The Dallas Cowboys will look to the 2018 NFL Draft to help push them back to their 2016 form. Here is the best picks they can make to help that happen.
The 2017 season was a disappointing one for Dallas Cowboys fans. After a 13-3 season in 2016 behind the best rookie quarterback and running back combination in NFL history, expectations were high.
Now Dallas will look to the 2018 draft to help them regain their form. Here are the payers they should target in the seven rounds. For this exercise I utilized FanSpeak’s On The Clock, a fun tool to do mock drafts.
Round 1 – Pick 19
Derwin James, S, Florida State
The Cowboys spent a large portion of the 2017 draft on pieces in the secondary. After their rookie season it looks like the makings of a solid unit going forward. The Cowboys also added former coach of the “Legion of Boom” Kris Richards to coach the unit this offseason. With Richards on board it looks like more changes are coming. One of those is moving current starting safety Byron Jones to corner, a position he played in college and briefly his rookie year. Jones being moved opens up a massive hole at safety, one they can address in the first round of the draft.
The best safety prospect in the draft class fell to 19, a dream scenario for the Dallas Cowboys. The team’s top targets were both taken two to five picks ahead of them in Vita Vea and Calvin Ridley. Derwin James of Florida State is not a bad consolation prize.
It was less than a year ago where pundits were putting James at the top of their too early mock drafts for 2018. An injured start to the season has cooled his stock a bit. James is a hyper athlete seemingly capable of playing almost any position in the secondary. His best role may be down near the line of scrimmage where he can utilize that athleticism to attack the shallow and intermediate routes. However, it would not be a surprise to see him excel in the deep parts of the field either in single high or cover two situations.
James completes the youth movement in the Cowboys secondary. The converted Jones and last year’s second round pick Chidobe Awuzie would start at outside corners. Third round pick Jourdan Lewis would play in the slot with 2016 stand out rookie Anthony Brown rotating in for any of the three after a down sophomore year. Opposite James at safety could be a mashup of Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods or Kavon Frazier. This also would allow Dallas to release Orlando Scandrick to open up cap space.