Draft Consensus For Cowboys Seems To Be At Corner


Less than one week now remains before the annual NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday.  The actual start of the draft not only gives fans something tangible when it comes to preparation for the upcoming season but also ends the prognostication period that is the Mock Draft.

Mock Drafts are somewhat of a necessary evil.  As annoying, inaccurate and pointless as they can be at times, there isn’t a football fan that exists that does not either read many different ones or participate in one themselves.

Part of the appeal of the Mock Draft is that anyone with some decent football knowledge, a little bit of time and the desire to do one can.  Mel Kiper, Jr. made a cottage industry for himself based solely on that foundation.  It’s the one football related event that literally takes no prior experience in the game in order to participate.

More from The Landry Hat

Of course, that’s also the downside.

With that being said, I found this to be a fitting time to review the various mock drafts out there one last time. Doing so was an effort to get a pulse on what the analysts believe the Dallas Cowboys will do with their 27th pick in the first round.

Here’s what I found after checking in with ten different websites and seventeen separate mock drafters across the internet:

Only two of the individual analysts, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein and Bleacher Report’s Sean O’Donnell, had the Cowboys drafting an offensive player.  Both of them had Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon trading in his t-shirt for an actual jersey and some elongated hand shake routine with the Commissioner.

Four prognosticators, CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco and Will Brinson, along with Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar and Rotoworld’s Josh Norris, had the Cowboys addressing their defensive line.  Prisco was the only one who went with interior line help, pegging Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips as the guy.

The other three all went for a defensive end.

Brinson had the Cowboys selecting Kentucky’s Alvin Dupree.  Farrar went with UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa while Norris had Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory falling to the Cowboys.

The other eleven mock draft participants all had the Dallas Cowboys choosing a cornerback near the end of the first round.  Of those eleven, five different prospects were predicted to wear the Star on their future NFL helmet.

Washington’s Marcus Peters and Florida State’s P.J. Williams each showed up once.  Kevin Johnson, the standout from Wake Forest, was chosen two separate times.  LSU’s Jalen Collins was foreseen to be the pick by three different drafters while the consensus pick happened to be Connecticut’s Byron Jones.  He was the choice by four separate analysts.

I found it interesting that both guys who have Dallas choosing Gordon had them passing on supreme cornerback talent in order to do so.  Zierlein has the Cowboys passing on both Collins and Jones, while O’Donnell has Johnson and Jones both still available after pick #27

In fact, there were only three who do not believe Jones will still be available for the Cowboys to choose when it comes to be their turn.

Personally, I have made it no secret that this is the exact direction I would love to see the Cowboys take.  In my own seven round mock draft, I had Dallas taking Jones.

The position flexibility he brings can only help in an absolute best case scenario that involves cornerback Brandon Carr finally becoming the guy Dallas hoped he would be when they gave him a $50.1 million contract three years ago. and former sixth overall pick Morris Claiborne actually playing like a first round talent.

In the otherwise realistic scenario in which neither occur, at the very least Jones can provide elite athleticism and above average intelligence to a position sorely in need of both on this team.

Lastly, the value of Jones in the late stages of the first round is far better than reaching for a running back or defensive end at the same spot.  Unless Gordon, Georgia’s Todd Gurley, Gregory or possibly Missouri’s Shane Ray or Clemson’s Vic Beasley happens to fall that low, it just makes sense from a value standpoint to select a cornerback.

The guessing and speculation all will be over in a matter of days.  Hopefully, the majority of the prognostications are accurate.

Next: Did You Like Tony Romo's Super Bowl Proclamation?