Mock Draft Friday: First-Round 2.0 - Could Cowboys Sign Alfred Morris And Go Defense?

In this edition of Mock Draft Friday, we examine our second full first-round mock draft and find the Dallas Cowboys with a new selection at No. 4 ... while freed to go D because maybe, just maybe, they sign a RB.

This week for Mock Draft Friday I'm doing my second complete First-Round mock draft, featuring all 31 teams with a first-round pick, including the Dallas Cowboys at No. 4. This mock takes into account the first two weeks of pro days around the country. I'll post a new First-Round mock every other Friday up until the NFL Draft.

1. Tennessee: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

Why? No change here. With the trade for running back DeMarco Murray, it's even clearer the Titans need as much help up front as possible.

2. Cleveland: Jared Goff, QB, Cal

Why? No change here either. Scouts made some noise about Goff's smaller-than-desired hands at the combine, but I don't think that will have a significant impact here. The Browns have released Johnny Manziel and need a new hope at quarterback. Goff's pro day is today, so I can't take his performance into account.

3. San Diego: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

Why? First change here for me. It's not often that you lose a player like Eric Weddle and have access to a potential replacement in any draft year. The Chargers would have to be sold that Ramsey could step in immediately, and most scouts are sold on the fact that Ramsey can have an immediate impact wherever he goes. This will break the hearts of some Cowboys fans, who would love to see Ramsey fall to No. 4 and become Barry Church's eventual replacement.

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY

4. Dallas: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Why? I had Carson Wentz here in my first mock. I'm not 100-percent sold that all of the noise about "the Cowboys not taking a quarterback in the first round" is fact. I mean, this time of year every team's strategy is to snow the other 31 teams as much as possible. So all of that talk could be just that — talk. But the Cowboys' fervent examination of Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott doesn't fall under the category of due diligence anymore, not when you consider the Cowboys have met with him twice and watched him work out at least twice. Now this doesn't mean that I think the Cowboys are going to take Prescott. But I think there's some legitimacy to how the Cowboys are auditing the quarterback talent that will be available in Round 2 or beyond. So, assuming that, I think Bosa will be the best player on the board at No. 4, if the draft were held today. He fits an immediate need, of course, as the Cowboys will need a pass rusher to handle the lack of depth associated with Randy Gregory's suspension. He also fits future needs, because if he grows as projected he could become a legitimate cog in the pass rush for the next few years. So if the immediate need fits the best available player philosophy, all the better. 

Now, Bosa doesn't solve every need. He's just one piece. But what if there is another piece or two to come in free agency?

https://twitter.com/fishsports/status/710898487752204288

Yessir. Something like that frees Dallas even more to go Bosa.

5. Jacksonville: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Why? Tough pick here. I feel certain it will be defensive, as the Jaguars have spent the past few years accumulating offensive talent. DeForest Buckner is an option here. So is Vernon Hargreaves III, the corner out of Florida. But Jack's play-making ability trumps the secondary need at this point. This all assumes, of course, that Jack will be healthy by the start of the season. He took a good step forward at UCLA's pro day, participating in most drills and declaring himself 80 percent healthy. 

6. Baltimore: DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon

Why? Buckner would play defensive end in Baltimore's 3-4 defense. They need some youth behind Chris Canty.

7. San Francisco: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Why? I think the Eagles are hopeful Wentz falls to them at No. 8 so they can quickly pull the trigger and get a quarterback for the future. But Chip Kelly and the 49ers beat them to it in this scenario.

8. Philadelphia: Vernon Hargreaves III, DB, Florida

Why? If Wentz isn't there, the Eagles go after secondary help. 

9. Tampa Bay: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Why? The Buccaneers just shoveled a lot of money at running back Doug Martin. While the Bucs have a solid offensive line, Stanley could give them an upgrade on either side.

10. New York Giants: LaQuon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

Why? I'm sticking with Treadwell here. He could step in and be a No. 3 receiver his first year. 

11. Chicago: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Why? Elliott takes a big jump here. He had a great pro day, he's the best available back in the draft and the Bears have a huge need now that Matt Forte is a Jet. He's the kind of tough runner that Bears fans will love.

12. New Orleans: A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

Why? Sticking with Robinson here. The Saints have solid starters in the middle but little depth and Robinson moves into the rotation immediately. 

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY

13. Miami: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

Why? Lawson moves up three spots to a team that needs pass rushing help. 

14. Oakland: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

Why? Lee remains the pick here for the Raiders. He can definitely challenge for playing time in the middle.  

15. Los Angeles: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Why? The Rams' starting wide receivers are Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin. Case closed. I think the Rams like the fit here as opposed to Corey Coleman, whom some scouts have ranked higher.

16. Detroit: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

Why? Ragland would give the Lions a huge boost at linebacker, and their defense needs help all over. 

17. Atlanta: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

Why? I'm going to stay with Billings here, but I can see the Falcons exploring other options. There is a need inside, as Jonathan Babineaux won't last forever.  

18. Indianapolis: Mackensie Alexander, DB, Clemson

Why? The Colts have been upgrading their secondary, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for a potential Day 1 starter in Alexander.

19. Buffalo: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

Why? You look at that Bills offensive line and you go, meh. Conklin could be a starter at left tackle right away. Passing thought — might the Bills take Paxton Lynch here if he drops?

20. New York Jets: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

Why? D'Brickashaw Ferguson has just two years left on his deal at left tackle. Brian Giacomini is the new guy in town on the right side. Decker gives the Jets a backup plan, especially with Matt Forte now the starting running back.  

21. Washington: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA

Why? The more you look at Washington's depth chart the easier it is to see one clear deficiency — elite depth in the middle of their 3-4 defense. Clark, at 314 pounds, fills that hole immediately.     

USA TODAY photo
22. Houston: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

Why? The signings of QB Brock Osweiler and RB Lamar Miller changed the game for this franchise. But they still have some leaks up front and Spriggs can help seal them at one of the tackle positions.

23. Minnesota: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

Why? The Vikings need just a bit more juice in the pass rush. Ogbah can step in as a rotation guy in short order.

24. Cincinnati: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Why? No change here. The Bengals have lost receivers, as expected. Coleman replenishes the supply.  

25. Pittsburgh: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

Why? The Steelers appears to have a solid front-line roster all the way around. I thought about wide receiver here, but instead I went with the best available player on the board that made sense for the Steelers' 3-4 defense, and that's Apple.

26. Seattle: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

Why? Don't mess with what works. Seattle drafts defense and plugs Reed in as a 30-play per game tackle right away.

27. Green Bay: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

Why? The Packers could use some interior help on defense.

28. Kansas City: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

Why? Jeremy Maclin is on one side and … that's about it. Fuller could be a starter from Day 1.

29. Arizona: Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss

Why? The Cardinals rolled the dice on a potential problem player in Tyrann Mathieu and it worked out well. Do they go to the well again? With a stacked roster in place, they can afford to take the chance and he's the best player left on the board.

Alabama Athletics

30. Carolina: Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

Why? No change here. He's the perfect fit for that offense.   

31. Denver: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

Why? The Broncos have lost some pieces on defense and a great player falls into their laps at the end of the first round.  

Note: The New England Patriots do not have a first-round pick this year due to the Deflategate saga.


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