Top 10 Most Realistic Picks For The Cowboys At No. 27
Pre-draft hysteria appears to have hit critical mass, not just for the Dallas Cowboys but basically the entirety of the NFL. We've heard all the scouting reports, and we've seen which players are visiting which teams. The draft itself is still more than two weeks away, but almost every conceivable angle has been covered. With that in mind, I wanted to take a look at the Cowboys' prospects when draft day finally arrives. There has been plenty of discussion about the No. 27 overall pick, but I also want to look at realistic scenarios for all six rounds where Dallas holds a pick. Starting with the first round and moving into the later rounds, here's a realistic at the Cowboys' draft possibilities. -- BY DAVID HELMAN/FOX SPORTS SOUTHWEST
1. Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
Keep in mind, I'm ranking prospects in terms of realism. Jones is not the top corner in this draft, but he has a good shot to be there when the Cowboys pick. He has outstanding athleticism, as he showed at the NFL Combine, and he's got the versatility to play both cornerback and safety.
Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY SportsGlenn Andrews
2. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
If Dallas wants to address the pass rush in the first round, I think Odighizuwa is the best bet. They'd love for Kentucky standout Bud Dupree to fall to them, but I have a hard time envisioning that. Odighizuwa gives them an athletic defensive end who can play either side of the line.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
3. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Peters is one of the trio of highly-regarded cornerbacks, along with Michigan State's Trae Waynes and Wake Forest's Kevin Johnson, who are all considered first round locks. Peters' run-ins with his old coaching staff and subsequent dismissal from Washington's program make him the most likely of the three to fall to the tail end of the first round.
Getty ImagesStephen Lam
4. Eric Kendricks, DE, UCLA
The need at linebacker is somewhat mitigated by the three free agency acquisitions the Cowboys made at the position. Still, we know Kendricks was a machine in college and we know the Cowboys liked him enough to have him visit their facility. If he slips to 27th, he could firm up the unit for the next few seasons.
5. Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
A bit of a curveball, considering the Cowboys just re-signed Doug Free to play right tackle. If their other best options get wiped out, though, Flowers could be a big upgrade to the depth of tackle spot after the departure of Jermey Parnell. Some analysts also think Flowers could transition well to guard, which could potentially give Ronald Leary some competition.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
6. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
When you look at the teams in front of Dallas that need running back help – San Diego, Arizona, Detroit, Carolina – it's hard to imagine Gordon falling all the way to No. 27. If he does, though, he's one of just two running backs you'd feel comfortable taking in the first round, and he'd be an instant favorite to receive plenty of starting snaps.
7. Eli Harold, EDGE, Virginia
Harold is one of a half-dozen or so "tweeners" that are projected for the first-round of this draft. There is plenty of differing opinion about whether he's best suited as a 3-4 linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end, but there's no denying his ability to get to the quarterback. He notched 29.5 total sacks in his last two seasons with the Cavaliers. At 6-3, 247 pounds, he'd have to add some bulk to play in the Cowboys' scheme.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsGeoff Burke
8. Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Johnson is so highly-regarded at this point that it seems like a longshot he'll even be on the board by pick No. 20 – let alone No. 27. If he slips, though, I'd expect the Cowboys to pounce. Johnson is projected by many as a Day 1 starter at outside cornerback, where Dallas could use the help.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsBrian Spurlock
9. Ronald Darby, CB, Wake Forest
In the event that the other three corners on this list are all selected before the Cowboys pick, Darby seems like a safe bet to be there. This list is corner-heavy, and that's because there's a ton of value for the position in the first round. Anywhere between four and six cornerbacks should go in the first 32 picks, and Darby's stock has continued to rise during the pre-draft process.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsBrian Spurlock
10. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Gurley is set to have the much-anticipated re-check of his surgically-repaired knee this week in Indianapolis. If everything checks out, he's widely regarded as one of the top 10 talents in this entire draft. The Cowboys would love to draft him, even if his injury limits him during his rookie season, but it's hard to imagine that happening without a trade up the draft board.