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Staff Writers Make An Early Attempt At A 7-Round Mock Draft

FRISCO, Texas –It's beginning to feel like draft season.

After what feels like an eternity, the 2018 NFL Draft – which will be held at AT&T Stadium – is just over a month away. The NFL Combine is over, pro days have begun and the Cowboys will soon begin hosting their pre-draft visitors.

The real process of preparing for the draft is in full swing.

With that thought in mind, the staff decided to take an early crack at the Cowboys' 2018 draft class. They have 10 picks to make, which will give them plenty of opportunity to add to the roster.

For the purposes of this exercise, there won't be any trades – though it's totally plausible to think the Cowboys will move around in this year's draft. For now, this is simply about finding 10 players that make sense for their needs.

1 (19)

LB Rashaan Evans

DT Da'Ron Payne
LB Leighton Vander Esch
Boise State
LB Leighton Vander Esch
Boise State
2 (18)WR Anthony Miller
WR James Washington 
Oklahoma State
WR Anthony Miller
G Braden Smith
3 (17)S Marcus Allen
Penn State
LB Malik Jefferson

RB Nyheim Hines
NC State

TE Ian Thomas
4 (16)DT B.J. Hill
NC State
RB Nyheim Hines
NC State
DT Folorunso Fatukaski
RB Nyheim Hines
NC State
4 (37)TE Durham Smythe
Notre Dame
TE Ian Thomas
S Kyzir White
West Virginia
WR Cedric Wilson
Boise State
5 (34)RB Darrel Williams
QB Luke Falk
Washington State
QB Brandon Silvers
S Jordan Whitehead
5 (36)DE Tyquan Lewis
Ohio State
S Trayvon Henderson
CB Holton Hill
DT Eddy Wilson
6 (19)G Taylor Hearn
C Tejan Koromo
LB Jack Cichy
QB Riley Ferguson
6 (34)QB Chase Litton
DT P.J. Hall
Sam Houston State
T Timon Parris
Stony Brook
LB Tre' Williams
7 (18)T Nick Gates
DE Tyquan Lewis
Ohio State
C Tejan Koroma
T Christian DiLauro

David's 2-Cent Draft:

**RD (PK)****POS****PLAYER****SCHOOL**
1 (19)LBRashaan EvansAlabama
2 (18)WRAnthony MillerMemphis
3 (17)SMarcus AllenPenn State
4 (16)DTB.J. HillNC State
4 (37)TEDurham SmytheNotre Dame
5 (34)RBDarrel WilliamsLSU
5 (36)DETyquan LewisOhio State
6 (19)GTaylor HearnClemson
6 (34)QBChase LittonMarshall
7 (18)TNick GatesNebraska

David's Analysis:

I have a couple big thoughts here. First is that I think the Cowboys' starting left guard is already on the roster – whether that's Marcus Martin or someone else. That will limit their need to pick one highly in this draft. Second, I think they're likely going to get wiped out of their top preferences at pick No. 19. If that happens, Evans is a pretty nice consolation prize – a big, physical linebacker who can provide fantastic depth as well as a potential third starter. I feel very confident the Cowboys will draft a wide receiver in the first three rounds, and Miller is an unheralded but polished talent who could step in and contribute right away. Allen gives the Cowboys another talented, young safety to team with the duo of Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier. Let them fight it out for the job next to Jeff Heath. B.J. Hill, Durham Smythe and Darrel Williams obviously aren't going to start on this team, but they would provide some fantastic depth at key positions. With my other four picks, I'm taking shots in the dark at big school talents with interesting traits. I do think, somehow, some way, the Cowboys will draft a quarterback on Day 3 to work with Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush.

Nick's 2-Cent Draft:

**RD (PK)****POS****PLAYER****SCHOOL**
1 (19)DTDa'Ron PayneAlabama
2 (18)WRJames WashingtonOklahoma State
3 (17)LBMalik JeffersonTexas
4 (16)RBNyheim HinesNC State
4 (37)TEIan ThomasIndiana
5 (34)QBLuke FalkWashington State
5 (36)STrayvon HendersonHawaii
6 (19)CTejan KoromoBYU
6 (34)DTP.J. HallSam Houston State
7 (18)DETyquan LewisOhio State

Nick's Analysis:

While I understand that Payne's two best games of his career occurred in the two playoff games back in January, that doesn't really scare me away. He's a young player that had to fight for time and he shined the brightest on the biggest stage. His athletic ability for that position can make a difference. Washington can stretch the defense and that's something this team has needed for a while. Jefferson might not last that long but the Cowboys could use a dynamic linebacker who can be physical. My favorite player on this list is Hines, who is a track guy who plays running back. They need more game-changers on offense and Thomas could also be in that category. The other picks are just really filling out holes at other positions. I'll be shocked if this team doesn't make a trade or three during the weekend.

Bryan's 2-Cent Draft:

**RD (PK)****POS****PLAYER****SCHOOL**
1 (19)LBLeighton Vander EschBoise State
2 (18)WRAnthony MillerMemphis
3 (17)RBNyheim HinesNC State
4 (16)DTFolorunso FatukaskiConnecticut
4 (37)S Kyzir WhiteWest Virginia
5 (34)QBBrandon SilversTroy
5 (36)CBHolton HillTexas
6 (19)LBJack CichyWisconsin
6 (34TTimon ParrisStony Brook
7 (18)CTejan KoromaBYU

Bryan's Analysis:

You never know which direction the draft will go until it actually starts. Where the Cowboys currently sit, they're truly at the mercy of the board. With 10 selections in this draft, there will be a great opportunity to move around and grab some key players, so hopefully they will take advantage of that. For the Mock's sake, I will make all 10 selections. Things are lining up for them to draft Leighton Vander Esch in the first. They're clearly doing their due diligence on him. Film, interviews and workouts - - it's all staring you in the face. Anthony Miller is capable of making plays at all levels and would be a nice fit. Nyheim Hines would be a different type of back to what you have with Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith. Folorunso Fatukaski is an underrated defensive tackle that's outstanding at the point of attack. Kyzir White's reactions and tackling ability make him a candidate for free safety. Brandon Silvers knows how to throw receivers open with his arm talent. Holton Hill has had his share of off the field problems but the talent is too good to pass at this point. If he didn't have a medical history, Jack Cichy would be considered much higher. Film is outstanding. Timon Parris is a developmental project but I am betting on his traits for later upside. I really do like Tejan Koroma's toughness and the way he plays with leverage, but his lack of height (6-0) could be an issue.

Rob's 2-Cent Draft:

1 (19)LBLeighton Vander EschBoise State
2 (18)GBraden SmithAuburn
3 (17)TEIan ThomasIndiana
4 (16)RBNyheim HinesNC State
4 (37)WRCedric WilsonBoise State
5 (34)SJordan WhiteheadPittsburgh
5 (36)DTEddy WilsonPurdue
6 (19)QBRiley FergusonMemphis 
6 (34)LBTre’ WilliamsAuburn
7 (18)TChristian DiLauroIllinois

Rob's Analysis:

The Cowboys still need linebacker depth, even with the Joe Thomas signing and Jaylon Smith's continued progress. Vander Esch doesn't have a ton of time on task as a starter, but he's a big-time athlete who could help at Anthony Hitchens' vacated MIKE linebacker spot. The Cowboys covered themselves at guard by signing Marcus Martin and re-signing Joe Looney, and they could always move La'el Collins back inside. But for a potential long-term solution, Smith is one of the better guard prospects in the draft. Hines and Wilson would add more options for Dak Prescott in the passing game, Whitehead is a tough-hitting safety who can cover. Jerry Jones said at the Combine that the Cowboys would prefer to find another young backup quarterback over bringing in a veteran, and although they like Cooper Rush as Prescott's primary reserve, maybe they take a flier in later rounds on someone like Ferguson, who has a big arm and put up big numbers at Memphis.

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