The Dallas Cowboys have a lot to do come draft day and most of it has to do with the defensive line.
The Cowboys have a need for a shutdown corner and elite edge rushers for their defense. The only way that happens in this draft is by moving in the first-round. The draft is loaded with play makers up and down the draft, but it doesn’t have the elite players like it does at the top of the board. Throw that with the fact that the Cowboys haven’t really excelled in their second-round picks, and I see this as a fantastic opportunity to make a move and try to get inside the top 10 or 12 of this year’s draft.
Many say that the picks between No. 15 in the first round and late in the second-round are very similar. Depending on the draft, and the team’s needs, it is very much true. With defense being loaded, the Cowboys could get two excellent players late in both rounds, but they can also fail in that second-round like we have seen happen in years past.
Throw out Sean Lee and this team has either taken a huge gamble on players in the second-round or have seen the player they have taken not become the player they had hoped. Lee is one of the best players on this defense and proves that there are players in that second-round that are truly game changers. On the other side, you have Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence, they both had huge upside on what they can bring, but they also came with some huge baggage with their off-field issues. Both appear to still be in that mindset of “me” and doesn’t always do the right thing in the off-season. Last year, they used their pick on a player that many feel will never be the same player with his injury, Jaylon Smith.
— SI NFL (@si_nfl) April 15, 2017
So, if you can swap your first-round pick with someone inside the top 10 or 12, along with shipping your second-round pick to do so, it makes sense to me. If Dallas was hitting on second-round picks left and right, it would be another thing, but they haven’t and the talent at the top of this class is far and away ahead of the next level, even if that level is NFL-ready.
On the edge, the Cowboys would love to grab either Myles Garrett, Solomon Thomas, or Derek Barnett. All three have elite talent and will have an immediate impact in this league. However, all three will likely be taken well before the Cowboys pick at number 28.
At cornerback, Dallas would likely have some interest in Marshon Lattimore, who projects to be a top 15 pick in this draft. The former Ohio State corner seems to be a lock to be successful in this league, but likely won’t fall to the Cowboys at 28.
Should Dallas do everything in their power to get inside the top third of this draft to take one of the above three? Outside of Garrett, who should they take if they do move up in the draft?