Pick #4 — Dallas Cowboys
For awhile here, there were two main thoughts I had about what the Cowboys would do (assuming the players in question would still be on the board), each of which is on their defense (in no particular order):
- Solidify their secondary
- Strengthen their pass rush
Now, I’ve been hearing more and more that there could be a third option: Ezekiel Elliott.
A move like that sounds like textbook Cowboys, doesn’t it?
Big name. Attention-grabbing. Flashy.
But lately, Dallas has actually been relatively mundane in terms of their moves off the field.
They have tried moves like the failed Greg Hardy experiment, but for the most part have shied away from the empty flash moves (and even with Hardy, they smartly only had him on a one-year deal that protected them should he become a problem for them).
Plus, drafting Elliott this high would go against the grain of their recent draft philosophy.
They’ve used multiple 1st rounders in recent drafts on offensive linemen, notably foregoing Johnny Manziel a couple years ago for Zach Martin; before that, “reaching” for a center in the first round in Travis Frederick. Each of those guys solidifies the strongest part of the Cowboys’ entire team: an offensive line which is routinely considered the best in the business for years now.
The strength of that line is what let the Cowboys feel confident in allowing DeMarco Murray (fresh off MVP-type production in 2014) to leave, instead believing they could get a huge chunk of that production with anyone behind those blockers.
There is much talk of Elliott being the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson, but even if that is the case the same philosophy they applied to Murray should be applied here; and while the price tag is less onerous in this case, the overall intrinsic value of where Dallas would be picking him should weigh just as highly in the conversation.
To put it simply: if anyone can succeed running behind that offensive line, why use up your highest value addition on a runner?
With that in mind, I just don’t see them actually pulling the trigger on Elliott (at least, not without a trade down to add some extra value first).
So that leads me back to the question of pass rusher vs defensive back, Bosa vs Ramsey.
Ramsey is the one that seems more likely to be the better player, but despite constantly adding picks to their defensive line the area never seems to actually end up giving oft-celebrated defensive line coach Rod Marinelli much to work with. I might believe he could probably build a makeshift unit out of a shredded napkin at this point, but this might be a bit much for even him; on top of their overall lacking talent woes at this spot, since last season the team has let go of Hardy while losing both Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence to 4 game suspensions.
They need a pass rusher in a bad way, and Bosa would instantly give their defensive line a legitimate weapon they’ve lacked since DeMarcus Ware was cut.