DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Okay, mere hours before NFL Draft Night, it’s time to pore through my “Big Green NFL Draft Scouting Notebook” one more time for my Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft 3.0 (The Final Chapter):
My top targets for the Cowboys are Pitt DT Aaron Donald, a perfect fit in Rod Marinelli’s defense, and LSU WR Odell Beckham, my pick in Mock Draft 1.0.
But that was before Beckham’s stock apparently shot through the roof, to the point that now many have him projected to be a top-10 pick.
So, for the sake of this final mock, let’s presume that both Donald and Beckham have already been drafted:
1st Round – #16
BRANDIN COOKS – WR – OREGON STATE
I know, I know, I know. The Cowboys need defense, defense, and more defense. But they also have a glaring need at wide receiver (Miles Austin is gone). I believe Cooks, Beckham, or Marqise Lee, for that matter, are all too good to pass up. I would entertain trade offers so that I can obtain additional top 100 players, but barring that, I’m taking any of those three (Beckham, Cooks, or Lee) here.
Cooks is a 20-year-old 5-10, 190 pound game changing speedster who caught an amazing 128 passes for 1730 yards and 16 TDs last season in Mike Riley’s pro-style offense at Oregon State. He also carried the ball 32 times for 217 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and 2 TDs. Riley, a close friend of Jason Garrett’s who was the head coach of the San Diego Chargers, says Cooks can play outside as a flanker, as well as in the slot.
Riley told Damen Amendolara of CBS Sports Radio that Cooks is “one of the most consistent, diligent, hard working guys I’ve ever seen. He’s a special guy. He’s best after the catch, hard to tackle because of his strength. Then you combine it with really elite speed and quickness. He always comes in every day with a smile on his face, loved football, loved his team. One of the easiest guys to coach I’ve ever had. He’ll be a good pro immediately.”
Cooks is tough, durable (never missed a game on any level), smart, and very mature despite the fact he won’t turn 21 until September. The fastest wideout at the combine (4.33 forty with a 1.50 10-yard split), he had a 38 ½ vertical with a sizzling 6.69 cone drill and 3.94 short shuttle.
Cooks, and Beckham for that matter, would continue the recent trend of Cowboys early round draft picks – a great talent with impeccable makeup.
2nd Round – #47
DOMINIQUE EASLEY – DT – FLORIDA
6-2, 288 pound beast of a pressure player who would be a top 10 pick, if not for those two ACL injuries. We’re assuming Easley checked out fine on his medical re-check last week in Indy.
3rd Round – #78
JACKSON JEFFCOAT – DE – TEXAS
Sticking to my guns in the face of much criticism…Jeffcoat is as athletic and has as much production as any edge rusher in this draft. Plus, he fits the personality profile of players who have long, productive NFL careers. The 6-3, 253 pound edge rusher had virtually identical college career stats as Demarcus Ware…60 tackles for loss and 27 ½ sacks…son of former Cowboys 1st round draft pick Jim Jeffcoat, who had 102 career sacks following in the footsteps of the late, great Harvey Martin.
4th Round – #119
TELVIN SMITH – LB – FLORIDA STATE
Private investigators have concluded that I should go ahead and draft my “favorite player in this draft” until that little hiccup was reported this week…willing to take a chance on this dynamic playmaker and personality, but I dropped him to the 4th round (hopefully, he’s still available)…otherwise, take OG Brandon Thomas of Clemson (who tore his ACL last month)…
Smith is a 6-3, 224 pound weak side linebacker who will be a walk-in starter alongside Sean Lee at nickel LB and, by midseason perhaps, a 4-down players… the heir apparent to Bruce Carter at the Will LB position…great instincts, read and react ability, and passion…extremely confident team leader…think Michael Irvin…but, please, Telvin, don’t be totally like Mike…ha!
5th Round – #158
TREY MILLARD – FB – OKLAHOMA
Love this player…don’t be deceived, he’s much more than a fullback…might even be the big short yardage back the Cowboys have been looking for…6-3, 247 pounder can catch the ball out of the backfield, be a lead blocker and 3rd tight end….great makeup…very intelligent…he’ll play a lot of years in this league…was a core special teams player at OU even though he was also a 4-time all-conference player…was considered as high as a 3rd round prospect before tearing his ACL in October.
7th Round – #229
EDDIE LACKEY – LB – BAYLOR
Baylor Defensive Coordinator Phil Bennett called Lackey “the best football player in American” last fall, and he may have been right. Athletic, playmaking 6-0, 220 pounder who has terrific speed…intercepted 7 passes in two years at Baylor and was an integral part of the Bears’ defensive improvement…flying under the radar during this draft season since he wasn’t able to work out due to post season shoulder surgery…only 21 years old…could develop into a very nice player.
7th Round – #231
DAVON COLEMAN – DT – ARIZONA STATE
6-2, 297 pounder who most analysts project to be around a 7th round pick, but I believe his measureables and a breakout senior season will catch the attention of NFL scouts…totaled 15 tackles for loss and 8 ½ sacks in 2013…35 bench reps…though overshadowed by teammate Will Sutton, you can make the case Coleman was the better player last season.
7th Round – #238
TYLER SHATLEY – OG – CLEMSON
6-3, 300 pounder who lifted 225 pounds 40 times at his Clemson’s Pro Day…after rushing for 2,000 yards and 31 TDs in high school, Shatley arrived at Clemson as a fullback and grew into an offensive guard…Head Coach Dabo Swinney says, “He’s fast, powerful and very, very smart…one of our best football players…the epitome of a football player.” Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris says Shatney is “the perfect player to build an offensive line around. He’s a winner. He’s passionate. He’s rugged. He’s mean. He wants to be that guy that’s running the show.”
7th Round – #248
KENNETH ACKER – CB – SMU
Very athletic, playmaking 5-11 ½, 190 pounder who June Jones toyed with playing both ways at SMU…3-year starter…All-State offensive and defensive player in high school, and an All-State point guard on the basketball team.
7th Round – #251
JOSH HARRIS – RB – WAKE FOREST
5-10, 206 pound Duncanville product opened eyes with a 4.36 forty and 28 bench reps…rushed for nearly 2,200 yards in collegiate career and is a capable receiver out of the backfield.
7th Round – #254
JEROME COUPLIN – S – WILLIAM & MARY
6-1, 213 pound small college All-American began catching the attention of NFL scouts after posting explosive numbers at his Pro Day…41 ½ vertical…11-2 broad jump…smart, hard worker, team captain…good size with extremely long arms…covers a lot of ground…Cowboys drafted CB B.W. Webb from same school in 4th round last year.
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