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Welcome to the Brews and the Boys Podcast. We are your neighborhood bar podcast. We drink cold beer and talk about America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys. Every week, we will be giving you an in-depth of everything the Cowboys are doing and what we can expect from the Boys. My name is Michael Sisemore, I have been following and writing about the Cowboys for many years and currently contribute to Blogging the Boys. You may follow me on Twitter at @MrSisemore and follow the podcast at @brewsandtheboys. With me as always is my producer and football-illiterate side kick, Timmy Two Step
Tim - Hello
Michael - Who you may also follow on twitter at @TimmyIIStep. So let's get down to it - Today We’re going to be discussing the handful of guy that we believe will most likely be the pick for the Dallas Cowboys at pick 28.
It’s important to note that the Cowboys’ front office had their annual pre-draft press conference today. Now, a lot of Cowboys fans and media have a hard time understanding Jerry-speak but it’s important to note that the Cowboys do give some nuggets of knowledge during these pressers. In fact, they don’t hide much like other teams will do. Pre-draft most teams are throwing as many smoke bombs as they can to deflect any true questions about their draft strategy. The Cowboys on the other hand, don’t really give two shits about keeping it under wraps. I’ll read you Jerry’s quote and we’ll decipher through the Johnny Walker Blue Label to put it all together:
“This is a real good year for staying put,” Jones said at the team’s pre-draft press conference from The Star in Frisco.
“I don’t know if it’s because we need so many good football players or because there are some good football players there, especially in those early rounds. But in my experience, it’s wasting your time to talk about what you might do trading in the later rounds. As far as value, what opportunities we might have there, you don’t ever want to predetermine what you’re going to do. But certainly, if you stay there we will have an opportunity to really help our team, in my view.”
I and our esteemed football producer Tim both share the same thought as Jerry on this one. If the draft is deep at positions they need, why would they be so inclined to lose draft capital in other rounds when they can get a player they really like by just sitting on their hands and waiting it out?
So if the cowboys plan on staying put (at least for the first round) let’s assume that’s the case.
Okay, so now let’s get into the guys that we see as most likely to be on the board for the Cowboys at 28:
Takk McKinley, DE, UCLA
He’s got the burst, bend, and long limbs you want from a WDE. He is dealing with a shoulder surgery recovery time that may keep him out the first month of the season. However, he’s one of the best pass rushers in this draft and fits the profile that the Cowboys are looking for. He played on that bum shoulder for two seasons and played well. On a bad shoulder, he had 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and even broke up six passes. He also was selected to the first-team All PAC-12.
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Conley doesn’t get near the love and discussion that his teammate and top-rated cornerback Marshon Lattimore gets but Conley is no slouch. Over the past two years for the Buckeyes, he started every single game and played very well. Conley was able to defend 12 passes and four interceptions this year. He’s got skills to play both man coverage and zone. He’s intelligent and he is a willing tackler which gives him even more pluses for Rod Marinelli. He may quietly turn out to be the best cornerback in this draft.
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Harris didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school but he’s quickly become a solid defensive player and is only getting better. After not testing well at the Combine he bounced right back at his Pro Day. Harris is a twitched-up high motor, high intensity player that Marinelli loves. He’s coming from a school that has slowly become a pass rush factory for the NFL. He first jumped out with All-SEC honors in 2015 for 18.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. In 2016, he got All-Conference honors again with 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks despite playing on a bad team. He’s got speed and his tape shows a guy that can win in a multitude of ways.
Kevin King, CB, Washington
Here we have an athletic freak who tested well at the Combine as well as with the SPARQ metrics which has him in the 99.2 percentile for NFL athletes. For those Like Tim, that means King is more athletic that 99.2% of the defensive backs in the NFL. Pretty damn good. Now, he is a bit raw as a cornerback talent and athleticism doesn’t mean you can play. In King’s case, he can play and he has the size that teams are begging to find at 6’3 and 200 pounds. He has rare size and a skill set that can be honed and taught to be an outstanding cornerback in the NFL.
T.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
I’m so tired of hearing folks say this guy is only getting hype because of his brother. Is he J.J. Watt? Well, hell no he isn’t but he’s worthy of first-round consideration. Give me the guy that has the motor to relentlessly push himself to get to the level he wants to be at. He had two knee injuries when he played tight end. He’s only been a defensive end for two seasons but he’s improved each year. His athleticism is extremely high and he placed in SPARQ’s 95.3 percentile. Where folks say he’s a 3-4 outside linebacker, I would say that’s what the Cowboys want at weakside defensive end, slapdick. They want speed and effort. He’s going to make any defense much better and he’s a coach's dream.
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
Here’s where the Cowboys and I disagree but again, I’m not paid to pick players for the organization. They really like Jackson and so do I but we disagree on where they should be placed. Jackson is the most athletic player in this draft, I don’t think there is a comparison when it comes to pure speed, athleticism, and ability. Jackson returned 23 kickoffs for almost 700 return yards with two scores. He’s a Jim thorpe award winner and has made plays everywhere he’s played. Overall he’s returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and two punts for touchdowns. He offers a lot as a kick returner but he’s not a finished product at cornerback where the Cowboys need the most help. He does have playmaking ability with five interceptions last season but he’s more of a slot option in the NFL.
Tyus Bowser, DE, Houston
Another explosive athlete for a defensive lineman. This is the type of guy the Cowboys look for at the right end position much like Watt. He’s got the bend and burst off the line, he can make himself small around the tackles to get to the quarterback. He’s also snuck in here late as a visitor with the Cowboys. I think it’s important that if you’re getting a defensive end (which the Cowboys need), it’s important to get the right type of defensive end. We have too many bodies on the Cowboys roster that can play the left side but on the right side you have to have speed and athleticism and that’s why Bowser deserves consideration.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
A very physical cornerback who is getting comps to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He’s got true playmaking ability with the size-speed combo that is hard to find. He’s just scratching the surface of his abilities and will be a solid outside cornerback but he’s not a guy you want to pull inside. Humphrey comes from NFL bloodlines as his father was a standout All-American player and first round pick for the Broncos back in the day. Humphrey has too much potential and will certainly have an opportunity to excel at the NFL level.
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan- Got better every single year but kind of looks like a base end, are you getting a 10-sack player or just consistent dude. Either could make sense but you want more athleticism.
Malik McDowell, DE, Michigan State- Great player that shouldn’t fall but could because of poor motor. Can play all over the line.
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida - More of a second round consideration but has 1st round tape. Bad interviews and slow, 4.6 at combine, 4.7 at Pro Day. Does this guy want to be a NFL star? Does his tape sell him to you?
Michael - Thank you guys for listening and have a great week. Please remember to follow us on Twitter at @brewsandtheboys and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/brewsandtheboys. Our theme song was by Timmy Two Step and the Brews and the Boys Podcast is produced by Wafflebutt Media.