Dec 30, 2016; El Paso, TX, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels Ryan Switzer (3) celebrates by holding up his hands after catching a touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal defense at Sun Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Cowboys went heavy on defense over the first two days of the draft. With four picks on day three, how did Dallas make out?
After three consecutive defensive picks on the first two days of the draft, the Dallas Cowboys were looking pretty good after addressing their biggest needs. Taco Charlton filled the need at defensive end, and the two corners from Day 2 replenished the secondary.
The Dallas Cowboys finally went back to their strategy of best player available. With their fourth round selection, the Cowboys grabbed Ryan Switzer.
This was an intriguing pick. Switzer has the skill set of Cole Beasley, and the return ability of Lucky Whitehead. In fact, he is a better kick returner than the guy who started all of last season for Dallas.
As a pass catcher, Switzer is about as close as you can get to a Beasley clone. His best football will come from in the slot, where he can use his quickness to his advantage.
Perhaps his best trait, and the reason the Dallas Cowboys selected him this high, is his special teams ability. Switzer was the main return man for the Tar Heels, a role he should continue in Dallas. His drafting may spell the end of the Lucky Whitehead era.
Overall, the Cowboys get themselves a player who can come in and compete. He should contribute immediately on special teams, and provide solid production out of the slot when the coaching staff manages to get him on the field offensively.
Sep 10, 2015; Bowling Green, KY, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers running back Leon Allen (33) is brought down by Louisiana Tech Bulldogs safety Xavier Woods (7) down the field during the first half at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports
Round 6, Pick 191: Xavier Woods, S – Lousiana Tech
The Dallas Cowboys were getting antsy after not having a pick in the fifth round. So, they got on the phone with the New York Jets, and dealt next years fifth-round pick to get into the middle of the sixth round.
They did not dissapoint with their newly acquired pick, addressing their need at safety by adding another young player.
This is a player I mocked to the Dallas Cowboys in the third round.
Talk about serious value. By most boards, Xavier Woods should have been picked inside the top-100. Many Cowboys fans were campaigning for him to be picked at No. 92. Dallas ended up grabbing him nearly 100 picks later, at 191 overall.
He has outstanding skills when the ball is in the air, and is good at recognizing routes. With proper technique coaching, Woods should push for the starting role opposite Byron Jones. The Cowboys got some great trade value, and a better player.
Round 6, Pick 216: Marquez White, CB – Florida State
The Dallas Cowboys traded up into the sixth round with the Jets, and grabbed Xavier Woods. Then, before going on the clock at No. 211, dealt the pick to New England in exchange for 216 and an extra seventh-rounder. The Cowboys got some solid value, assuming they didn’t miss on a player they wanted.
So, with No. 216, Dallas continued to rebuild their secondary, adding Marquez White from Florida State. One of the nice things about White is that he plays on the outside. With third-round pick Jourdan Lewis likely a slot corner, it’s good to add more guys that can play outside.
While he probably won’t push for starting reps right away, White is another solid value selection. He had a solid senior year production wise, notching two picks and six passes defended. He may not have the height you want on the outside, but for a late-round pick, he’s got a chance to produce.
B+ for the Dallas Cowboys. They managed to get some great trade value out of their original pick, and still come away with a player that has a chance to do some good things.
Sep 12, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; East Carolina Pirates offensive lineman C.J. Struyk (50) blocks and Florida Gators defensive lineman Joey Ivie (91) rushes during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Round 7, Pick 228: Joey Ivie, DT – Florida
The defensive trend continued into the seventh round, with the Dallas Cowboys grabbing a defensive tackle from the University of Florida. Starting with the measurables, Ivie stands at 6-3, and weighs in at 300 pounds.
If there is an area where Ivie can impress you, it’s with his first step. He gets off the ball well, and that is about it. The reason he became a Dallas Cowboy is probably his character. Jason Garrett wants to fill his team with the right kind of guys, and it sounds like Ivie is just that.
The Cowboys get a pedestrian grade for this pick because Ivie is a pedestrian player. He isn’t going to wow you, but he has the traits the Cowboys desire. With a very crowded defensive line already, Ivie is going to have to really battle in training camp to make the roster.
However, he’s a smart guy. His coaches at Florida love him, and speak volumes about his character and football IQ. He also is a high motor player, something that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli loves. So there’s a chance, but it won’t be an easy road to the 53-man roster.
Sep 17, 2016; Norman, OK, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Noah Brown (80) cannot make a catch as Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Jordan Thomas (7) defends during the second half at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Round 7, Pick 239: Noah Brown, WR – Ohio State
The Dallas Cowboys finally went back to offense with their second to last pick in the draft, grabbing a former Buckeye. Noah Brown makes two wide receivers added to the roster in this draft.
This pick is probably the writing on the wall to Lucky Whitehead and Brice Butler. If Brown and Switzer perform well in camp, the older, more expensive players might find themselves outside of the 53-man bubble.
At 6-2, he has the body of an outside receiver, and will likely directly compete with Brice Butler. He was a 50-50 ball specialist and Ohio State, and Dallas probably hopes that he can do the same here in Dallas. He’s somewhat of an unfinished product in terms of being a complete receiver. With his size and athletic ability, though, he’s well worth a seventh-round selection to try and develop the finer parts of his game.
It doesn’t hurt to add extra threats to Dak Prescott’s budding offense. So this pick ends up providing good depth and potential down the road. Another good value for the Dallas Cowboys.
Nov 19, 2016; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes defensive end Jordan Carrell (92) in the first half against the Washington State Cougars at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Round 7, Pick 246: Jordan Carrell, DT – Colorado
The Dallas Cowboys used their final pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on some more defensive line depth. Jordan Carrell makes the second Colorado alumni that Dallas have drafted this year. And likely, he will just be a camp body.
Not to sound like head coach Jason Garrett, but competition is good. And that is likely all that Jordan Carrell will provide. If there is a position where he fits, it’s one-technique defensive tackle. He could fill the void that Terrell McClain left.
I wouldn’t hold my breath on Jordan Carrell actually making the roster. But you never know. This is probably a guy that the Cowboys wanted on their roster, and didn’t feel that they could sign in undrafted free agency.
Regardless of the last pick, the Dallas Cowboys had themselves an excellent Day 3 to the draft. They added several players that have the potential to be starters, especially in the secondary. On top of that, they added quality depth to the wide receiver corps and the defensive line.
I’d say this was a successful draft weekend for the Dallas Cowboys.