After months and months of speculation, predictions, and arguments the NFL Draft is finally here. And, the Cowboys look to be in great shape to add 2 or 3 immediate impact players in the early rounds.
Just about the only advantage to having such an awful season is the position it places your team in come Draft Day. Of course, most of those arguments and discussions have centered around what the Cowboys will do with their 4th overall selection, a pick which should yield a potential star.
It has been boiled down to two names: Jalen Ramsey and Ezekiel Elliott. Cowboys Nation would be thrilled with either one, and it would set the tone for an eventful and exciting rest of the weekend and beyond.
But if the Cowboys are to get to where we all want them to be, they are going to have to capitalize on some mid to late round selections. Luckily, there seems to be a few diamonds in the rough, which the Cowboys have a good shot to uncover.
Round 3, Pick 67
In terms of third round prospects, the first few guys who jump off the page for me are all Running Backs.
While Ezekiel Elliott seems to be very much in the discussion at 4th overall, I still believe that if Ramsey is there, which he should be, then he will be the pick. It is going to be hard to take a Running Back in the top 5 of a draft in this current NFL climate which has devalued the position. On top of that, there are a few backs the Cowboys can add in round 3 who will fit perfectly into the Cowboys rotation. My favorite of this group is Paul Perkins.
Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
First and foremost, Paul Perkins is undersized. For the Cowboys’ purposes, however, his lack of size should not mean a whole lot. As when it comes to actual ability, Perkins’ size is the only trait which could hold him back.
Perkins is an absolute slasher. He’s a quick, shifty runner who has an explosive burst and a knack for big plays. In pass protection, he makes up for his lack of size with his awareness and toughness, keeping his leverage to pick up blitzing Linebackers. Perkins was also a productive receiver at UCLA, and could fulfill the third-down back role for the Cowboys.
Rashard Robinson, DB, LSU
Just getting to the NFL Draft has been an adventure for Rashard Robinson, who hasn’t played football since being suspended by Les Miles in 2014 for violating team rules. He seems to have a ton of off-the-field issues that, if drafted, we would hope that he has figured out. But, just based off of his game tape and his measurables, Robinson could be a steal in the 4th round.
He is a tall, lanky corner who uses his size and physicality to bully receivers at the line of scrimmage. If he can get his act together off the field, he could be a heck of a player on it.
Dallas would be getting first or second round physical talent in the 4th/5th round by taking Robinson. However, I am not sure if the team will be willing to take the challenges he may present on. Talent does not always mean production, and the Cowboys certainly understand that.
Round 7/Undrafted Free Agent
Many expect the Cowboys to add a Quarterback through this draft to compete for the backup role in 2016, and possibly be polished into the starter for the future. It doesn’t look like either of the consensus top-two QBs will be available when the Cowboys are first on the clock, but they may have some luck testing the QB waters during the later rounds. Or, in this case, after the draft has ended completely.
Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon
Teams consistently miss out on talented quarterbacks because they value two things – physical size and arm strength – over every other trait. Unfortunately for Vernon Adams, he is missing the former, listed at only 5’11” and 200 lbs. And that might be generous.
Yet when I watch the film on Adams, I see much more than an undrafted free agent.
He possesses excellent mobility, is quick with his short to intermediate throws, and is able to elude defenders in the pocket like Russell Wilson would. He has great eyes, meaning that even in the face of oncoming rushers, he keeps his eyes downfield and moves to throw. He is able to improvise in the pocket while still being a “pass first” QB with sustained velocity on his downfield throws. More times that not, his mobility seemed to translate to big plays and touchdowns.
Adams is a project, and I understand why teams may not want to take on that project, but he would be a great guy for the Cowboys to sign and bring into camp. He doesn’t show you anything in the summer? Fine, let him go. But I am willing to bet he would impress coaches, scouts, and fans alike if given the right opportunity.