Every year there are a few guys who are “guaranteed” top ten picks that end up falling to the end of round one and sometimes beyond it. Last year Laremy Tunsil was looked at as a lock top five player in the 2016 NFL Draft, he ended up going #13 overall to the Miami Dolphins. Laquan Treadwell was mocked as high as #4 overall but ended up going to the Minnesota Vikings with the 23rd overall pick. Then we have guys like Noah Spence, A’Shawn Robinson, and Jarran Reed who weren’t supposed to fall out of the first round but all three ended up getting drafted in the middle of round two. All these players (excluding Laquan Treadwell) had very good rookie seasons. Some of these guys listed fell due to obvious off the field issues or injury concerns but a few of these guys fell for reasons that left many people scratching their heads.
Today, we’re going to look into a few players who have the potential to fall to the Cowboys at pick #28 who have no reason being there. No names like Myles Garrett, Marshon Lattimore, or Jonathan Allen will not be on this list. But a couple of guys who I think have elite skill sets will be.
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
The three-technique position in Dallas is currently filled by second year player Maliek Collins. Collins had a impressive rookie season and has earned the right to be the starter at that position. With three-technique being McDowell’s ideal position fit in a 4-3 defense you would have to find a place for him to play. That is a task I’m willing to take on to land a player like Malik McDowell. McDowell has the strength of a player that is 320 plus pounds but moves like a player that is 260 pounds. His rare combination of size and speed and flexibility to play the three-tech, either defensive end spot and even slide in and play the five-technique on passing downs would have Rod Marinelli drooling at the mouth. Now McDowell’s talent is in no question, but his motor and love for the game is. Multiple sources/scouts have came out and said that McDowell hasn’t proven in any interviews that he really eats, sleeps, and breaths football and that even shows up on his game tape. McDowell consistently shows that he takes plays off, sometimes even games off. But when the former Michigan State Spartan is on his A game you see flashes of plays being made that remind you of Aaron Donald and JJ Watt. If there is a guy in the NFL who can motivate and push a player with elite traits to meet their potential 9 out of 10 people would point to Rod Marinelli to be that guy. The Cowboys currently have plenty of guys on their roster who would play a similar role as McDowell (David Irving, Tyron Crawford) but none of the have the skill set and potential that Malik McDowell’s has.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Derek Barnett is another guy who has no business being around when the Cowboys are on the clock, but crazier things have happened. Barnett didn’t set the world on fire at the combine and has been dealing with a few injuries and sicknesses that have kept him limited in his pre-draft testing. Barnett had about as productive college career as you could wish for. Breaking Reggie White’s sack record is just one of many impressive things Barnett did on the football field over his last three years at Tennessee. Barnett doesn’t have any off the field issues, and really stayed healthy his entire career at Tennessee but his disappointing combine and his lack of pass rush moves may push Barnett down the board right into the Cowboys lap. Barnett’s ability to bend, his explosive first step, awareness, and great hand usage makes for a consensus top 20 pick, but in today’s NFL teams really like when a players combine numbers match their production and for Barnett that is not the case.
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
IF and I repeat IF Corey Davis is still available when the Cowboys are on the clock that pick would be a no-brainer for me. Wide Receiver isn’t a position of need but isn’t a position that should be ignored if the opportunity presents itself to EXTREMELY upgrade it. Corey Davis is a top 10 talent in this years draft class, but his inability to provide any kind of testing numbers will push him down the board for some teams. Corey Davis has elite traits and I think has the potential to be a top wide receiver in the NFL even in his rookie year. If the Cowboys are on the clock at 28 and Davis is still available along with a CB3-4 or a DE5-6 drafting many analysis’s WR1 would be great value for the already productive Dallas offense. Some people may think drafting a receiver here would be silly with all the holes on defense, but I disagree. Terrance Williams has been a productive WR2 his entire career but has never shown the ability to take pressure off of Dez Bryant, Corey Davis has the ability to draw attention away from Dez, Zeke, and Dak and be a huge difference maker in the process.
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
If fully healthy I’m not sure Ramczyk makes it out of the top 10 much less to 28, but unfortunately for Ryan Ramczyk and fortunately for the Cowboys that is not the case. The Cowboys have options at right tackle after Doug Free’s retirement but by no means have a consensus starter. Ramczyk when fully recovered would be the walk in starter for the start of the season. Ramczyk is currently my 11th ranked player in this years draft even with his hip injury, but with him likely to be ready by training camp the risk is worth the potential reward. With the the inevitable extension coming for Zack Martin and IF the Cowboys luckily land Ramczyk that would lock up 4 of the 5 starting offensive lineman until 2023 if Martins extension is similar to Travis Fredrick’s or Tyron Smith’s.
I will be releasing my final 7 Round Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft next Wednesday keep an eye out as I try and take a swing at what I think the Cowboys might do come April 27th-29th.
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