April 27, 2017

Fanspeak Draft Simulator: Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft

#20 Kevin King, CB, Washington

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
(Wednesday, April 26, 2017)

Yes, I am a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan. I've been bleeding blue and silver since I was 5 years old (thanks dad). I've been using Fanspeak's "On the Clock" Draft Simulator weekly for over a month now. It is really simple, fun, and addictive. You choose the team you want to draft for, choose how many rounds you want to draft, pick the big board you want to use, etc. Upgrading to premium allows you to make and accept trades, customize the big boards, etc. As of the posting of this mock draft, I believe that support for the 2017 NFL Draft ends after the actual draft, so hurry up and become the GM of your team!

I have always been a believer in drafting the best player available over drafting for need. Luckily for me, the draft is loaded with EDGE players, corners, and safeties. All huge positions of need for the Cowboys. This is what I would do if I were the GM, not what I think Dallas would do. I planned to go 7 rounds, but ended up drafting 4 (I will explain why after the 4th round pick). I am using Draft Countdown's big board, while the CPU will be using a random big board.

Below will be my actual picks for each round as well as the prospects I considered drafting, prospects that were surprisingly still on the board, and why I chose the specific player. Numbers in "()" beside prospect names are where I have them ranked on my Big Board.

My Top 150 Prospects Big Board can be seen here, and my 2017 NFL Draft Positional Rankings can be viewed here, which features players grouped in "tiers"
and quick analysis on what I like/dislike about them and in some cases where they fit.

Round 1, Pick 28(28)
Charles Harris* (21), EDGE, Missouri
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 249 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Losing Morris Claibore and Brandon Carr makes cornerback a huge need. With DeMarcus Lawrence struggling to stay on the field, and Randy Gregory struggling to stay off the weed, the 'boys are looking for a "war daddy" pass rusher. Harris can win as a rusher in a variety of ways and can hold his own against the run. While lacking exceptional length and size, I'm comfortable enough with Harris putting his hand in the dirt and making an immediate impact, as well as being a long term dominant EDGE.

Notable Prospects Available: Mitchell Trubisky (17), QB, North Carolina, Taylor Moton (29), IOL, Western Michigan, Evan Engram (42), TE, Ole Miss, Gareon Conley (52), CB, Ohio State, Patrick Mahomes (78), QB, Texas Tech

Prospects Considered: Sidney Jones (13), CB, Washington, Tim Williams (18), EDGE, Alabama, Tyus Bowser (19), EDGE, Houston, Haason Reddick (20), EDGE, Temple, Mike Williams (22), WR, Clemson, Obi Melifonwu (36), CB, Connecticut

Sidney Jones is the highest ranked prospect on my board that is available. As much as I want to take him, this class is deeo enough at corner to where I am confident I can grab one or two in the next few rounds. Plus, Jones could still be on the board in round 2 because of the unfortunate Achilles Injury.

Tim Williams would not be the best fit, and there is some off the field baggage we may not need to deal with. Bowser and Reddick were both tempting, but Bowser is raw, and Reddick projects best as an off the ball linebacker. We can target one a little later.

Mike Williams jumped out to me and I almost ran to the podium, not expecting him to be on the board. But, I have my eyes on another receiver, and Williams isn't the compliment to Dez Bryant this offense needs. Pairing Obi with Byron Jones to have a freakish safety tandem was the most tempting of all.

Round 2, Pick 28(60)
Kevin King (30), CB, Washington
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 196 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: As much as I love me some Tyus Bowser, I could not pass on Kevin King. He is my #3 cornerback, and the best one that was on the board. After the second round, all of the top corners will be long gone. King has the size, athleticism, and overall skill set to be a successful man-to-man boundary corner. He also has experience playing free safety.

Notable Prospects Available: Taylor Moton (29), IOL, Western Michigan, Alvin Kamara (39), RB, Tennessee, Pat Elflein (44), IOL, Ohio State, Derek Rivers (45), EDGE, Youngstown State, Desmond King (46), S, Iowa, Chris Godwin (51), WR, Penn State

Prospects Considered: Tyus Bowser (19), LB, Houston, Gerald Everett (40), TE, South Alabama, Curtis Samuel (75), RB, Ohio State

Gerald Everett is a legit second round talent who could replace Jason Witten down the line, while Curtis Samuel could help take the offense to the next level with his versatility.

Round 3, Pick 28(92)
Akhello Witherspoon (62), CB, Colorado
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 200 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: Cornerbacks in back-to-back rounds is very possible. I am a big fan of tall, long armed corners who have above average athleticism. That applies to our second round pick, but the same can be said for Witherspoon. He has more upside that his former teammate Chidobe Awuzie, who is expected to be a first round pick. The secondary is starting to shape up nicely.

Notable Prospects Available: Dede Westbrook (54), WR, Oklahoma, Demarcus Walker (63), DL, Florida State, George Kittle (79), TE, Iowa, Jake Butt (80), TE, Michigan

Prospects Considered: Derek Rivers (45), EDGE, Youngstown State, Chris Godwin (51), WR, Penn State, Alex Anzalone (73), LB, Florida,

You could make a case for Derek Rivers to be a first round pick, so him being available late in round 3 is insane. Godwin projects well as a "number two" receiver opposite Dez Bryant. Anzalone has durability concerns, and linebacker isn't a huge priority at this point.

Round 4, Pick 29(136)
Delano Hill (98), S, Michigan
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 223 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: This was probably the most difficult decision I've had to make so far, as each of these prospects I considered are good value and fill needs. I decided to go with Delano Hill, my 9th ranked safety is a very strong safety class. He projects as more of a box safety, but he is well rounded enough to be a quality starter down the line.

Notable Prospects Available: Kareem Hunt (57), RB, Toledo, Damien Mama (96), IOL, Southern California

Prospects Considered: Isaiah Ford (66), WR, Virginia Tech, George Kittle (79), Iowa, Delano Hill (98), S, Michigan, Will Holden (105), OT, Vanderbilt, Jalen Reeves-Maybin (108), LB, Tennessee

Isaiah Ford is the highest rated player I considered, but I've decided to wait until the later rounds to draft a receiver. Kittle would be a perfect fit and could be a long term option at tight end. Will Holden is a borderline 3rd round talent IMO, and would be an upgrade at right tackle if Chaz Green can't stay healthy.

Unfortunately, my draft timed out as I was writing this post in between picks, so I was unable to draft in rounds 5-7. If the Cowboys end up with something similar to this in 4 rounds, I would be VERY happy. This draft is loaded with talent in positions that Dallas desperately needs help. EDGE should be an target in the first or second round for sure, while corners and safeties should be targeted late Day 2 at the latest. I would also love to see the Cowboys take advantage of a strong running back class and add some depth behind Ezekiel Elliot. I cannot wait to see how things shake up later tonight.