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Mailbag: Will There Be Talent Left At No. 24? 


Are there any players from last year's draft who you could see contributing more? — KENNETH JACOBS / DENVER, CO

Nick: This has to be a big year for Kelvin Joseph or maybe Nahshon Wright can step up and play more on defense. I'd like to see what Josh Ball has at the tackle spot. And of course, Jabril Cox will be asked to play a lot more at linebacker, assuming he recovers fine from the ACL injury.

Rob: Kelvin Joseph is the obvious answer because he's the highest pick in the class after Micah Parsons, and a groin injury cut Joseph's training camp short and sidelined him for almost half his rookie season. If Jabril Cox (ACL) is ready to go for the start of the season, he could have a chance at a much larger role because linebacker looks pretty thin right now. And maybe Chauncey Golston could step into the rotation a little more depending on what happens at defensive end with Randy Gregory, DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong.

I have heard that there are only so many true first-round talents in the draft each year. How many are there in this year's draft? Would the Cowboys get a true first round talent at No. 24 or would they need to trade up for one or down because no true first-rounders are available at 24? — PAUL KARAM / HOUSTON, TX

Nick: I never really buy into all of that. Who is a first-round talent? You're just going off one person's opinion and I doubt they really study these players for their entire career. You can't look at just 2-3 game clips and grade them perfectly. Trevon Diggs was a first-round talent but went deep into the second round. I don't think you get scared off by the fact you're picking No. 24. You take a good player at a position of need and coach him up the best you can. But I don't know why anyone's opinion of "first-round grades" really matters because it's always subjective.

Rob: I would guess that, on average, teams have first-round grades on fewer than 32 players each year. So I get your point. Does that mean you have to trade out of the first round if you're picking in the 20s? Absolutely not. Yes, I know the Taco Charlton pick didn't work out. But the Cowboys drafted Travis Frederick at 31 and Byron Jones at 27 and that worked out pretty well. I'd rather draft the 24th-best player in my mind than trade down and draft twice in the second round. That's just me, though.

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