The Dallas Cowboys are looking to reload their defensive backfield during the 2017 NFL draft. Here are some thoughts on their draft strategy.
The Dallas Cowboys are preparing themselves for the 2017 NFL Draft. The team is holding their final pre-draft visits and preparing their draft plans. Cowboys executives were in Phoenix this week for the annual league meetings and they discussed several offseason issues facing the club.
The Cowboys front office have admitted that that this draft will be all about the defense and that could be a great thing. The team has needed to focus on the defensive side of the ball for quite some time and now with some vacancies opening up, defensive back will be a largely discussed position of need.
There will be 17 offensive and 23 defensive players with first round grades during the 2017 NFL draft. That is 40 total players capable of coming in and becoming a franchise player at their position.
That is why in this draft, the second and third rounds have incredible importance because the depth of talent is fairly high. If the Cowboys go all in of their defense in this draft, the team could pick up some reliable starters for years to come.
It still seems as if a trade will get done for the 28th overall selection that the Cowboys hold. The Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Chicago Bears will all select at the beginning of the second round so if a quarterback is on the board that one of those teams want, while Dallas is on the clock, trading back would make sense.
The quality of the offensive players especially the depth at the running back position could force teams to take players at that position early and that would be fantastic for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys could still have a pretty large haul even if no trades are made but an extra pick in the second or third round could do wonders for rebuilding their defense. If the team could acquire the Browns first selection in the second round the team could potentially land T.J. Watt (J.J.’s little brother) a linebacker from Wisconsin as he is slated to be selected late in the first/early in the second round.
The Cowboys recently brought in Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu for a pre-draft visit and that is fairly telling. The team would like to land a solid pass rusher but if none are available a starting caliber safety is the next best option.
There are some interesting names on the Cowboys shortlist but easily the most intriguing is Michigan’s versatile Jabrill Peppers. Peppers can blitz, cover, and has a nose for the football.
In terms of the cornerback position, it will be incredibly interesting to see if the Cowboys double down at the position especially if one of the players they select is Washington’s Sidney Jones. The talented prospect was an early favorite to fall to Dallas and seemed like a match made in heaven however he suffered a season ending injury at his pro-day.
The team could take a chance on him during the second and third round, but should also be looking for two starting caliber defensive backs. Realistically after pass rusher/projected number one overall pick Myles Garrett gets selected, it is anyone’s guess where the other pass rushers will go.
The Cowboys could get lucky and be faced with two or three of the top pass rushers left on the board while they are selecting as teams will look to load up on offensive weapons. If Dallas is going to select only defensive players, this is likely the best draft to use that approach.