With the NFL scouting combine a little bit less than two weeks away, it’s a great time to take an updated look at who the Dallas Cowboys could select in the 2019 NFL draft.
The fact that the Cowboys are devoid of a first-round pick adds some intrigue to their potential draft selections this year. It’s tougher to get a grasp on who will be available in the second round rather than the first.
Barring a trade, the Cowboys will be at the mercy of the 57 selections before going on the clock for the first time, which means the Dallas front office will need to be flexible and able to quickly adjust to the myriad of wonky events that can occur in the draft.
Here are the selections Dallas currently has in this year’s draft.
Round 1 — None (Amari Cooper trade)
Round 2 — No. 58 overall
Round 3 — No. 91 overall
Round 4 — No. 122 overall
Round 5 — No. 155 overall
Round 6 — None (Bene Benwikere trade)
Round 7 — No. 219 overall
With that in mind, let’s dive head-first into a Cowboys mock draft.
Note: In an effort to keep the mock draft as realistic as possible, we will be using The Draft Network‘s ‘Mock Draft Machine,’ which debuts to the public on February 25, to determine who will be available at each pick. Also, compensatory picks will not be included until there are announced by the NFL.
Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
The Cowboys desperately need more pass-rush production from the under tackle (three-technique defensive tackle) position and selecting Jones in the second round would go a long way toward fixing that.
Jones has his issues, especially in the run game, but it’s impossible to not be impressed by his pass rush ability. The Ohio State product possesses a strong get-off with an outstanding burst, which allows him to stress the sets of interior offensive linemen. When he doesn’t attack vertically, Jones shows a nice repertoire of footwork to manipulate the pass sets of blockers.
Jones’ hand-technique is sublime as a pass-rusher. He’s active with his hands and adept at keeping himself clean of contact on his way into the backfield. He parries the strikes of blockers well.
The reason why Jones could be available in the second round despite being one of the most gifted interior pass rushers in the class is that he has some serious struggles in the run game. Jones is lacking in the strength department. His tendency to play with poor pad level against the run causes him to get displaced all too often.
Jones’ playing time would likely be limited to
Still, despite his issues against the run, Jones’ athleticism and pass-rush ability would be fantastic additions to the Dallas defensive line. He could replace David Irving as the playmaking presence on Dallas’ interior defensive line.
Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon
Mitchell could be a nice find at the end of the third round and would be a nice addition to the Cowboys receiver corps.
Listed a 6-foot-2 and 189 pounds, Mitchell has plus size to go with his fluid movement skills as a receiver. Mitchell doesn’t have blazing long speed, but is able to accelerate to his top speed extremely quick, allowing him to create separation on shallow crossers.
Mitchell is still a bit raw as a route-runner, as he relies on athleticism rather than nuance, but is electric once he gets the ball in his hands. He exhibits the power and contact balance to run through arm tackles. He also displays the open-field vision and elusiveness to maximize his yards-after-catch.
The wideout has shown the ability to make contested catches outside of his frame but is lacking in the consistency department. He loses much more at the catch point than a receiver should at his size.
Mitchell would likely see a great deal of development under Cowboys wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, who is renowned for his detailed approach in teaching and developing route running.
Moreover, Mitchell has experience playing outside and in the slot, meaning he could potentially be a replacement for Cole Beasley if the veteran receivers goes elsewhere in free agency.
Despite his rawness at the catch point and as a route runner, Mitchell’s size, athleticism, position flexibility and ability after the catch make him an ideal target for the Cowboys in third round.
Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
Anderson is one of the most intriguing players in the entire 2019 NFL draft. On film, Anderson has the skills of a running back who should be selected in the top 75 picks.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 219 pounds, Anderson is a big back with impressive athleticism for his size. As a ball carrier, Anderson has plus vision to read his blocks and the leverage of defenders to identify the best running lane.
At his size, Anderson is the rare running back capable of making defenders miss in tight or open space. His elusiveness only makes his power more effective, as defenders have to be mindful of Anderson’s ability to make them miss.
Anderson is an effective runner between the tackles who can also bounce the ball outside for big gains when the defense plugs all the gaps between the tackles.
On top of his ability as a ball carrier, Anderson is also a talented receiver out of the backfield. He possesses soft hands and can run a plethora of routes effectively from the backfield.
Unfortunately for Anderson, his injury history will likely send him tumbling down boards, which is why he could be available for the Cowboys in Round 4. In 2015, Anderson’s season was ended because of a broken leg. In 2016, a fractured vertebra in his neck ended his season. And in 2018, it was a torn ACL that forced him to miss much of the year.
Anderson has only played more than two games in a season once (2017), where he finished with 188 carries for 1,161 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns to go with 17 receptions for 281 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns.
The fact that Anderson would be Ezekiel Elliott’s backup should ease some of their concerns, as he could be saved from the consistent punishment of a starting running back, which should enable him to stay healthy.
Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
What Hooker lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with his football intelligence and mental processing ability.
Though he’s a tad small for the position — listed at 6-foot and 202 pounds — he would be an ideal strong safety in the Cowboys scheme.
Hooker is phenomenal in coverage from the box, showing the ability to match bigger slot receivers and tight ends in man coverage and make plays from short zone coverage. He”is unique in his ability to decipher complex route combinations from multiple receivers, allowing him to make plays on balls where most safeties would be struggling to discern their given responsibility.
As a tackler, Hooker is extremely reliable when filling from space or in traffic. He takes good angles to the ball carrier and isn’t a hindrance when forced to defend the run from the box. Hooker can struggle to get off blocks inside. However, he routinely discards blocks from receivers on the outside.
Unfortunately for Hooker, he lacks the athleticism and range to be an effective single-high safety for long stretches. He also lacks the foot quickness to consistently stick with smaller, speedier receivers in the slot.
Given Hooker’s skill set, he would be a similar value in the fifth round to what Dallas got from Xavier Woods in the sixth round of the 2017 draft. He would immediately be a coverage upgrade over Jeff Heath, which would enable Dallas to better match up with the most explosive pass offenses in the NFL.
Tyler Roemer, OT, San Diego State
While still unknown to the majority of draftniks, Roemer has the potential to be one of the biggest steals of the entire NFL draft.
On film, there’s a lot to like about Roemer’s game. Listed at 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds, Roemer is a long offensive tackle who possesses impressive movement skills for his size.
Roemer’s rotational strength is on display routinely throughout his 2018 film, as he’s constantly tossing defenders to the ground when engaged at the point-of-attack.
In the run game, Roemer is fantastic, especially on down and reach blocks. He fires out of his stance with force and his footwork is crisp. In conjunction with his footwork, Roemer’s powerful hands allow him to exert a ton of force on defenders allowing him to displace defenders out of their gap with regularity. He understands how to alter his hand placement to increase his chances for success in the given situation. He possesses a strong inside hand, which enables him to widen edge defenders in the run game or ward of inside moves in pass protection.
When engaged at the point-of-attack, Roemer displays fantastic grip strength and balance, which enables him to sustain blocks to and through the whistle.
In pass protection, Roemer displays the movement skill necessary to match speed rushers to the edge along with the timing and accuracy to land effective strikes. He displays some inefficiencies when redirecting inside or outside to defend a counter move, but that should be fixed with more patience in certain situations.
Roemer also displays a good deal of football intelligence, as he consistently diagnoses blitzes and stunts and communicates well with the other offensive linemen.
Despite all of the positives, Roemer would be available on Day 3 of the NFL draft because of some significant off-field issues. The redshirt sophomore was suspended indefinitely from SDSU in November and never returned to the field for the Aztecs.
If the Cowboys can come to grips with the issues that led to Roemer’s suspension, he would be a phenomenal value on Day 3 of the draft. With a little bit of seasoning, he can vie for the swing tackle position in Year 1 or 2 before potentially developing into a starting-caliber tackle in the future.
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