The Dallas Cowboys have the 19th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and have several holes they need to fill for the future. After an off-season that was more about letting go than adding, there are pronounced gaps in their roster.
Those four positions all warrant first-round consideration, and the pick will likely be determined by who is still on the board and rated highest by their scouts. If the stars align, the Dallas Cowboys could get a potential rookie of the year. If the draft doesn't fall their way, they could end up with the best available player at one of these four needs.
The Dallas Cowboys, generally, pick a player that visited the team in a pre-draft workout. So using that list of players, here are my top 8 options for the Dallas Cowboys to get at the 19th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Vita Vea is the dream selection for Rod Marinelli and crew, who need a disruptive inside presence for the front 7 of the Cowboys.
In three years leading the Washington D-line, Vea had 99 tackles and 9.5 sacks, while consistently getting double teamed as the best player on the Washington front.
Vea would slot inside nicely beside Maliek Collins and would make the Dallas Cowboys younger and more talented.
I'm already breaking my 'they have to have visited Dallas to be drafted' rule, but I don't care.
Derwin James would be a godsend at 19 (if he falls that far) and would turn the Dallas secondary into a strength. In two complete seasons at FSU, James had 186 tackles and three interceptions.
Rashaan Evans is a definite product of Alabama who sat behind loads of talent and waited his turn.
In his career, Evans had 150 tackles and 15 sacks. Evans would play the will linebacker in the Cowboys scheme, with Jaylon Smith at middle and Sean Lee at the final spot. Evans could easily be a day one starter at all three positions, though.
Receiver is a position that most draft pundits have as the Dallas Cowboys' first pick in the draft.
Ridley had his best year as a freshman but was productive his entire career despite inconsistent QB play. He's right behind Amari Cooper in the Bama record books in most categories. His route running ability is what makes him a 1st round prospect. He caught 224 balls for 19 touchdowns in his collegiate career.
Courtland Sutton is the closest thing to Dez Bryant. He's a big, physical bruiser with good enough hands to be elite. He isn't worried about going over the middle at 6'4" and 220 pounds.
Sutton's numbers suffered from bad quarterback play, and he still put up two 1,000-yard, double-digit touchdown performances. He might be available in the second round, but not where the Cowboys are. If they want him, they'll have to reach.
D.J. Moore is arguably, along with Calvin Ridley, the most Dak-friendly receiver. Unlike Sutton, Dak won't have to fit the ball into windows for Moore; he'll just be open.
Moore was the number one receiver in the Big 10 in receptions and yards, but I don't know how he fits into the Cowboys' roster with Cole Beasley already occupying the slot.
Yes, this is the 3rd Alabama player on this list. No, I don't care.
He's another DT similar to Vita Vea, just not as dynamic. He'd be a good pick, but if Da'Ron Payne is the name that's called on Friday night, I don't think the Cowboys' draft plan went how they wanted it to.
Another guy that didn't visit pre-draft, and another guy who would be a reach in round 1. But holy crap was he productive at Stanford. Ridiculously productive. Harrison Phillips blows Vita Vea out of the water with how productive he was.
Phillips should be available for the Cowboys in round 2, and if he and Rashaan Evans were the first two picks of the Cowboys draft they would turn the tide immediately in the NFC East. Phillips topped seven sacks in both of his seasons at DT, with 98 total tackles as a senior and 17 tackles for loss. Vea had 99 tackles in his whole career.
Phillips is "undersized" (he's only 295 pounds) as the 1-technique, but he can grow into it with his 6'4" frame.
TRADE: Earl Thomas
This isn't a draft pick, but talk about filling a hole at safety! This is the least likely option on the board because I seriously doubt the Cowboys give up their 1st round pick for the draft that's hosted in Dallas, but that's why this is the bonus option.