With Free Agency a week old and many of they key moves already made, it’s time to take a detailed look at each teams acquisitions and losses and gauge a plan of attack for how they should approach the first three rounds of this year’s draft. We’ll start with the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and work our way all the way down to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs and the first overall pick. *Page will be updated as more moves are made.
Team Needs: S, DT, G, RT, WR, RB
Free Agent Losses: DE Marcus Spears, LB Dan Connor, WR Kevin Ogletree, TE John Phillips, LB Victor Butler, DE Kenyon Coleman
Free Agent Acquisitions: OLB Anthony Spencer (franchised), LB Justin Durant, C Phil Costa (resigned), S Will Allen, LB Ernie Sims (resigned)
Potential Round 1 Targets: S Kenny Vaccaro, G Jonathan Cooper, G Chance Warmack, DT Sheldon Richardson, DT Sylvester Williams, RT DJ Fluker, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tavon Austin, WR Keenan Allen, S Matt Elam, S John Cyprien
Potential Round 2 Targets: S DJ Swearinger, S Shamarko Thomas, S Eric Reid, G Larry Warford, G/T Kyle Long, G/T Justin Pugh, DT Jonathan Hankins, DT Kawann Short, DT John Jenkins, DT Brandon Williams, WR Quinton Patton, WR Aaron Dobson, WR Robert Woods, WR Markus Wheaton
Potential Round 3 Targets: S Bacarri Rambo, S Philip Thomas, S Shawn Williams, G Brian Winters, G/T Dallas Thomas, G/T Oday Aboushi, DT Akeem Spence, DT Bennie Logan, OT Jordan Mills, OT Brennan Williams, OT Reid Fragel, RB Andre Ellington, RB Giovani Bernard, RB Le’veon Bell, WR Kenny Stills, WR Stedman Bailey, WR Chris Harper
Plan of Attack: The Cowboys are sitting at pick 18 with three clearly defined needs at safety, guard, and defensive tackle. The problem is with where they are at, all the top options at those positions may be off the board. Now Jerry Jones could be aggressive like last year and move up for the guy he wants, but we’ll assume they are stuck. The number one player the Cowboys have to covet would be Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. If he somehow makes it past the Titans, Panthers, Saints, Rams, and Steelers, then the Cowboys would make that pick with about 5 seconds off the clock. They would also love to see one of the two guards in Warmack or Cooper around, but the chances of that happening are slim. The Cowboys are switching to a 4-3 front and need a prototypical 3 technique defensive tackle for that to to work, and would love to see Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson on the board but he could also be gone. If indeed it goes down this way, then the Cowboys could look at another DT in UNC’s Sylvester Williams. Williams is a disrupter who is extremely quick off the ball and would be an ideal fit in the ‘Boys new Tampa 2 scheme. They may also consider a right tackle to replace Doug Free and DJ Fluker would be the choice then. The Cowboys are also thin at receiver after Bryant and Austin and could could go with Tavon Austin if he’s on the board or a bigger receiver like Cordarrelle Patterson or Keenan Allen, but chances are they’ll add a receiver later in the Draft.
If the Cowboys get Sylvester Williams in round 1 then round two should be about finding a guard. They could see Oregon’s Kyle Long still there. He’s an immediate starter at guard who has upside to eventually become a left tackle. They could also look at Kentucky mauler Larry Warford or another versatile player in Syracuse’s Justin Pugh if he falls. The Cowboys could also look for a safety here and the best options could be South Carolina’s hard hitting DJ Swearinger, LSU’s Eric Reid, or Syracuse’s Shamarko Thomas. Once again it’s doubtful they consider a WR at this point, but they could be tempted by USC’s Robert Woods or Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton if either were sitting there.
If the Cowboys draft a DT, and a G in the first two rounds then they have to get a safety in the third. The names they would be looking at would be Georgia’s Baccari Rambo and Shawn Williams, and Fresno St.’s Philip Thomas. Any of these guys would likely be starters for the Cowboys from day one. If the Cowboys already have a safety by round three then they could look at a guard like Brian Winters, or a verastile G/T tweener like Dallas Thomas or Oday Aboushi. The Cowboys could also think about adding a backup RB here as Felix Jones could be gone, and neither Lance Dunbar or Philip Tanner were overly impressive last season. There are plenty of guys they could consider and just a few of those names are Giovani Bernard from UNC, Le’veon Bell form Michigan St., and Andre Ellington from Clemson. The Cowboys could also look at receiver here and could go with a slot guy like Kenny Stills or Stedman Bailey.