Cowboys 7-Round Mock 3.0: Two Drafts In One!

It's my Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft 3.0 and this time around I did two mock drafts because the first ... well, let's just say it's proof that 'draft philosophy' doesn't always work

So we’re nearing the end of March ... so it’s time for my third Dallas Cowboys 7-round Mock Draft. And it’s two for the price of one this time around.

I ended up doing two mocks for one reason — the first didn’t go as I had hoped. But I wanted to publish both. I go by best player available (because that’s what the Cowboys say they try to do on draft day) and try to keep the Cowboys’ needs in mind, but sometimes due to fit or uneasiness about the pick, I dipped down below the BPA to pick another player. I provide the logic below, especially for Mock No. 1 and for the selections in Round 1 and Round 2. No mock draft is perfect and no actual draft is perfect. But along with BPA I stick to one other rule — if you’re not 100 percent comfortable with the player you’re contemplating selecting, especially in the first two rounds, don’t take him. You can’t miss on those picks these days. Feel free to chime in on my Twitter feed @PostinsPostcard if you agree or disagree.

This is Mock No. 1, completed March 22:

Round 1 (No. 28): CB Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson

The Cowboys have two major needs at this point — pass rusher and secondary. Here were the Top 4 players on the board when the Cowboys came on the clock:





I know that we've reported that the Cowboys are meeting with McKinley next month, and that the Cowboys like him. (See our Takk scouting report/breakdown here). But I don’t think he’s a fit for the Cowboys’ 4-3 scheme. He sounds like more of a 3-4 OLB fit. Plus the torn labrum worries me. I have doubts he’ll be ready for the season and the Cowboys don’t need yet another DE that can’t play in 2017. I eliminated Williams because he’s smaller than McKinley. That left me with White and Tankersley. I went with Tankersley because of his speed (4.4), his experience in different coverages (man and zone) and his play-making ability. I really like what I see on tape and he can slide into that rotation immediately.  

Round 2 (No. 60): S Budda Baker, Washington

Here’s where you decide if you’re going to live and die by the best player available. Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt was at the top of the board here. But I’m just not sure he’s a good fit for a 4-3 scheme at pass rusher. My assessment was further bolstered by this from Bryan Broaddus, one of the best talent evaluators around:

Now, Broaddus’ opinion isn’t the end-all-be-all, of course. But this is a guy that has been there and done it for teams during this process. So I went by his evaluation and passed on Watt to take Baker, a solid safety who can come in and compete for playing time right away. This is a player that could eventually address the Barry Church gap. If you’re not 100 percent sure, don’t take the player. That’s my opinion when it came to Watt. And you can see that passing on him had an impact later on.

Round 3 (No. 92): TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech

Top player on board at the time. He could be the Witten heir apparent in a couple of years.

Round 4 (No. 133): C Ethan Pocic, LSU

This probably seems weird. What do the Cowboys need a center for? But Pocic played all three positions at LSU, he stands 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds and he could complete at that open right tackle position. At the least, he can be terrific depth, a player with position versatility from the nation’s top conference.

Round 5: No pick

Round 6: (No. 211): LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee

He’s dropping due to injury concerns (shoulder), but this is where you take those risk-reward players. He’s a great fit for a Marinelli-coordinated defense in my opinion. I just wish he could play defensive end.

Round 7 (No. 228): DE Bryan Cox, Florida

So we finally get the Cowboys an edge rusher in Round 7. That isn’t optimal but that’s how it goes sometimes. Making the team would be enough.

Round 7 (No. 246): DE Tashawn Bower, LSU

Scouts consider him a raw player. Marinelli and his defensive staff could turn him into something, but they need some time and Bower needs to make the team.

Now here’s Mock No. 2, done March 25:

Round 1 (No. 28): Edge Derek Barnett, Tennessee

It came down to Barnett and Jabrill Peppers here. I went with Barnett, who showed impressive quickness at the combine and fills a glaring need up front. I’m hoping to find a safety later.

Round 2 (No. 60): Edge Carl Lawson, Auburn

Lawson was 10 spots ahead of the next player on the board. The Cowboys need talent on the edge and between Barnett and Lawson that should cover them.

Round 3 (No. 92): TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech

It’s nice when a plan comes together — twice. Witten’s potential heir apparent pops up again.

Round 4 (No. 133): CB Jalen Myrick, Minnesota

He had the fastest 40 time of any defensive back at the combine. Just three interceptions for his college career, though, and a tad undersized at 5-10 for the edge. He could help in the slot and he’s returned kicks, so there’s special teams versatility, too.

Round 5: No pick

Round 6: (No. 211): S Delano Hill, Michigan

This is a little later than I wanted to wait for a safety. Another swift player, as he ran a 4.47 at the combine. But can he make the transition to being a safety that can help in pass coverage?

Round 7 (No. 228): CB Channing Stribling, Michigan

He’s a big corner at 6-foot-2. So he can help you on jump balls in short coverage situations. But he has potential to be burned downfield and I wonder how much he can help on special teams. With a 7th round pick you’re hoping he can make the practice squad.

Round 7 (No. 246): DL Josh Tupuo, Colorado

I saw this guy play in person a couple of times last year. He’s darned near impossible to move at 320 pounds. He’s a one-technique in this defense and he probably only plays 25-30 plays per game. But if he can clog the middle like he did in Boulder, well, that’s an asset in run defense.

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