The NFL Draft is about a week away, to it’s time for my fourth Dallas Cowboys 7-round Mock Draft. And it has a Cowboys visit slant, though that wasn’t intentional.
As with previous mock drafts, I went by best player available (because that’s what the Cowboys say they do on draft day) but also tried to keep the Cowboys’ needs in mind. I also used the FanSpeak.com draft simulation software to simulate being on the clock and not having control over what other teams might select. Sometimes due to scheme fit, uneasiness or current roster depth, I dipped down below the BPA to pick another player. I provide the logic below. While I didn’t plan to keep the Cowboys’ 30 Dallas visits in mind (get the low down here), as you’ll see my first three selections came from players that have visited the Cowboys this month. Keep this in mind as well — 11 of the Cowboys’ draft picks the last three years have come from players that visited Dallas in April.
Also, Gil Brandt’s Hot 150 came out recently, and it was interesting to see where these selections fall on the list of the former Cowboys player personnel director and current NFL.com contributor.
Round 1 (No. 28): Edge Derek Barnett, Tennessee
Brandt has Barnett as a Top 20 player, so it’s possible he drops to the Cowboys. He’s not a player I saw play in person last year, but what I’ve seen of him on tape leads me to believe he’s be a good fit on the right side. He was highly productive, had more career sacks at Tennessee than Reggie White and most of his sacks came in SEC play, according to Brandt. Barnett wasn’t the top player on the board at the time the Cowboys hit the clock, though. That was actually Alabama TE O.J. Howard. But I just couldn’t pull the trigger. The Cowboys have solid depth at tight end. They don’t at defensive end. Barnett fills an immediate need. See our scouting report on Barnett - 'What If He Slips?' - here.
Round 2 (No. 60): CB Teez Tabor, Florida
I’ve seen Tabor go in the first round in some mock drafts, but he drops to No. 60 here. The Cowboys need some help in the secondary and Tabor has playmaking ability and a good all-around makeup for the position. The off-the-field stuff, including a suspension, worries me, though. Will that pattern continue in the NFL? That’s critical for Dallas, since it’s missed on several second-round picks the past few years. I passed on Ohio’s Tarell Basham here, even though he’s a player I like. But Basham and Tabor were valued pretty evenly and I didn’t feel comfortable passing on a good corner when defensive end was addressed in the first round. Like Barnett, Tabor visited Dallas this month.
Round 3 (No. 92): S Marcus Williams, Utah
Williams has popped up in my 7-round mocks before, he’s a player I saw in person last year and a player I was impressed with. Additionally, he addresses a key need after the losses of Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. His combine numbers were quite reminiscent of the numbers Byron Jones put up a couple of years ago. And while many out there see Williams as a second- or third-round pick, Brandt has Williams ranked No. 38 on his Hot 150, and the guys at 105.3 The Fan have a third-round grade on him. If Williams drops this far, I can’t see any reason why the Cowboys don’t pounce. Williams visited Dallas this month.
Round 4 (No. 133): C Ethan Pocic, LSU
Pocic found his way into my last 7-round mock. We’re talking about an SEC-caliber lineman who has played all three positions and can come into a Cowboys O-line and provide depth immediately. By the way, Brandt has him at No. 54 on his Hot 150. He has not reportedly visited the Cowboys. In fact, no offensive lineman has visited the Cowboys this month.
By the way, the first four picks on the list were in Brandt’s Hot 150, and all of them were in his Top 100.
Round 5: No pick
Round 6: (No. 211): S Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville
Harvey-Clemons gives the Cowboys some additional safety depth and some raw material to work with on special teams. He’s the first player take in this mock outside of Brandt’s Hot 150.
Round 7 (No. 228): CB Brandon Wilson, Houston
The Cowboys would love to grab some versatility in this draft, and Wilson has it, having played running back, cornerback and kick returner in college — and he’s scored all three ways. He improved his stock at his pro day, where he ran a sub-4.4 in the 40. He could be a special teams contributor immediately.
Round 7 (No. 246): DL Josh Tupuo, Colorado
Tupuo is a holdover from my last 7-round mock. He’s a space-eating defensive tackle that could be used as depth at the one-technique on running downs. He’s limited in that way, but at 325 pounds, you try moving him.