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Mailbag: Where To Draft O-Line Depth Now? Caution With First-Round WRs?
I've seen linebacker mocked to Dallas with the 19th overall pick. Why would Dallas waste a 19th overall pick on a LB when the team already has three starters penciled in on the roster? The first-round pick should be a player that starts immediately for the next five years, someone like Will Hernandez or Isaiah Wynn. This would fill a major need as well as shore up your O-line for the next five years! Your thoughts?
Rob: I had Hernandez in my original first mock but switched to Leighton Vander Esch when Dallas signed Cameron Fleming and Marcus Martin. For at least 2018, I think they’ve covered themselves enough at O-Line to avoid spending another first-round pick there. Now, are three starters really ‘penciled in’ at linebacker? Not sure about that. I do think Jaylon Smith has a real chance to be more productive with more snaps, either at MIKE or SAM or perhaps both. The team also lost Kyle Wilber in addition to Hitchens, and we know Smith and Sean Lee have dealt with injuries. They need at least another linebacker as part of the rotation.
Bryan: Their ace in the hole at left guard is moving La’el Collins back to that spot. If you told me that they could get the best offensive tackle in the draft in Mike McGlinchey with the possibility of having him start on the right side and move to the left if something happens to Tyron Smith, I’d do that in a heartbeat. They need a linebacker and the options there at 19 are good with Vander Esch and Evans.
THE WOODLANDS, TX
What is different about the potential first-round receivers to make you think they are more like Cincinnati’s A.J. Green versus Baltimore’s Breshad Perriman? Recent history suggests that the first round is not good value for a WR.
Rob: I think your point’s well made. Receivers typically have a longer transition in part because of the style of offense most teams play in college. To me, Calvin Ridley has a real chance to step in and be productive for a team because he’s an outstanding route runner and he played in a pro-style system at Alabama. Of course, he might not even be around at 19 for the Cowboys to consider.
Bryan: They brought in my two first-round receivers in Ridley and D.J. Moore. Breshad Perriman was a bad pick. He should have never been selected in the first round. There is no question that it has been a struggle for first-round receivers but that shouldn’t keep you from taking one. Both Ridley and Moore have the ability to help you right now, and for that I’d be happy to have either one. Read