As the Dallas Cowboys are preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft, how will the recent rash of injuries to cornerback prospects affect their strategy?
The Dallas Cowboys are preparing for the 2017 NFL Draft which should feature some terrific players. The Cowboys currently hold the 28th overall selection which puts them right at the end of the first round. With so many needs, the team is also reflecting on players they must rely on in 2017 if the franchise is to contend for a Super Bowl title.
Promising potential first round draft pick Fabian Moreau suffered a pectoral injury during UCLA’s pro-day. The injury is thought to be minor but is just a reminder of how every little detail matters when it comes to draft positioning.
Moreau is now projected to be a second round selection and that could matter when the Cowboys are on the clock. Washington’s talented cornerback Sidney Jones suffered a more serious injury that should keep him out well into the 2017 regular season.
His draft stock has taken a bit of a hit but is still expected to be taken in the second or third round. There are only two cornerbacks in the NFL Draft with a true first round grade (Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore/Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey) and that could force the Cowboys to focus on the position later in the draft.
It will all come down to how the draft progresses, pass rushers, wide receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks should account for most of the first round talent taken. At the end of the first round the Cowboys could see the two pass rushers on the board worthy of a first round grade Michigan’s, Taco Charlton and Missouri’s Charles Harris.
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The feeling seems to be if either player is available they will be the Cowboys first round selection. It would be fairly shocking to see top prospects, Mike Williams, Corey Davis, John Ross fall towards the end of the first round. Safety could be a possibility as it is a position of need, it will be interesting to see if Jabrill Peppers can improve his draft stock at Michigan’s pro-day.
If he falls, he is versatile enough for the Cowboys to take a shot on. Ohio State’s Malik Hooker is also an intriguing name as he has been recovering from sports hernia surgery and a torn labrum.
His injuries should put his draft stock right towards the end of the first round and after getting one spectacular Ohio State star in running back Ezekiel Elliott, the team could be tempted to add Hooker.
At the end of the day need should only add reason to the “best player available” thought process. If a running back is the highest graded player when the Cowboys are on the clock they should probably reach for the best player with a second round grade.
While the odds of this are unlikely drafting for the “best player available” still requires some thought. If there are no pass rushers, Dallas will still have to address the position later in the draft.
With the projected fall of quarterback prospects and the need for playmakers, the Cowboys could have the decision of who to select somewhat made for them. If all four of the top pass rushers have been selected and all the top defensive backs are off the board, reaching for a player like T.J. Watt would make sense, after all he and his brother do share some similarities.
Watt is also a pretty productive linebacker whose ceiling is tremendously high. He would need to add some muscle if he would want to switch to edge rusher. But Watt could seriously bolster the Cowboys’ linebacking corps.