The fourth weekly Dallas Cowboys mock draft, focusing on positions of need and selecting players in places where value presents itself.
This is the final opportunity to present Dallas Cowboys fans with players to look into and keep an eye on before the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine begins this week.
I am continuing the trend of selecting seven players that were not drafted in previous mocks, although this is likely the final week that it happens for all seven spots.
In this week’s mock draft, two edge rushers are selected in the first three rounds and one has interesting position flexibility.
Round 1 (28th overall)
Takkarist McKinley- 6’2″ 265 pounds- linebacker/edge rusher- UCLA
Before the news broke that McKinley is going to undergo shoulder surgery for a torn labrum after he works out at the combine, he was considered a top 15 pick in this year’s draft.
McKinley is a solid-framed player that will intrigue teams that run both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes.
He is a very explosive athlete that should run impressive times this week at the combine.
The most impressive trait that Tak McKinley possesses is his relentless motor. This guy simply doesn’t stop charging full steam ahead all game long.
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He is a guy that wins with his athleticism and his ability to outwork the guy in front of him.
He is going to be a high motor hustle player that will excel as a pass rusher in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s defense where he will be asked to explode off the line of scrimmage and not stop until the quarterback is buried 9 yards deep in the backfield.
His lateral movement and quickness help him capitalize on second effort plays which will allow him to close on quarterbacks that break the pocket and try to improvise.
He is far from a fully refined pass rusher like Solomon Thomas, Myles Garrett, and Derek Barnett are at the top of the draft board.
McKinley is still very raw as a pass rusher and needs to learn how to use his hands and counter moves to consistently dominate in the NFL.
It is quite possible that McKinley is athletic enough where the Cowboys try him at strong side linebacker in the base defense, where he can be used as a blitzer and edge setter that can hold up at the point of attack at the Sam backer spot.
If he is capable of doing that, the selection of McKinley makes them more explosive and physically imposing at two positions instead of one- because Tak can come up and rush as a defensive end in passing situations.