FRISCO, Texas -- The NFL Draft is finally here. Almost time to find out how the Cowboys plan to add to a roster that won 13 games a season ago.
With the 28th overall pick, it's anyone's guess which direction the team might go near the end of Thursday's first round. The writers of DallasCowboys.com are taking one final guess.
Below are the staff's third and final personalized mock drafts for all seven Cowboys picks, including No. 28. See the predictions and analysis from Bryan Broaddus, David Helman, Rob Phillips and Nick Eatman:
Round 2 60
RB, Ohio State
DE, Youngstown State
S, Boston College
S, Texas A&M
RB, San Diego State
WR, North Carolina
CB, Florida State
CB, North Carolina
CB, Oregon State
G, Wayne State
LB, Boise State
Bryan's Analysis: Jackson (5-10) might be short but he is similar height to Orlando Scandrick (5-10) and Anthony Brown (5-11) which doesn't bother this front office. The key for them is the reach and Jackson has a 31 3/8" reach, longer than Marshon Lattimore who is the top cornerback on most boards. Where Jackson also helps you is in the return game. He is one of the nation's top kick off/punt return men in the country. As Bill Parcells once said, when you take him to the game you're getting a lot of plays. Williams is a ballhawking safety who has had back-to-back seasons with five interceptions. True centerfielder that would thrive in single high coverage. Kpassagnon is extremely raw technique wise but tremendous upside when it comes to development. Malone was a three-year starter who is a solid route runner and uses his body well to shield defenders. Has legitimate speed at 4.40. Club worked out Beathard and came away impressed. One of the toughest quarterbacks in the draft who has played under center. McGuire is a complete back. Can do everything that this scheme requires. If you liked Kenneth Dixon (Baltimore) last season, this player is in the same area code. Theaker is a mean/nasty finisher. Played tackle in college but ideally needs to be a guard. Has ideal size at (6-5, 315) and developmental traits worth working with.
David's Analysis:I can't shake this suspicion that the Cowboys desperately want to find themselves a pass rusher in the first round. The debate is going to be what you value more -- the sixth or seventh-best pass rusher, or the third or fourth-best defensive back. In this final mock, I think the Cowboys do what they have to do and draft a guy who can affect the passer. Tyus Bowser is raw, and he doesn't have a ton of experience -- but his athleticism is off the charts. It's not hard to imagine him becoming a force under the coaching of Rod Marinelli, and that's what the Cowboys are banking on. Ready for a curveball? All the top corners get wiped out in the second round. If the Cowboys don't trade up for someone, they're stuck in a situation where they have to trust their board. Pick No. 60 is a high spot to take another running back, but Curtis Samuel can change a game from both the running back and wide receiver spot, and he can return kicks and punts. That's a small price to pay for a guy who plays four positions and is a nice insurance policy for Ezekiel Elliott. The third and fourth rounds are where this team addresses its secondary. It's a stretch to think Shaquill Griffin and Tedric Thompson can start from the get-go, but they provide valuable depth to a unit that needs it. Conor McDermott is a three-year starter who can add depth at tackle for a cheap price. White is a solid value here, given his 6-0 frame and his ability to play the slot. Fields is a local kid who flashed big-time potential early in his college career.
Rob's Analysis: I agree with Dave that you might see a run on cornerbacks (or edge rushers, for that matter) in the second round. I'll stay stubborn and keep Tankersley as my No. 60 pick after McKinley at No. 28. McKinley's March shoulder surgery could affect his availability in his first NFL training camp, but he's an outstanding prospect as a right defensive end. Tankersley has an ideal frame to help against this division's tall, productive receivers. With McKinley not 100 percent yet, I went with Smoot in the fourth round. There's a common theme to all three of my 2-cent mocks: defensive-themed. The Cowboys simply need more numbers on the defensive line and in the secondary. I saved my only offensive pick for last: McGuire has a versatile receiving element to his game.
Nick's Analysis: I had more trouble getting to my first pick than any other. I really don't know if King will be available, but I'm giving it a shot. If it's not him, it'll probably be Adoree' Jackson or Quincy Wilson. But Rivers could be the small-school explosive player off the edge this team has missed. Evans is not only a safety but could help in the return game, something that is rather odd for that position. Pumphrey gives the offense the Lance Dunbar type of player, as does Switzer, who is also much like Cole Beasley. I could have the wrong North Carolina wide receiver. Watch out for Mack Hollins, who would be a great special teams ace. The last two picks are more defensive players that could stick, especially on special teams.