him in space a lot on screens and dump offs as his YAC is great. His routes and hands? Not so much so he’s a mixed bag but it’s a great pick this late (#97 on my board, #68 on Mayock’s).

108. Giants: Kyle Lauletta-Great pick. I had him as my #6 QB ahead of Mason Rudolph as he has a weaker arm but is much more accurate, more mobile, and runs an offense better. He was the Senior Bowl MVP with 3 TDs and just looks like a pro. He’s probably just a high end backup but he has enough talent to be a low end starter like a Josh McCown or Andy Dalton. Not exactly a wow player BUT here it makes a lot of sense.

112. Bengals: Mark Walton-I say it every year, the Bengals are the best Day 2 and Day 3 drafters in the league. They perennially have one of the deepest rosters in the league and it’s because of picks like this. Walton has a good burst, great vision, and is very smooth. If I didn’t think Joe Mixon was so good, I’d be a little worried (he’s on my Dynasty fantasy team). This RB class has been picked clean as Josh Adams is my last RB with a grade better than a 4th round grade. Walton will be an impact player.

113. Broncos: DaeSean Hamilton-Good pick as Hamilton has solid film and has the versatility to play both inside in the slot and outside. I think he has some bust potential so I was lower on him than other but some had 3rd round grades on him. He had a good Combine and defenders of him will say he didn’t get enough opportunities with Barkley and Gesicki, others would say he had easy production as defenses were far more worried about his teammates. We shall see how he works out but in the mid 4th this makes a lot of sense.

114. Lions: Da’Shawn Hand-Good pick as he wasn’t the pass rusher Da’Ron Payne was but he had better production and should be a good #3 DT or okay #2 DT. Also he has rare tools (5 star recruit, ran a sub 4.9 40). Some have 3 technique interest in him but I think that’s fooling yourself. He’s actually a better 3-4 DE than anything but the Lions are a 4-3 team so we’ll see how he’s used but #3 DT with pass rush ability makes some sense.

Top 10 players available with Dallas on the clock:

DT RJ McIntosh

S DeShon Elliott

WR Cedrick Wilson

CB Tarvarus McFadden

DT Maurice Hurst

LB Shaquem Griffin

S Kyzir White

OT Tyrell Crosby

WR Equanimeous Brown

RB Josh Adams

PR Doran Armstrong

116. Cowboys: Doran Armstrong-Great pick! He’s the #10 available guy on my board, #63 Overall (Not in Mayock’s Top 100). He has long arms, underrated athleticism and could bulk up and be a 6’3 275 SDE who gets you 8-10 sacks a year. Honestly I think he could give Taco Charlton a run for his money and it’s a steal this late. I am much higher on him than others as I had a late 2nd round grade and saw a little poor man’s JPP when I watched him but hey you’re reading my blog so who cares that some didn’t like him, Armstrong is a steal in my eyes. Below is his profile:

Doran Armstrong Kansas 6’3 ⅝ 257 Jr. He ran a 4.87 40, 20 reps, 9’10 broad, ‘30 vertical, 4.23 shuttle, and 7.12 3 cone with the quickness drills being very good and the rest being below average to bad. His ‘34 ¾ arms are elite and give him a very nice 4-3 DE frame with the ability to add weight, especially for a team looking at him as a long term 4-3 SDE like I do. He was a part time player in 2015 (23 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 5 TFL), had his best season in 2016 (56 tackles, 10 sacks, 20 TFL, 3 FF), and then a down year in 2017 (63 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 9 TFL, 3 FF). His 6 FF the past two seasons is elite. His arm length is rare as they just dangle off his body and makes me very intrigued at what he’ll look like with 15 more lbs as a 25 year old after a NFL strength coach gets done with him. He has good bend around the edge and his 7.12 3 cone (5th best among 52 DL at the Combine) shows as he’s very quick. He got 2 sacks against Orlando Brown Jr. in 2015, impressive considering he’s a legit NFL OT. He’s got a little JPP to his game, poor man’s version as his arm length isn’t quite as good though it is still very impressive and he isn’t as strong as JPP, but he’s a project type who really intrigues me with how he’ll look in a few years with added weight to his frame as right now he’s downright skinny and can’t play the length/power game he’ll need to play in the NFL since his pure speed is just mediocre. Early in his career he could play either spot in a 4-3 but his long term position is right DE where he’ll battle RTs. He’s so thin right now he’ll probably get engulfed by them until he adds the weight and that worries me as I don’t see the pure athleticism to excel as a left DE so he could struggle early in his career. Yet for a team willing to wait, the payoff could be big as Dorance has a very high ceiling as a 6’4 270 lb guy with ‘35 arms, good natural strength, and very impressive quickness and bend. His frame/quickness combo is rare so I’m willing to roll the dice on him but again he’s a project and will likely struggle early in his career till his weight is added. Late 2nd round as my #8 PR 3/25/18.

117. Jordan Whitehead-This is an interesting pick as he is very agile and shows the hips and smoothness to play a little CB which is what I love as a FS. He showed some great film a few years ago as a freshman but underwhelmed after that. I get a little lack of motivation and a bit of attitude with him but in the mid rounds he makes a lot of sense.

119. Chargers: Kyzir White-Another safety pick that I really like. He was #49 Overall on my board but unranked in Mayock’s Top 100 as he had a bad Combine. I think he plays faster than he timed and he’s a big time hitter. I liked him as a SS with good coverage skills in the short area. He’s not fast enough to be a centerfield FS but could play FS if a team plays quarters. Unfortunately I don’t like him next to Derwin James as neither play well on the back end so poor fit but love White’s film so maybe it works out.

124. Chiefs: Armani Watts-I like this pick (#99 Overall) as I see a lot of Barry Church in him. He’s a tackling machine with good quickness and decent speed. He is mediocre in coverage but as a SS that’s okay and he won’t be a liability, he’s just not a ballhawk. He’ll be a quality backup for Eric Berry and if Berry gets hurt (he often does) then he’ll be an average starter. Great value in the 4th round.

125. Eagles: Avonte Maddox-This is a great pick (#85 Overall). He’s a playmaker who can be a slot corner for them and is another good pick for a franchise that has been on quite a roll lately. I loved their pick of Jalen Mills a few years ago in the 6th and he’s been a good starter for them the past few years and think Maddox is a similar talent. He could be their #3 CB as early as 2019. Great pick as he was one of my sleepers and has legit speed and playmaking ability, he’s just small so he’ll have to be in the slot most likely.

128. 49ers: Kentavius Street-I had him as a better player than BJ Hill, his teammate who went higher than him. He has good film and projects as a good #3 DT or possibly even a low #2 DT. I think he’ll be solid but nothing special, good low upside cheap labor which I like from my picks in the mid rounds.

130. Eagles: Josh Sweat-I smell bust on him (#147 Overall) but some actually had 1st round grades for him as he’s an elite athlete and many think he was just used incorrectly. He did have some odd film in that he was in a four point stance on most plays and focused solely on stopping the run. The thing though that it’s a little pretentious to say the FSU coaching staff was just terrible and didn’t have any clue how to use him. Maybe they tried him as a pass rusher in practice and he was terrible so they had him focus on the run? Maybe people aren’t stupid. I was shocked to see how high this kid was on some boards so it’ll be interesting to see how it works out. I hated him, some loved him, Mayock (#91 Overall) split the difference. Honestly though in the late 4th I have no issue with him as a roll of the dice.

133. Packers: J’Mon Moore-He had some interesting film as at times I thought he had starter potential but other times he looked like just a guy. These roll of the dice types make a lot of sense in the mid rounds. I’d take Cedrick Wilson or Equanimeous St. Brown but Moore makes sense too as a SEC veteran with good film.

Best 15 available with Dallas up in 2 picks:

DT RJ McIntosh, S DeShon Elliott, WR Cedrick Wilson, CB Tarvarus McFadden, DT Maurice Hurst, LB Shaquem Griffin, OT Tyrell Crosby, WR Equanimeous Brown, RB Josh Adams, PR Marquis Haynes, CB Darius Phillips, WR Korey Robertson, DT Tim Settle, CB Kevin Tolliver, LB Genard Avery

136. Rams: Marquis Haynes-Great pick! I had him at #64 Overall on my board as he has rare burst and really looks like an interesting 4-3 WDE. Wade Phillip will love this kid as he’s small but he has elite speed and incredible bend so he will help fill the void left by trading Robert Quinn. He’s small (230s) but they’ll make him a designated pass rusher and with Donald and Suh inside he’ll never see a double team his entire career. Great pick!

137. Cowboys: Dalton Schultz-One of the better blocking TEs in this draft and some really liked him. I think he has some intrigue as a #3 TE who can eventually become a #2 TE but he has 0 chance of ever being a starter and I don’t think he can even be a #2 TE early in his career. I didn’t like him (#182 Overall) but again, some people did like him. Profile below:

Dalton Schultz Stanford 6’5 ⅜ 244 Sr. He ran a 4.75 40-average, 15 reps-bad, ‘32 vertical-average, 4.40 shuttle-average, and 7.00 3 cone-very good. He didn’t play as a freshman, had a small role in 2015 (10 121 1 TD), and was only slightly more productive in 2016 (23 222 1 TD) and 2017 (22 212 3 TD). Coach David Shaw raves about Schultz as a complete TE aka great blocker. He’s very skinny and often looks like a WR. For his lack of weight he is a good blocker and he has the frame to become a great blocker but he isn’t there yet and I question where Shaw’s praise comes from as he wasn’t very productive as a pass catcher and at 244 lbs he’s still too weak to be a great blocker. One thing that does pop out on film for Schultz is his fluidity as a route runner. He moves incredibly well for 244 lbs and if a team is patient they might have a very rare athlete in 3 years when he’s 6’6 260. That being said Schultz is a project, plain and simple. He has great technique as a blocker but currently lacks the strength to be an in line blocker at the next level. He has great fluidity as a route runner but limited experience as a productive pass catcher and tested as an average athlete at the Combine. I’d take a chance on him as a later round guy to develop into a good #2 TE but don’t understand the early round love some have for him. I think this is due to Stanford now being known as TE University and consider Schultz to be highly overrated. 6th round as my #11 TE 3/10/18.

139. Giants: RJ McIntosh-One pick after the Cowboys reach for a crappy TE, the Giants get my #1 player available in McIntosh (#1 available, #29 Overall). I would have changed my grade on him to late 2nd if I could re-do it again as he isn’t a first rounder like I initially graded him as BUT a late 2nd round talent in the early 5th? That’s still a steal and just put on the Notre Dame tape to see what I’m talking about with him as McIntosh has a great burst and can rush the passer. He gets pancaked at times but he’s relentless, is very athletic, and I see Pro Bowl traits in him. I’m very surprised so few loved him like I did so this is a huge steal in my eyes, only a decent pick to other people.

140. Raiders: Maurice Hurst-Great pick! Interesting in that Mayock, Jeremiah, and myself all rated him #42 Overall on our board. Just an odd side note but it shows how great this value is as Hurst has a lot of talent and if his heart is okay then this is a huge steal. I never saw a 1st round talent with him but he’s a Day 1 starter in my opinion so it’s a great roll of the dice here.

141. Seahawks: Shaquem Griffin-I know ESPN will beat you over the head with his great story, and it is great, but honestly I loved his film and just think he’s a good football player. I had him #43 Overall (Mayock didn’t have him in the Top 100) as he has elite speed, elite production, and has an interesting spin move which makes me think he’s an off the ball linebacker on 1st and 2nd down and a situational pass rusher on 3rd down. I really think this kid could fill their Bruce Irvin role and think this is a steal AND a perfect fit. The Seahawks are slowly getting away from the Colts and are currently out of contention for worst draft in the NFL this year, despite their best efforts to ruin it with Rashaad Penny in round 1. Great pick!

149. Seahawks: Michael Dickson-We got ourselves a punter pick! He wasn’t on my board but he’s the Ray Guy award winner and I know who he is as he’s a great punter. On an unrelated note, the Seahawks are now the clubhouse leader for work draft in the league. Just kidding but seriously, the Seahawks just do it differently than every other team in the league. They are a unique beast, who moves up to draft a punter! I will miss them when they are all fired. Not really.

150. Browns: Genard Avery-Great pick, #80 Overall on my board, as he’s a thick linebacker with big hitting ability and decent athleticism. He’s a decent athlete for his size but he’s a bigger dude so he very well might just be a 2 down linebacker. In the 5th though he’s a good roll of the dice as he’s an SEC veteran and has that NFL frame you love to see.

152. Titans-Dane Cruikshank-I like this pick, #126 Overall on my board, as he showed some great film. He’s a playmaker and had a great USC game in 2017 but is very tight and only fits schemes where he can be hidden in coverage or play smaller zones. He’s more playmaker than athlete but in the 5th it’s a great pick.

153. Lions: Tyrell Crosby-Amazing value. I had him #53 on my board and he went #153! Also I wasn’t alone on his value as he was #1 available on Kiper’s board when the was taken, #65 Overall on Mayock’s board, and #45 Overall on Jeremiah’s board (the last guy on his Top 50 board to be taken). I don’t get why he fell. He has great film and just beat the crap out of people in the run game. He’ll be a good starting RT and in the 5th round he’ll be a guy making $600-$700k a year as a starter! That’s how you build a roster.

157. Vikings: Tyler Conklin-Interesting that Troy Fumagalli, another TE, was taken one pick earlier as Conklin was #93 Overall on my board and Fumagalli was #171 so I think much more of Conklin as a prospect. He’s more H-back than TE as he’s shorter and smaller but he has a great vertical, good routes, and great hands so he projects as that rare red zone threat H-back. If used correctly he could be a playmaker for the Vikings and he fits perfectly with the gigantic Kyle Rudolph so I see their plan already with Conklin as the “move tight end.”

Cowboys just trade a 6th rounder for Tavon Austin. Yeah because we need another #2 or #3 WR who can’t be a red zone threat! What is going on here? Do they hate Beasley and Williams and are about to cut them? Are they going to a 3 and 4 WR set offense? I don’t get why they keep addressing the WR position as they now have 8 guys at that spot but do so little at TE where they have a combined 9 career catches. I’m missing something (Antonio Gates deal?) I’m sure because right now these moves are just confusing.

158. Bengals: Andrew Brown-Another great pick by the best Day 2-3 drafting team in the NFL. As I said earlier, they love their OL and DL depth and Brown makes sense in that regard. He was #88 Overall so they got him 70 picks later than he should have gone. One thing though is he’s a bit like their Margus Hunt pick a few years ago out of SMU in that I think Brown’s a perfect 3-4 DE and the Bengals are a 4-3 team so I don’t know if it’s a great fit. Is he a SDE for them or a 3 technique tackle? Honestly he could go either way but he might struggle in their scheme and then play better elsewhere in a 3-4, just like Hunt has done with the Colts.

163. Redskins: Tim Settle-Great pick as I had him as a 3rd rounder (#71 Overall). I liked him more than others but in the mid 5th this makes a lot of sense as he’s a big guy who can move. I think his athleticism is very underrated.

165. Steelers: Jaylen Samuels-I love this pick. I didn’t know how to grade him as he’s part FB, part RB, and part H-back but he has really good hands and a body that is thick and athletic. In the right scheme he could be a swiss army knife who is highly valued for his versatility.

The Giants new head coach just said he and Beckham had “a real healthy relationship.” Whenever you say you have a healthy relationship it means you don’t have a healthy relationship. No one uses that phrasing UNLESS something is seriously wrong.

166. Bills: Wyatt Teller-Great pick! I had him at #88 Overall and he was one of the better players left on my board. He’s a technician who has a little Evan Mathis to his game and was one of the best OL by PFF this past year. He allowed 0 sacks, something I mentioned on Twitter when some dumbass said I didn’t know what I was talking about disliking Quenton Nelson. Teller had 0 sacks too and went 160 picks later than Nelson? This is a value pick but Nelson is a reach. I’m telling you, Teller could become a solid starter. This is a great pick late in the 5th round.

Best 15 available with Dallas up in 1 pick:

S DeShon Elliott, WR Cedrick Wilson, CB Tarvarus McFadden, WR Equanimeous Brown, RB Josh Adams, CB Darius Phillips, WR Korey Robertson, DT Tim Settle, CB Kevin Tolliver, OG Skyler Phillips, S Parry Nickerson, WR Deonte Burnett, WR Deon Cain, PR Jeff Holland, DT Trenton Thompson

170. Bengals: Darius Phillips-#6 Available on my board, #66 Overall so they took him +100 picks earlier than I thought he should go. I love Phillips as he is smaller but he has great ball skills and plays bigger than his measurables. Another great later pick by the Bengals.

171. Cowboys: Mike White-I love the pick but again I don’t quite get the strategy? Outside the first round pick did the Cowboys just go best player available as QB in the 5th? That being said the later you get in the draft the less likely the kid can make a roster so you often just go on pure talent. White has a chance as I had a 4th round grade on him and really liked his film and his Senior Bowl week. He has an NFL frame and arm with good accuracy and a guy who just seems like he knows the game. Honestly I had him neck and neck with Mason Rudolph as my #7 QB so this is good value, I just wonder if the Cowboys even keep three QBs on their roster next year. Below is his profile:

Mike White Western Kentucky Sr. Played poorly in 6 games in 2013 (1,083 yds 53% 3/9 100 Rating) and 11 games in 2014 (1,639 yds 50% 8/7 112 Rating) and then had a great season in 2016 (4,363 yds 67% 37/7 181 Rating) yet regressed in 2017 (4,177 yds 65% 26/8 140 Rating) due to a coaching staff and scheme change. At the Senior Bowl he showed good accuracy and anticipation, both in the practices and in the game, with his 128 yards and a TD in the first half setting the South up for their dominant 45-16 win. I like White as a highly polished, low upside career backup type with a very small chance of developing into a Josh McCown type starter. McCown is who he reminds me of when I watch White play as he is a very cerebral QB who understands the game of football. His very good play at the Senior Bowl makes me wonder if I’m underrating him as he didn’t have a lot of talent at Western Kentucky and I’ll maybe look back on this and realize I missed a diamond in the rough. He struggled in the 2016 Alabama game and was jittery in the pocket but with good reason as he was outclassed across the board with his O vs. Alabama’s D. He has NFL height (6’4 ⅛ at the Senior Bowl), weight (221 lbs) and a good enough arm, velocity wise. His hands (9 ⅜) are very small and some teams have a 9 ½ cut off but overall he has an NFL frame. He had a very good connection with Taywon Taylor in 2016, drafted by the Titans, and his down year in 2017 has plenty of good arguments for it not being his fault (lost his best WR, new coaching staff, new scheme) but taking a small school kid off a down year is a gamble no matter how you spin it. He has some starter traits to him and it wouldn’t shock me if he ended up developing into a low end starter but the one issue I have with him that tips the scale away from him is that his accuracy is overrated. He has a high football IQ and is decisive with the football but he threw quite a few inaccurate passes on the games I watched of him and I think his backers who raved about his accuracy at the Senior Bowl practices are doing so partially due to the horrible accuracy shown by other QBs at the event (Josh Allen for instance). I like White and think he’ll stick at the next level but consider him a high end backup. Early 4th round as my #8 QB 1/28/18.

176. Rams: John Kelly-I like this pick (#125 Overall) and think Todd Gurley better watch his back. Just kidding this kid doesn’t project as a starter but he’s a good change of pace #2 type back and really impressed me with his film. He had poor production some games last year but two years ago he had a great YPC and actually got on the field despite having Alvin Kamara as a teammate. That alone shows his NFL talent as HE TOOK CARRIES FROM KAMARA! Good pick and a steal this late.

179. Jets: Parry Nickerson-Great pick! This kid was in the running for the fastest player in this draft. He was #83 Overall on my board as I loved him. He’s not a steal for most as I actually thought he might not get drafted BUT this kid has a chance both as a CB or as a centerfield FS to be a playmaker. He has obvious strengths (elite speed, good ball skills) and obvious weaknesses (VERY small, smaller school guy) so work around his weaknesses schematically and he’ll reward you. Love this pick!

185. Colts: Deon Cain-Great pick (#89 Overall) and a guy who could develop into an average #2 WR if he can improve his poor hands. He is a size/speed guy who has more talented than #2 wideouts like Terrance Williams and has a similar style as he isn’t a great route runner and drops balls. He has some issues for sure but the kid has talent so getting him in the 6th round is a huge steal. Very surprised he’s still available.

Best 15 available with Dallas up in 5 picks:

S DeShon Elliott, WR Cedrick Wilson, CB Tarvarus McFadden, WR Equanimeous Brown, RB Josh Adams, WR Korey Robertson, CB Kevin Tolliver, OG Skyler Phillips, WR Deonte Burnett, PR Jeff Holland, DT Trenton Thompson, PR Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, DT Hercules Mata’afa, OG Ross Pierschbacher, OG Taylor Hearns, WR Simmie Cobbs

190. Ravens: DeShon Elliott-I always love guys in my Top 15 getting taken just before Dallas’ to show that I maybe know what I’m talking about…maybe. Elliott is one of my favorite sleepers in this draft. I knew I liked him more than others but wow, I didn’t think he’d go in the 6th. I expected 3-4 round area so this is a steal as he was my #30 Overall! He’s a playmaker and has great instincts and production so I wonder if I missed an off the field issue or something. I know his Combine was mediocre but 6th round? Just put on the USC game and you’ll see a kid that can play. He was the guy who had a pick six to give them a lead vs. USC with a few seconds left in the first half. Absolute steal!

193. Cowboys: Chris Covington-Never heard of him. Since it’s Dallas, I’ll do research.

LB Chris Covington Indiana 6’2 1/4 245 Sr. He ran a 4.78 40-below average and 23 reps-above average but didn’t do the rest of the drills. He was a QB to start his career and actually played a tiny bit as a freshman (5 for 17 for 91 yards) and then switched to LB as a sophomore where he played on special teams in 2015 (4 tackles). He had a mediocre season in 2016 (29 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 FF) as a part time player and then a very good year in 2017 (85 tackles, 3 sacks, 12 TFL). 0 years with +100 tackles, 1 year starter, 0 career INT, 1 career FF all are red flags to me. He’s a thick bodied linebacker with good athleticism. Honestly I’m confused how this kid was ever a QB as I don’t see that skill set at all. He’s a one year wonder and is still learning the position but I don’t see anything special on film on him. He has some flashes so he makes sense as a roll of the dice camp invite but his lack of production, recent position change, and mediocre Combine make me think he wasn’t going to be drafted. Free Agent who has some size/athleticism traits you like but is very raw and will need awhile on the practice squad before he’s NFL ready.

199. Titans: Luke Falk-I didn’t like him as much as some (Kiper loved him) but at #199 he’s a steal (#143 on my board). He has good accuracy, is a professional in his preparation and how he handles himself on and off the field, and good anticipation. My issue was that he came from the Leach system, he doesn’t have great arm strength, and he at times didn’t play well. His raw numbers are great but you look closer and he was inconsistent with his actual play. I liked Lauletta and White more than him but Falk was that next guy who makes a lot of sense here as a likely career backup type.

207. Packers: Equanimeous St. Brown-Great pick #3 available. He’s a size/speed freak who has some Pro Bowl traits. I get why he dropped as he’s raw and seems to have a bit of an attitude and some diva mentality but Rodgers will get the most out of him and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s a 800-1,000 yard receiver in a few years as their #3 WR behind Adams and Cobb. Great pick at #207 as he was my #56 Overall on my board.

208. Cowboys: Cedrick Wilson-Holy crap! He’s been the #1 available on my board since DeShon Elliott was picked earlier this round. I had an early 2nd round grade on him and he was one of my favorite players in this draft and one of my top sleeper picks. I knew he wasn’t going in the 2nd round and thought the 3rd round wasn’t a great chance but late 6th round surprises me. He’s tall, he’s fast, he has good routes, he has good hands, he was very productive, and he has NFL bloodlines. I don’t really get why he dropped but he did and this is one of the 2-3 best “value” picks in the entire draft. He was #32 Overall on my board and goes at #208!!!! This pick is right up with Dez Bryant years ago and Chidobe Awuzie last year as my favorite Cowboys picks in the past decade. Outstanding pick, so proud of them for making it, and I really could see Wilson outplaying Michael Gallup and being a starter. Below is his profile:

Cedrick Wilson Boise State 6’2 ¼ 197 Sr. He ran a 4.55 40, 9 reps, ‘37 vertical, 10’1 broad, 4.23 shuttle, and 6.89 3 cone. He’s a JUCO kid who transferred to Boise State and had a great 2016 (56 1,129 11 TD) and 2017 (83 1,511 7 TD). He has that NFL wideout look as a tall, angular body with good muscle definition. Despite mediocre long speed he might be a deep threat in the NFL as he has good timing, good hands, a great vertical, and is tall so he looks very impressive on jump ball types. I also am incredibly impressed with how dominant he was his first year from JUCO and think this kid is really improving as a player right before our eyes as he ended his career with 4 straight +100 yard games (only 2 in his first 10 games last year) including his best game as a collegiate (10 221 yds 1 TD) vs. Oregon in his career finale. His upside is very high and I just really like his combination of size, hands, speed, routes, and body control as he has no holes in his game and looks like a very good future #2 WR for someone. He lacks that wow size/speed ratio but otherwise he’s everything you’re looking for in a WR prospect and seems very underrated to me. His father played in the NFL, drafted in the 6th round as a WR by the 49ers, so he has great bloodlines. The more you watch him the more his hands and body control impress as he really excels at adjusting to the ball in the air to make a play. I think he has a little Josh Doctson to him, a little Marvin Jones to him. I think this kid could be a productive red zone threat for someone due to those attributes. I didn’t know much about him before his bowl game vs. Oregon but I came away impressed by his well rounded game. He can really do anything you want for a WR and I give him an early 2nd round grade as my #3 WR as he’ll excel as a very good #2 WR with an outside chance to make a Pro Bowl or two as a low end #1 wideout 4/15/18.

216. Raiders: Azeem Victor-He’s great value here (#144 Overall on my board) as I didn’t love him but he projects as a good backup/average starter so in the late 6th he’s a steal. I also like the pick because he’s a feisty guy who makes big hits and is a leader. I liked him more in the 3-4 than the 4-3 so the fit is great and I think Gruden pounded the table for this kid as Chucky likes his guys to be feisty, physical, and tough. He’s all of those things and just screams old school Raiders so this is going to be a fun pick if he sticks. Think Vontaze Burfict going to the Raiders. He’s that kind of guy.

228. Raiders: Marcell Ateman-He’s a big dude who was very productive and has some red zone potential. With Crabtree leaving and Jordy Nelson being at the tail end of his career he makes sense as a guy who can come in and be a #5 WR and maybe become the heir apparent across from smaller Amari Cooper. He can’t separate due to poor speed so he might just be a red zone guy but he has some intriguing film so I hesitated on him…before calling him a future bust and moving on to other guys. In the 7th I like the roll of the dice on the 6’5 215 wideout.

236. Cowboys: Bo Scarbrough-Good value, not sure he’s necessary as Zeke is a bellcow and if you bring in a #2 back I’d go for someone with receiving value which Bo does not have. I guess he’s their #2 back to replace Alfred Morris. Again, he’s good value, but unsure if he even makes the roster. On film he’s a poor man’s Derrick Henry as he’s a tall, physical guy with surprising speed. He is very N/S as a runner and doesn’t make people miss and is just a 2 down back. If Zeke gets hurt Bo would be the lead back and come out on passing downs for the other back. When Zeke isn’t hurt though, can he contribute? He was #138 Overall on my board but thought RB Josh Adams was a better talent and RB Akrum Wadley was a better fit at RB opposite Zeke. Below is his profile:

Bo Scarbrough Alabama 6’1 ⅜ 228 Jr. He ran a 4.52 40, 14 reps, ‘40 vertical-elite, 10’9 broad-elite, and 4.34 shuttle. He’s another guy that I’m surprised left school early as he barely played in 2015 (104 5.8 1 TD), had his best season in 2016 but it wasn’t that great (812 6.5 11 TD), and regressed in 2017 due to splitting time with other backs (596 4.8 8 TD). He is a perfect #2 back for an NFL team that wants a “Thunder” to their “Lightning” back as Scarbrough is a tall, chiseled back who looks the part of a power back. His Combine measurables are incredible for 228 lbs as his ‘40 vertical was tied for 2nd with expected early round back Kerryon Johnson and just ‘1 short of Top 10 pick Saquon Barkley so you know the kid has rare athleticism for a big back. As a runner he’s a simple evaluation as he’s a long strider who surprised you at times with his speed when he’s able to get going but who doesn’t have great lateral agility and won’t make many people miss but who will be a good N/S runner with elite physicality. Again he projects as a good #2 back who can bring toughness and physicality to an established running game and makes sense as a compliment to someone like Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, or Ameer Abdullah who are smaller, more athletic starters. He has some film that reminds me of Derrick Henry so there is a chance he surprises and becomes a starter in the league but Henry has much better feet and is even bigger so the likely result is Bo stays as that good change of pace, complementary back. He’s this year’s Samaje Perine and should go in a similar area of the draft as a mid rounder who will be used in a backup or platoon fashion. Mid 4th as my #13 RB 4/22/18.

242. Panthers: Kendrick Norton-I had him #128 Overall so he’s good value here and profiles as a quality backup, average starter which works since they have Kawann Short and a recent first round pick opposite him so they just need a backup. He’ll fit well in that role.

253. Bengals: Auden Tate-Another great mid to late round pick by the Bengals. He’s a guy who ran a 4.65 or something and a lot of people worried about him ever getting open. He’s a tall, physical guy with great strength and I actually liked him more than Marcell Ateman but they have a similar profile as great red zone threats who will struggle between the 20’s. There’s a place for guys like him and I thought he was unfairly hurt by a poor 40, he plays faster than 4.65, and the fact his starting QB last year got a season ending injury during the Alabama game in the season opener. I like the physical tools he has and he makes a lot of sense as a roll of the dice guy in the 7th.

Top 50 Available (Day 3)

The good news is that there are numerous TEs on my Top 50 board with Ian Thomas being my favorite. He went unranked by Mike Mayock but is a Top 5 available by Mel Kiper so he’ll likely require a trade up by the Cowboys to obtain. If they stay stubborn and don’t trade up then guys like Tyler Conklin and Christopher Herndon are decent options but project more as career #2 TEs while Thomas could be a quality starter down the road.

Prospect Drafted Anderson Mayock Jeremiah
RJ McIntosh DT 29 NR
DeShon Elliott S 30 NR
Cedrick Wilson WR 32 NR
Tarvarus McFadden CB 37 NR
Maurice Hurst DT 42 42 42
Shaquem Griffin LB 43 NR
Kyzir White S 49 NR
Tyrell Crosby OT 53 65 45
Equanimeous St. Brown WR 56 NR
Josh Adams RB 58 NR
Doran Armstrong PR 63 NR
Marquis Haynes PR 64 NR
Darius Phillips CB 66 NR
Ian Thomas TE 67 NR
Korey Robertson WR 68 NR
Tim Settle DT 71 NR
Kevin Tolliver CB 72 NR
Nyheim Hines RB 75 NR
Kyle Lauletta QB 77 66
Genard Avery LB 80 NR
Skyler Phillips OG 81 NR
Wyatt Teller OG 82 NR
Parry Nickerson S 83 NR
Avonte Maddox CB 85 NR
Deonte Burnett WR 87 NR
Andrew Brown DT 88 NR
Deon Cain WR 89 NR
Jeff Holland PR 91 NR
Tyler Conklin TE 93 96
Trenton Thompson DT 94 NR
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi PR 96 NR
Christopher Herndon TE 97 68
Armani Watts S 99 NR
Hercules Mata’afa DT 102 NR
Ross Pierschbacher OG 103 NR
Taylor Hearn OG 104 NR
Duke Ejiofor S 105 NR
Simmie Cobbs WR 106 NR
Mark Walton RB 107 86
Marcus Allen S 108 NR
Da’Shawn Hand DT 112 NR
Holton Hill S 116 71
Jordan Whitehead S 118 NR
Mike White QB 124 NR
John Kelly RB 125 NR
Dane Cruikshank S 126 NR
Kentavius Street DT 127 NR
Kendrick Norton DT 128 NR

Day 2 Recap

Day 2 was interesting. First off, it was much better than Day 1 as if you were to tell me 8 weeks ago, before any draft rumors or media boards were set, that the Cowboys took LVE/Connor Williams/Michael Gallup I’d have been very unsure who was the first, second, and third rounders. On my board I had Williams as a first, Gallup as a second, and LVE as a third and a lot of people had varying grades on the kids. I’d argue most had late 1st to late 2nd round grades on all three players so the Cowboys draft clearly improved as it went on. Also I can’t tell you how much I loved Connor Williams during this draft process. He was one of my 10 favorite prospects in this draft as his film was great in 2016 and nitpicked too much in 2017 by scouts. Yes, he struggled at times at OT but that’s the reason I had him moving inside as he lacks the arm strength and agility to play LT. Move him inside to OG though and he’s strong, technically sound, and tenacious as hell. I said last night after the disappointing LVE pick that this team was going to live and die by how good the running game was and this pick clearly addressed it. I’ll get to my disappointments with today in a bit but let’s first start on an optimistic tone. Williams just gave the Cowboys renewed force as the best OL in the league as upgrading from draft bust Jonathan Cooper to Connor Williams at LG is huge. Also I don’t think he should play LT long term but I would bet my life on the fact he’d play LT better for a short spell vs. say oh I don’t know Adrian Clayborn than the crappy backups they threw out there last year so he adds some much needed versatility. Williams/Frederick/Martin is the best trio of interior OL in the league and it isn’t even close. They will beat the crap out of people and you love to see guys want to put a star on their helmet like Williams showed in the green room. He literally fell to his knees and weeped he was so happy. That might make him play harder, might make him want to give the team a hometown discount down the road, and surely will make the fans connect with him so I love it. Add in the fact he’s not even 21 years old yet (I strongly believe age is a huge differentiating factor in success of draft picks) and I love the Connor Williams selection…based on who was available when they chose at #50 (we’ll come back to this). Michael Gallup also excites me as he’s a physical, tough possession receiver who has similar talent to Calvin Ridley. Ridley is faster and a better route runner, Gallup is stronger and more physical. They are almost identical in height, Gallup is 11 lbs heavier, 4.51 40 vs. Ridley’s 4.43 40, has a better vertical than Ridley, better broad jump than Ridley, better shuttle than Ridley, and was a more productive player than Ridley. To me they both project as good #2 WRs which is why I gave them both mid 2nd round grades. So anyone loving Ridley at #19, should be ecstatic on Gallup at #83. Gallup is a good guy to throw into the mix with the other wideouts and see if Dak gets a chemistry with him and they become a good connection. I think that will happen as Gallup is very “QB friendly”, something Dez was not. He runs clean routes, understands how to get open, and fights for the ball when it’s in the air. Also he isn’t a diva wideout and probably will become good friends with Dez and train with him in the offseason. This pick makes a lot of sense fit wise, chemistry wise, and value wise. Now on to the negative. The Cowboys went into today trying to replace Dez Bryant as the X receiver who commands double teams, is a double digit TD red zone threat, and is the big wideout on the outside that a scheme can work around. Did they accomplish that? I would say it is a resounding no. I like Gallup, I really do but he might be the #4 WR next year and doesn’t seem like he’ll ever be more than a good #2 WR. Also the Cowboys were blindsided by Jason Witten retiring so now they need to replace a TE who is a good blocker, one of the leaders of the team, and is still one of the 15 most productive tight ends in the league. Did the Cowboys do that? Obviously that is a clear cut no since they didn’t even take a tight end in rounds 2 and 3. Mind you, free agency has already occurred and the Cowboys tight ends on their roster have a grand total of 9 career receptions. This is a desperate situation, especially since the Cowboys are planning on being a run based offense where the tight end can’t be just schemed out. I was making the argument a month ago how they should trade down for a TE in the late 1st because their running offense makes perfect sense in 22 personnel. Now instead of Witten and Goedert/Gesicki/whomever you have Geoff Swaim/Rico Gathers/never heard ofs. Again, this is a desperate situation but the Cowboys wouldn’t trade a 4th rounder to move up for a TE? I am quite frustrated with the Cowboys sudden reluctance for moving up the draft board, especially considering they were just 2 picks away from Derwin James in the 1st, 10 picks away from Courtland Sutton in the 2nd, and 1 pick away from Dallas Goedert in the 2nd. These were three of my favorite players, and all fit needs, and all were SO close to being Cowboys. Because they missed out on Sutton/Goedert they will go into this season with no clear replacement for Witten or Bryant and will go into next offseason needing to address the same situation. I like Gallup, I really do, but the Cowboys already had 6 wide receivers on their roster (Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Deonte Thompson, Ryan Switzer, Noah Brown) and all of them project as #2 or #3 wideouts. You can make the argument that the Cowboys didn’t need to address the wide receiver corp UNLESS it was a big, physical X receiver type with #1 WR potential as otherwise the pick would just get lost in a numbers game. The best thing Gallup does long term is it lets Dallas cut Williams but that’s the same argument I had for Ryan Switzer a year ago, it lets Dallas cut Cole Beasley down the road. Replacing a solid player with someone cheaper is helpful but isn’t the best way to improve a club trying to compete for a title. The Gallup pick isn’t nearly as frustrating though as missing out on Goedert as I really saw something special in him. He could have been a Day 1 starter for the Cowboys, been a great value, and solved a massive problem. Instead the Cowboys put more resources into an already expensive offensive line and hope that they are the best rushing attack in the league because, honestly they don’t really have a Plan B. If they had moved up for Harold Landry they could have made the claim they’re going for a great DL with Lawrence/Irving/Landry in passing situations being a sick trio. Or they could have moved up for Sutton and said they’re replacing Dez. Or they could have moved up for Goedert and said they’re replacing Witten. Instead they didn’t improve any of those areas and are either the best rushing team in the NFL or a .500 ballclub. That lack of versatility to their game plan worries me. Ending on a bright note, I have to say that they chose two fun players for Cowboys fans to root for as Connor Williams was one of my favorite players in this draft and Michael Gallup has some fun tape. I worry that this draft won’t be as impactful in 2017 as some other teams but LVE, Williams, and Gallup all project as good starters with high floors, no character issues, and good athleticism. Of the three, I think Connor is most likely to be a Pro Bowler, but I’d be surprised if any of the three were busts. The Cowboys improved today in the draft, I just wonder if the news from earlier in the day of Jason Witten retiring was ever overcome by the additions of Williams/Gallup. I think you can make a good case that Williams + Gallup – Witten = a worse Cowboys team today than they were yesterday. Tomorrow the Cowboys have 6 picks so circle back for more draft coverage as there are a few impact players left on the board with TE Ian Thomas and DT Maurice Hurst being two guys at a position of need that I really like. Maybe the Cowboys piss me off even more by trading up…but not until Day 3 of the draft.

Rounds 2-3 Live Blog

Alright, Jason Witten is retiring, Dez Bryant was cut, and neither have an obvious replacement on the Cowboys roster. The Cowboys have picks #50 and #81 to work with today. They also have two 4th rounders, one 5th rounder, three 6th rounders, and one 7th rounder tomorrow but after about the early 4th round it’s usually rare to find guys who you EXPECT to contribute so the two picks today are extra important. I’d love to see both WR and TE addressed but LG, FS, and DT all are arguably needs as well. My dream scenario is a combination of TE/WR or vice versa today with Dallas Goedert/Anthony Miller or Courtland Sutton/Mark Andrews being my two favorite scenarios. Since there is now a gaping hole at TE, in an offense that highlights the TE too, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys move up in the 2nd for their guy. They won’t move up to #33 Overall but going from #50 to #40 would cost the Cowboys a 4th and 5th rounder and I could see them doing that since they have six Day 3 picks to work with. I also could see them look at the fact they have so many needs and trade back a bit in Round 2 while gaining ammo so they can have three or four third rounds. A haul of some combination of Mark Andrews, Ian Thomas, Anthony Miller, Michael Gallup, and/or RJ McIntosh would make a lot of sense. The Browns are now on the clock, let’s begin.

33. Browns: Austin Corbett-Well this Browns draft is starting to get a little out of control. I had him as the #146 Overall player, Mayock (#39) and Jeremiah (#50) liked him more but again it’s not just who they choose but who they skipped. Darnold/Chubb/Connor Williams is a hell of a lot better than Mayfield/Ward/Corbett. I’m very confident I’ll feel the same way 3 years from now.

34. Giants: Will Hernandez-I like the pick a lot and had him higher rated than Quenton Nelson. He’s a mauler and will really help the Giants OL as he’s tough, physical, and has solid athleticism. He isn’t a great athlete but he’ll dominate people in the run game so you pair him with an athletic center and you’re a great team up the middle. Very good pick, especially with Barkley in the 1st as you can see the Giants are looking to really change their pass happy/soft mentality.

35. Browns: Nick Chubb-A fan favorite for sure and maybe I’m wrong on him but I never saw him as fully healthy after his major knee injury a few years ago and thought he was overrated. I had him as the #120 Overall player, Joe probably disagrees with me right here, but Mayock (#36) and Jeremiah (#46) thought he deserved being picked this early. One question I have though is why is Derrius Guice dropping? I had Guice at #12, Mayock at #28, and Jeremiah at #17 so the fact the Browns passed on Guice for Chubb is another what if for that franchise. Their draft isn’t terrible but it’s getting tilted that way more and more:

Jon’s Browns Picks: Darnold/Chubb/Connor Williams/Derrius Guice

John Dorsey’s Browns Picks: Mayfield/Ward/Austin Corbett/Nick Chubb

36. Colts: Darrius Leonard-Terrible pick. I see some major potential with him as he’s tall, long, and has great agility but watch his film and you have trouble grading him as he played at South Carolina State where he had no competition. I had him as the #110 Overall and Mayock as the #87 so this is a HUGE reach. He’d be there a round later, guaranteed. Just dumb!

37. Colts: Braden Smith-Another big reach and it makes me wonder why they didn’t trade down (#97 Overall on my board, Mayock had him #59) as these guys are 3rd and 4th rounders and they chose them with picks where teams are scrambling to move up for those last few 1st round guys. Remember when everyone loved how the Colts were trading down? They’ve ruined their draft. Quenton Nelson/Darrius Leonard/Braden Smith is #55, #110, and #97 on my board? That’s insane. I get how opinions differ so maybe you give them a pass on Nelson but no one had Leonard or Smith as 2nd rounders, let alone early 2nd rounders when 1st rounders are still available. These are terrible picks and again Andrew Luck is left with no talent. He’s becoming the modern version of early career John Elway. Very sad to see that team’s depth chart right now, it is barren.

38. Bucs: Ronald Jones-Good pick, about time someone went off a normal board. I love Guice but he has some ghettoness to him so if you don’t want Guice character wise then I’m all in on Jones. He reminds me of a poor man’s Melvin Gordon and honestly I don’t see a huge difference in talent between the two, despite one being a Top 15 pick and the other at #38. Great pick.

39. Bears: James Daniels-Another good pick. I had a 2nd round grade on him but many had a 1st and had him as the #1 C in the draft. He has great athleticism and is a long guy who was coached by the well respected Kirk Ferentz. He’ll be a Day 1 starter and he could make a great duo with Kyle Long for the next few years before he retires.

40. Broncos: Courtland Sutton-I love the pick. He was my #1 WR (#14 Overall) but most disagreed with me so we will see if he can become that star wideout which I envision in him. The thing about him that most don’t understand is he plays angry and is just so physical. He isn’t a poor man’s Alshon Jeffery he IS Alshon Jeffery and to get him this late is a steal. He has 80 1,200 12 TD type potential.

41. Titans: Harold Landry-Best pick in the 2nd round as I had him as #7 Overall and consider him one of the best pass rushers to come out in years. PFF had him as the best pass rusher in this draft, ahead of Bradley Chubb! Great pick and makes a lot of sense with Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo both getting up there in age.

42. Dolphins: Mike Gesicki-Well I had Goedert MUCH higher on my board but Gesicki has some moments where you just say WOW. He reminds me of a weaker OJ Howard which is good (former 1st rounder) and bad (no impact as a rookie). He’s a bit of a workout warrior as he doesn’t get much separation despite his rare measurables. I just heard someone say “He knows the nuance of route running.” 100% disagree as he’s a poor route runner and most of his receptions were dump offs or designed plays (screens, misdirection, etc.). He’s that Josh Allen type at TE as he has great upside but I don’t see them getting anywhere near it as they just don’t play up to those elite tools they have. Give me Gesicki all day long.

-Nate Burleson is trying to get his 15 seconds and IT IS FAILING!!!!

43. Lions: Kerryon Johnson-Interesting pick. I liked him a lot more than Nick Chubb but still am surprised he’s taken over Guice. Johnson has some Arian Foster to him and I liked him in the 3rd round so it’s early but I’ll be curious how his career turns out as he has some very good tape.

44. 49ers: Dante Pettis-I like the pick. Some loved this kid and one couch scout I respect had him as his WR1. He had +15 TDs in 2016 as a receiver and set the NCAA record for most career punt return TDs so he can find the red zone. He has great quickness, good hands, and runs good routes. Maybe that keeps him outside and, if so, he’s very valuable. If he’s just a slot guy this is not as valuable. With Garoppolo throwing it so well I’d keep tabs on him in fantasy. He might be a Tyler Lockett guy who has inconsistent production but some big weeks.

45. Packers: Josh Jackson-Great pick. He was #23 on my board, Mayock had him #44, Jeremiah had him #26 so this is a steal for a lot of guys. I’m not shocked he fell though as he isn’t a great athlete but he has arguably the best ball skills of any CB I’ve ever graded. He has some Marcus Peters/Richard Sherman tape but as I said in his profile he’s very weak against the run and isn’t physical while those guys are super physical.

46. Chiefs: Breeland Speaks-This is a big reach on my board as he was #146 Overall on my board, #69 for Mayock. He’s a good pass rusher though who can play DE or DT and has a good burst so to me he projects as a pass rushing DT off the bench. Shocked he’s taken this early.

47. Cardinals: Christian Kirk-Well Ross’ dream just died. I liked him but didn’t love him. He doesn’t run great routes, he isn’t the most natural slot receiver, and he’s pretty small as an outside receiver. That being said he is a thick bodied, shorter guy who is a great kick returner and punt returner who excels on WR screens and can beat a team deep. He projects as a #2 WR that can threaten a defense deep and will keep teams from doubling a #1 WR too much but I wonder if he’ll be more than a Paul Richardson type.

Cowboys Top 5 Available:

RB Derrius Guice

TE Dallas Goedert

OT Orlando Brown

OG Connor Williams

CB Isaiah Oliver

Also consider TE Mark Andrews, DT Maurice Hurst, WR Michael Gallup

48. Chargers: Uchenna Nwosu-Great pick as he’s #36 on my board and has that 3-4 OLB versatility where he’s good in coverage, can rush the passer, and can stack and shed a bit. Add in his rare ability to block passes at the LOS and you have a guy who can do a little of everything. He’s at his best as a #3 rusher who only sometimes rushes but that works fine with the Chargers who have both Bosa and Ingram. Ingram also has great versatility so those three athletes moving around all over the field will make their defense even better. I love the talent and I love the fit even more. Outstanding pick!

49. Eagles: Dallas Goedert-And that is why you FUCKING MOVE UP IN THE DRAFT DALLAS! For a slight trade up you could have gotten Derwin James, Courtland Sutton, and/or Dallas Goedert. Now you get none of them. I’m pissed! Goedert is a steal here. #15 Overall on my board, he’s Jimmy Graham lite and is a great complement to Zach Ertz as Ertz’ one negative is that he’s not much of a red zone threat and Goedert’s best attribute is his frame/hands in the red zone. Great pick. So pissed!

50. Cowboys: Connor Williams-I love this pick. He’s #22 Overall on my board, #40 by Mayock, #25 by Jeremiah so it’s a value pick for sure and as I said last night after the LVE debacle, this team wins or loses on if the team can dominant in the run game. Williams had a higher grade than Quenton Nelson/Isaiah Wynn/Will Hernandez who all went lower. He easily could be a Pro Bowler and he has some serious nasty to him. This is a great pick BUT it’s an OG. Who’s replacing Bryant? Who’s replacing Witten? I guess we figure that out next round or next year but Williams is a Day 1 starter at LG and could get them four Pro Bowlers one or two years on their OL. Has that ever happened? Also his interview excites me, he’s so happy to be joining his hometown team. This could be great. Below is his profile:

Connor Williams Texas 6’5 ⅛ 296 Jr. Freshman All-American in 2015 as he started 12 games at LT. 1st Team All-American in 2016 was his best season as he was injured for much of his junior year, starting only 5 games. He had only ‘33 arms but ran a very impressive 5.05 40 and his ‘34 vertical was best among the 48 OL. He also had decent shuttle (4.63) and 3 cone (7.83) times. I love Connor’s tape but don’t like him as a LT and think his best fit actually isn’t at RT but is at OG. With ‘33 arms and only decent lateral agility he just doesn’t have the traits I want in an OT. Move him inside to OG though and he’s special as he is feisty, strong, aggressive and technically proficient. He really attacks people and has a lean body mass that allow him to be quick and fast at the POA. I think he’d fit in any scheme as an OG and could still work out as a RT but as an OG in a zone scheme he could be special. The kid is still only 20 years old and has had 3 seasons of good tape. He lacks the length or lateral agility to play at LT, could be an average to above average RT, or he could be a Pro Bowl caliber OG. I choose the last option and hope he goes to a team that will try him at OG as his strength, technique, tenacity, and quickness make him an ideal guard prospect. Add in his age and I consider him a late first rounder as my #1 OG in this class. I suspect I’m alone in my sentiments on Connor who most have as a 2nd-3rd round OT 3/5/18.

51. Bears: Anthony Miller-I thought the Cowboys might take him at #50 so it makes sense one pick later. He is probably just a slot receiver but he might have enough quickness, routes, and hands to stay outside. Either spot he has great film and was one of my favorite players in this draft.

52. Colts: Kemoko Turay-Interesting pick as he has arguably the best bend of any pass rusher I’ve ever graded. He’s raw and injury prone so he has a high bust potential and is another REACH by the Colts but what else is new. At least there is a chance he’s a star. He was #57 on my board so I guess not much of a reach but he’s that swing for the fences type as he could be a double digit sack artist or a total bust, neither would surprise me.

53. Bucs: MJ Stewart-What? I thought I had him rated higher than most as I liked his film but he was #121 on my board. Mayock didn’t have him in his Top 100 so this is just a bad pick. Stewart looks like a #4 CB with good special teams ability. You don’t take non-starters in Round 2, bad pick.

54. Bengals: Jessie Bates-I love the pick. He’s #44 on my board, #53 Mayock, #38 Jeremiah. He’s that centerfield free safety type who has great speed and ball skills. He’s somewhat small but he plays big and I think he’ll be an 8-10 year starter on the back end.

55. Panthers: Donte Jackson-He’s not as highly rated to me as others (#78 for me, #63 Mayock, #33 Jeremiah) so some loved him and I thought he was a little tight and had a smaller frame. That being said the kid has great speed and a year from now he might have been a first rounder if he’d come back to school so it makes sense here.

56. Patriots: Duke Dawson-I like the pick but think it’s a tad early (#86 on my board, #90 on Mayock’s). The only issue is he’s a bit tight and at his size he probably is a slot corner, where tight guys go to die. I think he’s a good athlete and is very well built so he is good against the run and you know Belichick has a plan for him but to me this did not deserve a trade up as it’s a bit of a reach.

57. Raiders: PJ Hall-First guy not on my list taken. Usually that starts in the 3rd round and then gets heavy in the 5th round on. The fact that their first two picks were a 3rd rounder (Kolton Miller in the 1st) and a guy I didn’t have ranked (Hall in the 2nd) makes me think the Raiders are back to their horribly managed ways. Too bad as I love Gruden as a coach but this is so far neck and neck with the Seahawks for the worst draft in the league so far.

58. Falcons: Isaiah Oliver-Great pick as he’s a steal by everyone (#24 on my board, #33 Mayock, #32 Jeremiah). This is a guy who could start Day 1 so to get him in the late 2nd is both great and confusing? He’s a press corner who is well build, has decent size, and decent ball skills. He’s not a guy that has a high likelihood as a high INT total guy but otherwise he’s a stud. One of the best picks in this draft.

59. Redskins: Derrius Guice-He’s a stud. I didn’t hear about his off the field stuff other than that he’s from a tough upbringing and really worked to get out of the ghetto. I actually thought it was a good thing so unsure what made him drop (failed drug tests?). On film he has rare burst, had elite YPC in 2015 and 2016, and often times looked like the better back while playing with Leonard Fournette! I had a mid 1st grade on him and rated him as a better talent than Melvin Gordon a few years ago so this could be a huge steal.

60. Steelers: James Washington-I think he’s a future bust (#117 Overall) but if he’s ever successful in the NFL, he’ll be successful in Pittsburgh as he immediately becomes the Martavis Bryant role for that offense as the deep threat. Can he do anything else? I have my doubts but maybe that’s all he needs to do with Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster also in that elite wide receiver corp.

61. Jaguars: DJ Chark-Well this kid can fly and he has great height. I didn’t like him that much (#109 Overall) but some did Mayock (#54) and in his profile I said I’d like him if I was in a run oriented offense that wanted a deep threat that ran an offense with low volume pass attempts. That is exactly what Jacksonville does so it makes some sense.

62. Vikings: Brian O’Neill-He had a very similar profile and talent grade to 1st round Kolton Miller as they both have rare physical tools but are both raw. He has some LT potential which makes him extremely valuable if he works out but he has a very high bust potential too so it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s a career swing tackle type. A little early for my tastes but due to his potential as a LT, he wouldn’t have lasted much longer.

63. Bucs: Carlton Davis-Some love this kid but I do not (#169 Overall) nor does Mayock (not in his Top 100). He has some press corner film and is physical but I was underwhelmed by him and thought he was just a guy (#4 or #5 CB, special teamer). Big reach to me.

64. Colts: Tyquan Lewis-Another Colts pick and another reach. Lewis has some untapped potential as he was buried on that elite depth chart in Columbus BUT I just don’t see him being more than an average #2 rusher or good #3 rusher. The Colts are having just a horrible draft which is always the worry about trading down as if you’re not careful you just have a bunch of mediocre talent. Some call that depth, some say you got a lot of guys only barely better than replacement level guys who are cheap in free agency or available as undrafted free agents. Not good to be a Colts fan right now.

65. Raiders: Brandon Parker-Man the Raiders are going small school, first with a Sam Houston State kid and then with the North Carolina A&T.  I am not a huge fan of either pick but at least I’ve heard of Parker! Honestly, some really liked Parker but I had trouble getting a good read on him due to the lack of quality tape on him and didn’t spend too much time seeking a bootleg copy, this is a free website ya know. The little I did see, did not impress me (#178 Overall on my board) or Mayock (Not in his Top 100). Raiders and Colts are really giving the Seahawks a run for their money for worst draft this year. Race to the bottom!

66. Giants: Lorenzo Carter-I was curious where he went and will keep an eye on him as a lot of people love him. Mayock (#51) and Jeremiah (#49) really like but I did not (#132 Overall) as I smell bust. Since he went to the Giants, I hope it happens.

67. Browns: Chad Thomas-Another reach for Dorsey as I had him #123 Overall and Mayock didn’t have him in the Top 100. Very surprised he went ahead of teammate RJ McIntosh at DT, who I loved. Also if you’re looking for a pass rusher, why not take a chance on athletic Sam Hubbard. So the update:

Jon’s Browns Picks: Darnold/Chubb/Connor Williams/Derrius Guice/Sam Hubbard

John Dorsey’s Browns Picks: Mayfield/Ward/Austin Corbett/Nick Chubb/Chad Thomas

68. Texans: Justin Reid-I like this pick (#74 Overall on my board, #61 Mayock). He’s a rangy centerfield type FS with good athleticism. He projects as an above average starter who excels against the pass. He has above average traits across the board and looks like a good starter down the road which is exactly what you’re looking for in the third round.

69. Giants: BJ Hill-He had very mixed reviews (#153 on my board, #55 on Mayock’s) as he played next to Bradley Chubb and I thought he was overrated due to it. He has a nice blend of size/athleticism but I didn’t see him this early. To me he projects as a rotational DT but again, some saw starter talent with him.

70. 49ers: Fred Warner-Another reach to me (#172) and Mayock (Not in Top 100) but he has good speed in coverage and shows versatility so he makes sense….3 rounds from now as a backup, special teams guy. Bad pick.

71. Broncos: Royce Freeman-I like this pick and it shows Elway’s love of production. He’s a one speed runner which is bad but he has great vision, is smooth, and was incredibly productive. He was my #100 and Mayock’s #88 so with the RB class getting quickly picked clean it’s a good pick and makes a lot of sense. Here’s his profile Joe:

Royce Freeman Oregon 5’11 ½ 229 Sr. He ran a 4.54 40, 17 reps, ‘34 vertical, 9’10 broad, 4.16 shuttle, and 6.90 3 cone. He burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2014 (1,365 5.4 18 TD), had his best year in 2015 (1,836 6.5 17 TD), an injury plagued 2016 (945 5.6 9 TD), and a bounce back year in 2017 (1,475 6.1 16 TD). His 60 career rushing TDs is elite as is his two seasons of +1,400 yards on +6.0 YPC. He’s a thick, big RB who has good athleticism but actually (rare in this draft) knows he’s a big back and plays like it. He’s very physical, loves to run inside, and has the vision, quickness, and strength to be a strong inside runner/goal line back in the NFL. He’s not explosive and he’s a one speed back which isn’t a good thing but he’s a smooth runner, has elite patience, and great vision so his one speed style works better for him than it does for most. I wish his short area burst was better as he can be caught in the backfield before he “revs up” but if you don’t catch him before he gets a yard or two downfield then watch out as he’ll be a load to bring down. He’s a N/S runner but has sneaky quickness so he can make a cut to make a guy miss in the hole and does the outside zone plays well due to his patience and vision. He’s that back who initially you are unimpressed with but who always produces and who you appreciate the more you watch their film. He’s not on the same talent level but stylistically he has a little Frank Gore to his game. He has okay hands but shows little talent as a receiver and might be a two down back. He is right on that starter/backup talent level but I think he’ll end up being a low level starter for someone, ala Isaiah Crowell. Freeman/Penny/Johnson all have similar talent so it’ll be interesting how they all shake out years from now. He gets put 3rd in that group due to his one speed running style but is arguably the most consistent runner of the three. Mid 3rd as my #9 RB 4/25/18.

72. Jets: Nathan Shephard-This is a steal for some (Mayock had him #43) but I honestly couldn’t get good film on him due to his lower level of competition so I’ll take a pass on evaluating him. He had a great Senior Bowl week and it appears to have made him a lot of money.

73. Dolphins: Jerome Baker-He’s a Telvin Smith type 4-3 WLB as he’s tiny and almost like a SS but he has good speed and has enough toughness to be decent in the run. It’s where the NFL is going and I think he’s a solid pick here.

74. Redskins: Geron Christian-Very good pick. He had some off the field issues but this is where you take a guy like him with his talent. He could be a 10 year starter at RT and I wouldn’t blink an eye.

75. Chiefs: Derrick Nnadi-I didn’t like him (#141 Overall) but Mayock loved him (#47) and he has the size to be a solid NT. Those are quite valuable for 3-4 teams like the Chiefs so it makes a lot of sense.

76. Steelers: Mason Rudolph-Funny because I said that the Steelers fit him perfectly. He has a little Landry Jones to his game, a lot of Ryan Mallett to his game and needs to go to a team that likes the deep ball as it’s his only thing he does well. Mayock loved him (#37) but I smell bust (#113). He’ll have a chance though with their great wide receiver corp and the fact that Roethlisberger has some injury issues sometimes so he might get a start here or there the next few years.

77. Bengals: Sam Hubbard-Great pick by them. He’s a bit raw, former Lacross player, but he’s a rare athlete and has the bend and quickness you love. If he was just a little faster he’d be an elite guy but I still really liked him (#26 Overall) and Mayock liked him less but probably thinks this is a steal (#57). The Bengals love their OL and DL depth wise so it’s not surprising to see them target a guy like Hubbard here.

78. Bengals: Malik Jefferson-He’s a good pick here as he’s a 5 star recruit out of HS, had great production last year, and is an elite athlete. He has terrible instincts so a team has to have a plan for him and should just let him hunt and not read keys but he has a high ceiling. Very boom/bust but in the 3rd round it makes sense.

79. Seahawks: Rasheem Green-Wow…I….um….wait, let me check….yeah this is a good pick….by the Seahawks. Green was my #60 Overall and Mayock’s #56 as we both saw an undersized one gap DT with great burst and pass rush potential. I love this pick, especially for the Seahawks who like to use undersized DTs or even DEs at the spot to accentuate the weaknesses of slow guards. He could be big for them.

80.  Texans: Martinas Rankins-Great pick as this is both value (#33 Overall on my board, #85 Mayock’s) and need. They traded Duane Brown last year and missed out on Nate Solder so they need a LT and Rankins can play there. He also can play RT or even C as he has that length and feet which makes him very versatile so I’ll be curious where he lines up. To me he’s a LT but Kiper has him at C. In either spot he’s a future starter and a steal this late.

Top 11 guys (reason for me going to 11 not 10) for Dallas with them on the clock:

OT Orlando Brown

TE Mark Andrews

DT RJ McIntosh

S DeShon Elliott

WR Cedrick Wilson

CB Tarvarus McFadden

DT Maurice Hurst

LB Shaquem Griffin

S Kyzir White

PR Arden Keys

WR Michael Gallup

81. Cowboys: Michael Gallup-Love this pick. He was #51 Overall on my board, #75 on Mayock’s and is good value and fits a need for the Cowboys. He’s noticeably inferior to Courtland Sutton and will never be a #1 WR but he has great hands, good body control, and is tough. He’ll immediately compete for the #2 WR position across from Allen Hurns and might just get Terrance Williams cut if he flat out beats him out for the starting job. Great pick Cowboys!

Michael Gallup Colorado State 6’1 205 Sr. Ranked as the #1 WR by PFF in 2017, he excelled on the outside for Colorado State showing a good combination of speed, strength and route running skills. His 20 missed tackles last year (ranked 9th) show his run after the catch talents and has some comparing him to Dez Bryant. I see the stylistic similarities but Dez is 6’3 220 and Michael is 6’1 200. You’re not going to be successful in the NFL if you’re only 200 lbs and you rely on strength. Watching the 2017 Alabama game I had the same thought as in that game he didn’t look tall, strong or fast. He’s a combo guy to me as he beats you in a variety of ways but guys without one top notch trait don’t go in the 1st round and Gallup doesn’t have one elite trait. He has a #2 WR type feel to him with Cooper Kupp/Robert Woods being a best case scenario as #2 wideouts with abnormally high TD volume due to their strength and impressive hands and Pharoh Cooper/Laquon Treadwell being a worst case scenario as guys that busted in the NFL due to a lack of athleticism despite good strength and physicality. I do like Gallup’s route running and agility though so I think he projects as a #2 WR that works out and consider Robert Woods to be his best comparison. Gallup has very strong hands, good routes and okay quickness. I wish he were faster as he is going to struggle beating a CB deep and that could end up having some teams to consider moving him into the slot ala Jarvis Landry who is a decent comp to him as well. In the end I think Gallup will stick as a very good #2 WR but I don’t see #1 in him and could see him move inside permanently to the slot or become a bust as the speed, quickness and suddenness are all mediocre. A physical and savvy career #2 WR who could excel in the red zone he ends up as a mid 2nd rounder as my #8 WR 1/28/18.

82. Lions: Tracy Walker-Never heard of him.

83. Ravens: Orlando Brown-#1 Available on my board for awhile now, #19 Overall as I just didn’t buy his Combine performance athletically. His film is of a 6’7 330 guy with ’35 arms and surprisingly quick feet. Yes you care he had a terrible Combine but then you go back to the film and see that no he doesn’t play like that at all. In the end I should have re-done my bio on him and dropped him to the early 2nd but I still think the kid is a stud and has Pro Bowl potential at RT. The Ravens got a great one in Brown.

84. Chargers: Justin Jones-I didn’t like him very much (#152) and Mayock didn’t either (Not in his Top 100) so it’s surprising he went ahead of his more talented teammate Kentavius Street. Neither project as starters to me though so not that worried about it. Big reach here.

85. Panthers: Rashaan Gaulden-I liked his film as he’s a zone CB or maybe a FS who doesn’t have great speed but is physical, has great ball skills, and is a very experienced starter in the SEC. He fits the Gettleman CB profile of lesser talented guys with great toughness, physicality, and ball skills but with less speed. Interesting since Gettleman’s with the NY Giants now.

86. Ravens: Mark Andrews-He was the #27 player on my board, #67 on Mayock’s and is an absolute steal at this point in the draft. Sad to see him go as I really wanted Andrews in the 3rd-4th round range to the Cowboys. I’m not surprised he fell as this is a deep TE class and he tested athletically far worse than Hurst/Gesicki/Goedert but he runs great routes, has great hands, and was the John Mackey award winner. He could be a steal here. Great pick!

87. Raiders: Arden Key-Interesting roll of the dice here. He failed drug tests, had poor film last year, had fluctuating weight, and quit the team for a bit so there are huge red flags. That being said, many had him as a Top 10 grade at the end of 2016 so he’s worth a roll of the dice at some point and late 3rd makes sense.

88. Packers: Oren Burks-I didn’t like him (#156 Overall) but Kiper loved him and Mayock thought it made sense around this point of the draft (#79 Overall). To me he was a super productive player who showed no instincts and missed a lot of tackles. Sometimes guys get high tackle totals because their teammates suck, that’s what I thought happened with him.

89. Joseph Notebloom-40 consecutive starts who has the frame you want in an OL (I actually thought he made some sense as a developmental OG) but has inconsistent tape and is very raw despite his high number of starts. I didn’t like his film and see this as a big reach (#175 Overall on my board, Not in Top 100 on Mayock’s). He has that thick frame though which NFL GM’s love so maybe someone coaches him up. The fact he went to TCU though and their coaches are pretty darn good makes me think he’s a bust.

90. Falcons: Deadrin Senat-Good value here (#111 on my board, #98 Mayock’s) as he is a big guy who can move and sometimes I watched his film and thought he might have some upside surprise for someone. Late 3rd isn’t a bad time to take guys like that.

91. Saints: Tre’Quan Smith-He had some odd film as he rarely got separation but he is good at breaking tackles and has some big play ability as he could win jump balls and is a long strider. Most places I’d say he’s a bust but Brees throws 50/50 balls to his wideouts and Smith is really good at that so he might surprise.

92. Steelers: Chukwuma Okorafor-I love this pick. I had him #62 Overall but he’s a polarizing prospect (Mayock didn’t have him in his Top 100) as he has a great frame, good feet, and nice athleticism but his lack of strength is VERY bad. He has to get in the weight room and work on his strength or he will be a bust. For a team willing to give him time, and who think you can improve on a player’s core strength (some think it’s like accuracy for a QB and weight room strength doesn’t transfer), this kid could be great. I compared him to Ryan Clady and saw another well respected couch scout do the same thing. There’s something really special about this kid and I’d roll the dice on him late in the 3rd like this as he could be a Pro Bowl OT. It’s not likely but his ceiling is VERY high. Great pick!

93. Jaguars: Ronnie Harrison-Some think this is the steal of Day 2 (Mayock #34, Jeremiah #34) but I didn’t love his film (#115). He’s a big hitter who fits well as a SS and at worst is a good backup and great special teamer but I just think he’s another overrated Alabama guy and won’t be more than that.

94. Bucs: Alex Cappa-The first female to ever be drafted, give it up guys, this is a big freakin deal!

Alex Cappa

I’ve now been told that he is actually a man so I apologize to everyone involved. Cappa is a guy I had some interest in but as a mid to late guy so it’s a stretch to me. His film is crazy and scouts talked about how it was like an R rated film as it was so violent. I love his attitude and tenacity but he’s such a wild card as his level of competition was essentially 6A Texas ball. You can’t judge an NFL prospect off that so everyone is going off his good Senior Bowl week of practice but it’s one week. I feel uncomfortable taking someone off practice film. He’s interesting though, I’d just take him in the 5th at the earliest.

95. 49ers: Tarvarius Moore-Never heard of him.

96. Bills: Panco Villa? What is happening to my draft? How did it become this? Harrison Phillips-Great pick. I felt like I downgraded him a bit compared to the crowd (#70 on my board, #46 Mayock, #43 Jeremiah) as his production was overrated (he had +100 tackles for a season, only one in the draft!) but he’s got a non-stop motor and had 43 reps at the Combine so you know this kid works out all day long in the gym. This is a steal, great pick!

97. Cardinals: Mason Cole-I liked his film and thought he reminded me a bit of Ben Jones. Of course a number of guys who’ve reminded me of Ben Jones have been busts so he’s a low end starter or good backup.

98. Texans: Jordan Akins-Never heard of him.

99. Broncos: Isaac Yiadom-He’s #135 on my board so a slight reach but he was a good starter for BC and has the frame to be a starter in this league. I always thought his film was inconsistent and he’s a tightly built guy who lacks great speed but I liked him as a mid round guy and he’s in that range, maybe a round too early, so it’s a decent pick.

100. Chiefs: Dorian O’Daniel-Unranked on my board but I knew of him as he had great production and is a 4-3 WLB or possibly even a SS. In the 3-4 Chiefs scheme he projects as a special teamer and coverage linebacker but he has a great burst and elite production so it’s a reasonable pick late in the 3rd, maybe a slight reach.

Top 50 Available (Day 2)

Harold-Landry-Feature

Harold Landry is the best player available but hardly the only talent left.

 

Prospect Anderson Mayock Jeremiah
Harold Landry PR 7 18 36
Derrius Guice RB 12 28 17
Courtland Sutton WR 14 41 48
Dallas Goedert TE 15 62 41
Orlando Brown OT 19 100
Connor Williams OG 22 40 25
Josh Jackson CB 23 44 26
Isaiah Oliver CB 24 33 32
Sam Hubbard PR 26 57
Mark Andrews TE 27 67
RJ McIntosh DT 29 NR
DeShon Elliott S 30 NR
Cedrick Wilson WR 32 NR
Martinas Rankin OT 33 85
Ronald Jones RB 34 60 29
Christian Kirk WR 35 48 27
Uchenna Nwosu PR 36 52
Tarvarus McFadden CB 37 NR
Will Hernandez OG 39 29 21
Anthony Miller WR 40 50
James Daniels C 41 17 22
Maurice Hurst DT 42 42 42
Shaquem Griffin LB 43 NR
Jessie Bates III S 44 53 38
Mike Gesicki TE 46 58
Dante Pettis WR 47 70
Kyzir White S 49 NR
Arden Key PR 50 NR
Michael Gallup WR 51 75
Malik Jefferson LB 52 77
Tyrell Crosby OT 53 65 45
Equanimeous St. Brown WR 56 NR
Kemoko Turay PR 57 NR
Josh Adams RB 58 NR
Rasheem Green DT 60 56
Chukwuma Okorafor OT 62 NR
Doran Armstrong PR 63 NR
Marquis Haynes PR 64 NR
Darius Phillips CB 66 NR
Ian Thomas TE 67 NR
Korey Robertson WR 68 NR
Harrison Phillips DT 70 46 43
Tim Settle DT 71 NR
Kevin Tolliver CB 72 NR
Brian O’Neill OT 73 74
Justin Reid S 74 61
Nyheim Hines RB 75 NR
Kyle Lauletta QB 77 66
Donte Jackson CB 78 63 33
Rashaan Gaulden S 79 93

Leighton Vander Esch

Leighton

I’m vooking forward to dee big buildings and dee ball in dee sky wiv dee lights dat rotate and dee green building and dee hot vadies in uptown yah. Jerry Jones daughter has been extra nice. Oh and football, yes football is very nice. (Not sure why but I picture him talking like a bad Arnold impersonation, anyone know if this kid is Swedish or Germany by chance?)

So I am not happy about the Leighton Vander Esch pick BUT some like him as an elite coverage linebacker and anytime you get compared to Brian Urlacher and Luke Kuechly by scouts it’s a good thing. Below is his profile:

Leighton Vander Esch Boise State 6’4 ¼ 256 Jr. He ran a 4.65 40, 20 reps, ‘39 ½ vertical-elite, 10’4 broad-elite, 4.15 shuttle-elite, and 6.88 3 cone-elite. He was a part time player in 2015 (20 tackles), had an injury plagued season in 2016 (27 tackles, 1 sack, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT in 6 games), and then exploded in 2017 (141 tackles, 4 sacks, 8 TFL, 3 INT, 4 FF). He’s a one year wonder but what a one year he had with his tackles, INTs, and FF totals all being elite for a LB. His frame says 3-4 ILB but he has a versatile game so he probably could play 3-4 OLB or any 4-3 position, though 4-3 SLB would be my next favorite position for him after 3-4 ILB. For nearly a 260 lb guy he moves really well both speed and agility wise. He doesn’t show as much strength as you would expect for his size but he’s still pretty strong and he is a solid run stopper and very agile which helps him in coverage. I like his all around game but he doesn’t do anything incredibly well as he has only average instincts, isn’t really a big hitter, and isn’t a 4.5 speed guy to become elite in coverage. He is a well rounded, good at everything/great at nothing type player and sometimes those types like Kyle Van Noy a few years back from BYU end up being busts in the modern day NFL where more guys have specific roles. I like Leighton and think he’ll be an above average starter but I don’t see Pro Bowl traits in him and am surprised to hear his name in the 1st round chatter. Watch his 2017 Wyoming tape and he misses a tackle in space, loses the FB out of the backfield for a big play on a wheel route, and gives up a long TD catch in man coverage. I just don’t know where people see future superstar when they put on that film. His 2017 Oregon film is much better and in every game he shows a good motor and an impressive size/speed ratio. He’s a big guy that moves well and has scheme versatility so he’ll likely be an above average starter but he’s nothing special. Early 3rd round as my #6 LB who I consider vastly overrated 4/4/18.

Obviously this kid didn’t impress me but he’s a Cowboy now so let’s discuss his fit. Sean Lee turns 32 this summer and the defense has fallen off a cliff the past few years when he’s missed games. Taking into account both his age and his injury history (he’s never played a full season in his NFL career, he’s missed 5, 1, 2, 5, 10 games his past 5 years) the Cowboys needed to address the linebacker position. I saw LB as a smaller need than most people as I (hopeless optimistic?) think Jaylen Smith will be an improved player in 2018 vs. 2017-just like he was 2017 vs. 2016. I thought 2nd or 3rd round made more sense at the LB position BUT if you see Lee needing to be slowly phased out as the #1 LB then taking one at #19 makes sense. To me this pick is just like the Taco Charlton pick a year ago in that it just felt very planned and expected. Everyone on Twitter freaked out for months about how impactful that meaningless win vs. the Eagles in Week 17 was (dropped Cowboys from #16 to #19) but if Derwin James dropped to the Cowboys at #19 would they have gone away from the LVE plan? I have my doubts. The Cowboys seem to have over-game planned these past few drafts as they go into it with a set strategy and don’t adjust to the new reality confronting them in the moment. Last year I would have loved to see the Cowboys take a top DB on the board like CB Kevin King (very good starter last year for the Packers) or FS Budda Baker (Pro Bowler as a rookie) yet pigeonholed themselves with taking a DE in round 1 and DBs later. A year later they seemed to have a strategy of taking LVE at #19 regardless of who was on the board and that’s who they got. As a side not I think their strategy is to take a WR in round 2 so expect that tomorrow. I’m telling you right now that in 3 years a Kevin King/Harold Landry duo will look a lot better than Taco Charlton/Leighton Vander Esch. One good thing is that this team seems to be very reasonable in how they approach free agency and how they approach the draft. They aren’t trading up for guys, which costs picks and long term looks too expensive, and they aren’t signing guys in free agency which costs them compensatory picks. This team has slowly evolved into valuing their draft picks and that is a great sign for the franchise’s long term prosperity. “Building through the draft” is slow and sometimes boring but it usually results in good things for teams. Maybe a great coverage linebacker like LVE and a mediocre SDE like Taco Charlton will slowly grow on me over the years as the Cowboys draft one good, cheap starter after another. They are a year away from being out of salary cap hell, something I never thought I’d see happen with Jerry Jones penchant for freewheeling deals in free agency, so this team is on the right track. I just really don’t think LVE is much of a player and so far think the same thing about Charlton after being underwhelmed last year when the Cowboys took a guy on Day 1 of the draft who I didn’t have a first round grade on. Hopefully this turns out differently but maybe it really doesn’t matter as this team will live and die with how Zeke and the O-Line work together. Dak isn’t a franchise QB and the defense has too many holes to be elite so if Dallas has a great running game then they’ll be contenders in 2018, if they don’t then they’ll be 8-8 to 10-6 and be on the playoff bubble like last year. I don’t think Derwin James changes that and I don’t think LVE, good or bad, changes that. The good news is that last year the Cowboys partially made up for a poor 1st round with a great 2nd (Chidobe Awuzie), good 3rd (Jourdan Lewis), average 4th (Ryan Switzer), and great 6th round (Xavier Woods) picks. These good to great Day 2s and Day 3s of the draft are new experiences for a veteran Cowboys draft fan like myself and I hope to see them continue this weekend. I’ll take back everything I said about tonight if they trade up for Harold Landry or Courtland Sutton in the early 2nd and the possibility of getting an impact player tomorrow is there so let’s not write this draft off quite yet. It’s almost midnight so I’m ending it on that note, hope. Let’s all hope that LVE’s great 2017 is what he’ll be throughout his career and we aren’t taking another injury prone, athletic linebacker to pair with the injury prone but athletic Lee and Smith. Let’s hope he becomes more physical. Let’s hope he’s the guy dominating against Oregon last year and not the guy sucking against Wyoming. Let’s hope the Cowboys draft an impact player tomorrow. Let’s hope the Eagles don’t win any more Super Bowls. We can always hope. Good night.