Previously, in mock 1.0, we saw the offensive players dominate the list as Dallas supposedly heads into a new era under rookie OC Kellen Moore. However, a shocking yet relieving comeback from TE Jason Witten and with an unknown timetable in Randy Gregory’s return, draft projections have coursed all over for Cowboys fans. Back at it post-combine, and now including Dallas’ compensatory pick, does the defense make a resurgence or will offense continue to remain the focus?
[WR] Deebo Samuel
One of the great needs for Dallas heading into 2019, a deep wide receiver class could not have came at a better time. With reports that Cole Beasley now desires a contract including a guaranteed $20 million, the pathway for departure from a Cowboys fan-favorite just became much clearer. Continuing the early WR trend, Dallas picks Deebo Samuel out of the University of South Carolina.
An all-purpose threat for the Gamecocks totaling 908 yards (13 YPC) & 11 touchdowns on offense, including a KR average of 24.8 (27th best), the lethal route runner brings a game that can be effective from the slot or outside. Although the WR class has an immense amount of talent, there is not many that will be better after the catch than Deebo.
Deebo Samuel: The guy we all want on our team. pic.twitter.com/bYl1DF5Qrc
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) March 2, 2019
Prospering at the combine with a RAS of an 8.94, shall the Cowboys find Samuel available at 58, the slot position will no longer be a worry for the next few years.
Other possible names: WR Andy Isabella, TE Jace Sternberger, S Juan Thornhill
[DE] Joe Jackson
Everyone understands the time that is then allotted after giving a player a franchise tag, but there is reasonable doubt to be held with the Cowboys organization. Now in year two of negotiating a long-term deal with Tank, the saying “better late than never” may hold little weight and has put Dallas in a precarious position. Yes, the expectancy is that Tank gets his deal, but with his due absence, the Cowboys are now staring at a defensive end group without a definitive verdict on Taco Charlton, Tyrone Crawford, and Dorance Armstrong seeking to even become a serviceable role player.
A wildcard in reference as to exactly where Joseph (Joe) Jackson will be taken in the 2019 draft, the Cane product is an interesting, raw talent. From first-fourth round projections, the mold sings praises for a potential Dallas EDGE. Maybe that does not say much in recent years, but standing at 6-4 2/8 and weighing 275 pounds, Jackson ended his Miami career with 22.5 sacks, 35.5 TFL, and 129 total tackles.
Joe Jackson had the highest pass-rush win percentage among qualified ACC Edge defenders this season. He totaled 56 pressures on only 286 pass rush snaps. pic.twitter.com/RCF5CuydZs
— PFF College (@PFF_College) March 4, 2019
Effort could go a long way and including intangibles that are translatable to the league, it could create a special mix. Jackson plays a game driven by power and motor.
Enjoy your two more seasons watching Joe Jackson at Miami, Canes fans pic.twitter.com/oZHjXvQlMc
— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) December 29, 2016
While not great in his first step, he subsides it by digging into offensive lineman with powerful hands, and never taking himself out of plays.
Miami DE Joe Jackson isn’t a finesse rusher… Loves inside power moves, good awareness working to QBs depth and never getting stuck behind the pocket… pic.twitter.com/BiL0zCJuSu
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) May 19, 2018
Although it may be noted that Jackson remains active until a whistle is blown, his greatest asset can be his biggest liability. Typically trying to overpower his opponent, Jackson can get caught easily negating his hands not being a finesse rusher. For example, Jackson is evident of this below and uses a rush-combo a bit late allowing the QB to get the ball off.
Miami EDGE Joe Jackson with the club-rip-hump combo pic.twitter.com/WmARM7pESL
— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) September 5, 2018
To conclude, the talent in Jackson is worth it and can be refined into something more that could bid well for Dallas if picked at 128.
Other possible names: DE L.J Collier, CB Kris Boyd, DT Khalen Saunders
[DT] Michael Dogbe
No matter the outliers that may prove otherwise, the NFL is a bubble of measurements. If an athlete does not fit whatever a team has in place, it could remove any chance of possibly even getting a look. For Michael Dogbe of Temple University, his position reads DT as his weight does 285 pounds. Flags are instantly raised asking “can Dogbe sustain a double team” or “did the level of competition mask the probability of not being as successful professionally”? Once again, the bubble of measurements determining an athlete’s future that are slightly unnecessary in the evaluation.
Aside from lazy scouting, the one question that supersedes all other with Dogbe is why was he not invited to the NFL combine? For one snub in March, could be a team’s treasure in April. The former Owl produced career highs in 2018, ending his senior campaign with 72 tackles, 12.5 TFL, and 7 sacks.
Two things that jump out the tape when watching Dogbe is his first step and his instinct to read a play and react.
Michael Dogbe vs. Cincinatti … these OL had no answer for him, they held him all day. This is what you expect when you have a superior talent vs. inferior competition – domination – and Michael does in this game. pic.twitter.com/3Liqj433Je
— 📽+🏈x🌴 (@HawaiiBrownsHui) March 2, 2019
Although his “limited” size may hinder him at moments inside, Dogbe is consistently active with his feet and has strong hands to maneuver past OL.
Understandably so, it’s just a drill and the leanness as a DT is on display. However, realize how quick Dogbe is off the snap and is ripping through the OL before he is even able to make a move.
— PewterReport (@PewterReport) January 16, 2019
A DT that will find himself available in later rounds, Dogbe would add versatility to a Cowboys DL that is in desperate need of it.
Other Notable Names: WR Mecole Hardman, OT China Edoga, TE Dax Raymond
4th Round Compensatory
[CB] Isaiah Johnson
The match made in heaven. Standing at 6’2 and 208 pounds, the once WR now converted CB is drawing Richard Sherman comparisons. In addition to the long arms and physicality, Johnson then posted the best combine score for cornerbacks & a RAS of a 10.0.
The final cornerback #NFLCombine results are IN…@UHCougarFB CB Isaiah Johnson finishes with the highest Next Gen Stats Combine Score (98) among cornerbacks after running a 4.40 40-yard dash at 208 lb, 4.06 short shuttle, 6.81 3-cone and 11'1" broad jump. pic.twitter.com/XE75jxyEzZ
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 4, 2019
*Splits Projected* pic.twitter.com/FPXh6oXSMX
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2019
In other words, Johnson is the ultimate Kris Richard model. From the length to athleticism, Johnson checks every Cowboys box and have already shown interest. Post 2019, among two (Byron Jones & Anthony Brown) of the starting cornerbacks for Dallas will be UFA, speaking even more so why Dallas might pull the trigger on a CB in this draft. So, why the fourth round?
Though Johnson has the ability to press, his lack fluidity in his hips and feet gets him smoked on routes.
Antoine Wesley cooks Isaiah Johnson with this double move for the score. Wesley is one of my favorite WRs in this class. pic.twitter.com/bUoYYp9zhr
— Bobby Football (@RobPaulNFL) March 6, 2019
However, he has things that you can’t teach which are size and speed, and it allows him to recover on throws many other CBs wouldn’t.
Catch Houston CB Isaiah Johnson in the Armed Forces Bowl today. The senior CB is 6’4 with great closing speed and was also invited to the Senior Bowl. The Armed Forces Bowl kicks off at 3:30 PM EST. pic.twitter.com/YWs5CSmcG5
— Daniel Valente (@StatsGuyDaniel) December 22, 2018
Rarely talked about, but Cowboys fans may need to pay a little more attention and be aware on who just might be on the field for CBs in the next two years.
Other possible names: DT Michael Dogbe, WR Stanley Morgan, RB Rodney Anderson
[RB] Bryce Love
How QBs are treated in fantasy football, is how the running back position is now a weakened commodity in the NFL. The interchangeability has become a factor in teams remaining cheap in the backfield and valuing “scat backs” more than ever. For Dallas and Ezekiel Elliott, the discussion to extend him or not is a real debate. Without hesitation, he has been given the respect of a top back and almost all reason for a successful Cowboys offense. On the other hand, every other Cowboys RB in recent times has had similar success and are not on pace to be ran into the ground. Zeke needs a reliever, and Bryce Love from Stanford can be the perfect compliment.
Once a Heisman finalist running for 2000+ yards and 19 touchdowns, Love’s ACL injury took a toll on his senior season and draft stock. What would be a definite change-of-pace back, Love is a quick, explosive RB that can go the distance if space is available.
I'm not sure if Bryce Love is a feature back in the NFL (verdict not in yet, more film to watch) but I'm still curious about him.
Cutback on inside zone and just obliterates these angles. pic.twitter.com/XfLBuH7WKc
— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) March 3, 2019
Great contact balance, teams will be wary after his injury but it’s a risk that could bring tremendous value to any RB group.
Bryce Love GONE! 🏃♂️💨 pic.twitter.com/X6vjQ4ZnDI
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) November 4, 2017
As reports claim Dallas is interested in Cleveland RB Duke Johnson, Love is a 3 down back that will appease if that plan doesn’t come to fruition .
Other Notable Names: OT Tyree St. Louis, TE Foster Moreau, CB Jimmy Moreland
[TE] Caleb Wilson
Other Notable Names: LB Terrill Hanks, S Marvel Tell