Football Insiders mocks up all seven rounds of the draft for each team in the NFC East.
The Dallas Cowboys were a few plays away from a trip to the NFC Championship Game. After drafting Zack Martin in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cowboys beefed up their offensive line. Because of Martin, Tyron Smith, and Travis Frederick, the Cowboys flourished and Tony Romo had his most efficient season ever, DeMarco Murray had over 2,000 all-purpose yards, and Dez Bryant lead the league in touchdowns.
Because of the Cowboys’ ability to hold onto the football, they kept their defense off the field and that’s why the defense was better in 2014. Dallas’ window of winning the Super Bowl has never been more open in Romo’s tenure. That being said, the 2015 NFL Draft will be extremely important for the Cowboys as they look to bring in talent and improve on both sides of the ball. Here is the latest Cowboys’ seven-round mock draft.
Round 1: Alvin Dupree, Defensive End, Kentucky
Last season, the Cowboys moved up to select DeMarcus Lawrence in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Although Lawrence came on late in the season, and Tyrone Crawford and Jeremy Mincey played valiantly in 2014, the Cowboys need more production from their defensive line and drafting a pass rusher in the first round makes the most sense.
Insert Alvin Dupree, a 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive end that has long arms and excellent athleticism. Dupree has great hand usage and he uses a variety of moves that allow him to get in the backfield. Dupree would be a perfect complement to Lawrence. With Rod Marinelli coaching both of them up, the duo can be one of the most feared tandems in all of football for years to come.
Round 2: Kevin Johnson, Cornerback, Wake Forest
The Cowboys upgraded the cornerback position just a few years ago, but it looks like the Cowboys are back to square one with the position. Brandon Carr played well against the Indianapolis Colts this season and that was basically it. With Carr likely becoming a post June 1st cut, the Cowboys should look into drafting a cornerback in this year’s draft.
At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Kevin Johnson makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys. With his size, Johnson won’t be the best in run defense, but he shows excellent fluidity against the pass. He’s extremely light on his feet and he shows excellent ball skills that allow him to make quick breaks on the football. Johnson has long arms and he would be a nice fit on Dallas’ defense next year.
Round 3: Ellis McCarthy, Defensive Tackle, UCLA
In Marinelli’s defense, the 3-technique defensive tackle position is obviously extremely important; However, the 1-technique defensive tackle position is also vital. In 2014, the Cowboys used the likes of Terrell McClain, Nick Hayden, and even Ken Bishop to man the position. However, all were inefficient and the need for upgrading this position is important.
One guy who could be a good fit for this defense is former UCLA DT Ellis McCarthy. McCarthy played nose tackle and defensive end in his collegiate career and while he isn’t a household name right now, his 6-foot-4, 330-pound frame will intrigue many NFL teams. McCarthy is quick off the football and he is powerful enough to move the interior of the line backward. Next to Crawford in the middle of the defensive line, McCarthy could be a force.
Round 4: Tyler Lockett, Wide Receiver, Kansas State
Many will look at the wide receiver group in Dallas and say that they’re fine mainly because of Dez Bryant. However, this group could use another playmaker. Whether it’s through an extension or a franchise tag, Bryant should be back in 2014. Regardless of Bryant’s availability, Terrance Williams was nowhere to be found in the second half of the 2014 season. He showed up in the playoffs, but his inability to separate and his body-catching issues show that the Cowboys need to add a receiver. Devin Street looks promising, but he is still very inexperienced.
An anonymous scout last week said that the best player all week at the Senior Bowl practices was Tyler Lockett. With excellent route-running skills and soft hands, Lockett was one of the most productive receivers in all of college football over the past four years. At 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, Lockett doesn’t have great size, but his ability to make plays and be productive will be of great use in Dallas. Lockett would be another weapon for Tony Romo to work with once he gets settled into the offense.
Round 5: Stephone Anthony, Inside Linebacker, Clemson
At the start of the season, the Cowboys’ line-backing group looked horrible. Sean Lee was out for the year and DeVonte Holloman was done for his career. Thanks to Rolando McClain and the improved play of rookie Anthony Hitchens, the Cowboys were fine at this level of the defense.
Despite that, McClain’s contract is up and we don’t know how well Lee will recover from his injury. Another thing to remember is that Bruce Carter may not be back in Dallas in 2015. That being said, the Cowboys need to add an inside linebacker and Stephone Anthony makes a lot of sense as his versatility and physicality will be perfect for this 4-3 defense.
Round 7a: Jordan Hicks, Outside Linebacker, Texas
Although adding two linebackers in a row is a bit unorthodox, the fact of the matter is that Jordan Hicks is a local product and the Cowboys will love his versatility. Hicks has good range and he would be a nice special teams player on this roster. Similar to the role Holloman played, Hicks would be a rotational fit. Each year, the Cowboys also host local products and Hicks will likely be in attendance for that event.
Round 7b: Karlos Williams, Running Back, Florida State
With Murray likely gone in free agency, the Cowboys should look into drafting a running back in this year’s draft, and one guy who runs with authority is Karlos Williams. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Williams has great size, he reads defenses well, and would be a nice weapon in Dallas’ running back committee next to Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar. Drafting Williams is a low-risk, high-reward type of move for the Cowboys.
If it weren’t for their horrific secondary in 2014, the Philadelphia Eagles could’ve very well made the playoffs. Despite going into the offseason with clear needs at the cornerback position, there seems to be some belief that the Eagles could, in fact, move up and select Marcus Mariota. Although Chip Kelly loves Mariota, the odds of that happening are pretty slim. Here is the Eagles’ seven-round mock draft.
Round 1: Jalen Collins, Cornerback, LSU
Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams struggled tremendously in 2014 and the need for an upgrade at the cornerback position is at a new level of importance for the Eagles. Although Jalen Collins is undersized, he has excellent footwork and his ball skills are top-tier. The Eagles need a cornerback and Collins makes a lot of sense.
Round 2: Brett Hundley, Quarterback, UCLA
Yes there are rumors that the Eagles will look into going after Mariota, but if they are smart, they will stand pat with their draft pick. Giving up the farm is not a smart idea considering the needs the Eagles have. In the second round, Brett Hundley will most likely be available and he is similar in ways to Mariota. Hundley is extremely athletic and although he’s a little raw, Kelly’s offense could tailor his strengths.
Round 3: Eric Kendricks, Inside Linebacker, UCLA
The Eagles need help in the run game. Simply put, the Eagles need an inside linebacker and a guy who is athletic enough to contribute is Eric Kendricks. Although he isn’t your prototypical inside linebacker, Kendricks shoots gaps really well and by being drafted by the Eagles, he would be on the same team his brother Mychal is on.
Round 4a: Henry Anderson, Defensive End, Stanford
Although the Eagles got after the quarterback pretty well in 2014, they still could use another defensive end and that’s why Henry Anderson is a good fit. Kelly loves players from the Pac-12 and this is just another one of those guys. Anderson is a relentless pass-rusher that has one of the best motors in football. At age 32, Trent Cole is nearing the end of his career, and Anderson would be ideal to bring on slowly.
Round 4b: Lorenzo Doss, Cornerback, Tulane
Again, the Eagles need upgrades at both cornerback spots and by already adding Collins, drafting a long-armed, physical cornerback like Lorenzo Doss makes a ton of sense. Both players aren’t game-breaking, but with this defensive line, these two could learn quickly and become an extremely talented duo on both sides of the field.
Round 5: Sam Carter, Safety, TCU
On top of their cornerback woes, the Eagles could another safety next to Malcolm Jenkins. Nate Allen isn’t that talented and the Eagles need an upgrade there. That being said, Sam Carter could be a nice fit in this defense. At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Carter is a bigger safety and he is a playmaker. His versatility is also something that will intrigue this coaching staff.
Round 6: Tyeler Davison, Defensive Tackle, Fresno State
Bennie Logan is one of the league’s most underrated defensive tackles and Beau Allen is a really good backup as well. However, for depth purposes, the Eagles should be in the market for a defensive tackle and a guy that could be a nice rotational player is Tyeler Davison. At 6-foot-2, 315 pounds, Davison has good size and he has great instincts in the middle of the defensive line.
Round 7: Levi Norwood, Wide Receiver, Baylor
Although wide receiver isn’t the biggest need, Kelly loves athleticism and explosiveness for his offense and those are two qualities Levi Norwood has. Norwood is extremely raw and undersized, but he displays good hands and good deep-ball speed. Norwood will never be a No. 1 receiver, but on the Eagles, he would be a nice playmaker option for whoever is playing quarterback.
New York Giants
Injuries held the New York Giants back in 2015, but they do have some great potential for a playoff run in 2015. Their offensive line will improve this season and Eli Manning will have one of the most entertaining players in all of football at his disposal in Odell Beckham, Jr. For the Giants to make it to the next level, they will need to hit in this year’s draft. Here is their updated seven-round mock draft.
Round 1: Vic Beasley, Defensive End, Clemson
The Giants have an affinity for drafting pass rushers early and although they have gone away from that in the past few years, expect them to return to the philosophy this offseason. Vic Beasley is raw and his frame is extremely slender at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds; However, Beasley is a freak off the edge and he knows how to get after the quarterback. Beasley would be a project, but he would be worth it if he was coached correctly.
Round 2: Denzel Perryman, Inside Linebacker, Miami
Besides their defensive line, the Giants could use some help against the run. At 6-foot-1, 245 pounds, Denzel Perryman has good size to man the middle of the field. Perryman plays with an excellent motor and a low center of gravity. Perryman is extremely undisciplined against the pass, but he will make a difference against the run for New York.
Round 3: Stefon Diggs, Wide Receiver, Maryland
Last season, the Giants added the most athletic receiver in the draft class in Beckham Jr. Now in this year’s draft, the Giants should look to add another receiver and that guy is Stefon Diggs. Victor Cruz really hasn’t been all that productive in a few years and it’s yet to be determined how healthy he will be when he does, in fact, come back. Adding a guy like Diggs gives the Giants a return threat and it also gives them another extremely athletic playmaker.
Round 4: Derron Smith, Safety, Fresno State
The Giants upgraded the secondary last offseason with the additions of Walter Thurmond and Dominique Rodgers-Cromarte. They still need another safety and Derron Smith is a good option. Antrel Rolle is a good safety for the Giants, but he is a free agent and Quintin Demps isn’t starter-material. Smith has good range and he can come up and make plays in the running game as well. In the middle rounds, Smith is a nice safety target.
Round 5: Tyrus Thompson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
As I said earlier, the Giants weren’t good on the offensive line this past season and the main reason was due to health. It seems that the Giants have their two tackles for the future in Will Beatty and Justin Pugh, but they lack depth behind them as the backup to both of them is Adam Gettis, who has yet to play an NFL game. That being said, the Giants should add a big tackle in Tyrus Thompson. The Giants need to add depth and and Thompson makes sense.
Round 6: Xzavier Dickson, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
At 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, Xzavier Dickson is a huge body, who plays outside linebacker. Alabama has one of the best defenses in the nation each year and they always produce NFL-quality players. One guy who will be another one of those players Dickson. The Giants added a really nice player in Devon Kennard last year. Dickson and Kennard would be two solid, young linebackers for the Giants to work with.
Round 7: Justin Cox, Safety, Mississippi State
Although the Giants have their cornerbacks likely set in stone for 2015 with Rodgers-Cromartie and Thurmond, the team will need depth and a guy like Justin Cox would bet perfect. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Cox has great size, and another good thing about him is that he could contribute on special teams.
It really was a season full of turmoil for the Washington Redskins. Not only were there problems between head coach Jay Gruden and owner Daniel Snyder, but the Redskins’ problems also occurred on the field. Although their biggest needs are on the offensive line and in the defensive backfield, the Redskins need to find out who their quarterback is going forward. In this draft, the Redskins will have a first-round pick for the first time since 2012. Here is their seven-round mock draft.i
Round 1: Brandon Scherff, Offensive Tackle, Iowa
Trent Williams is an excellent left tackle. Outside of him, the Redskins don’t have a lot of talent on their offensive line. Adding a guy like Brandon Scherff makes a ton of sense considering he shows the ability to play guard or tackle. Scherff has great size at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds, and his long arms help him shed off pass rushers. Scherff is extremely strong and there is no question that he is the top tackle in this draft class.
Round 2: Jordan Phillips, Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma
Despite being a huge body at 6-foot-6, 335 pounds, Jordan Phillips is a freak off the snap of the ball. He displays excellent athleticism as well as top-tier strength in the middle of the defensive line. Phillips has quick hands and he has quick legs. Phillips is quite an athlete and as a nose tackle in Washington’s 3-4 defensive front, he could be a really good player.
Round 3: Kurtis Drummond, Safety, Michigan State
It’s been years since the Redskins have upgraded their secondary and although it is one of their biggest needs this offseason, the Redskins have more pressing needs. In 2014, the Redskins saw a player with a ton of potential in Bashaud Breeland. However, they don’t have a presence at the safety position. Kurtis Drummond is rangy and he does an excellent job at coming down from the defensive backfield to make plays in the offensive backfield. Drummond has good ball skills and he shows the talent to be a nice safety at the next level.
Round 4: Jarvis Harrison, Offensive Guard, Texas A&M
With the Redskins bringing in a tackle in the first round, they have gone to great measures to improve within the trenches. Regardless, the Redskins need to add a guard and that guard should preferably be one that has played in a spread-out college offense. Playing at Texas A&M, Jarvis Harrison has a good combination of strength and athleticism and he will be a nice fit in this zone-blocking scheme
Round 5: Ben Heeney, Inside Linebacker, Kansas
In terms of pass coverage and athleticism, Ben Heeney lacks tremendously in ability. However, Heeney has decent instincts and he shows the ability to be a solid two-down linebacker. In the latter rounds, Heeney brings value as he can grow as a linebacker on this team as well as be a solid special teams contributor.
Round 6: Quandre Diggs, Cornerback, Texas
Although he doesn’t have the best frame in the world 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, Quandre Diggs has natural ball skills and he really looks comfortable covering receivers against the pass. Diggs was the veteran of the Texas defense over the past few years and he shows the ability to make plays. In the later rounds, Diggs could become a solid No. 2 cornerback on this defense.
Round 7: Phillip Dorsett, Wide Receiver, Miami
The tandem of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon is a really good one, however, the Redskins really did not get enough from their quarterbacks and that’s why both were really set up to fail in 2014. Behind those two, the Redskins really don’t have a lot of talent. Yes they signed Andre Roberts to a long-term deal, but he looked lost at times in 2014. That being said, adding a talented guy like Phillip Dorsett makes a ton of sense.
At 5-foot-10, 197 pounds, Dorsett doesn’t have ideal NFL size, but when it’s all set and done, Dorsett could easily be the fastest player in this entire draft. Dorsett has said that he’s trying to run a 4.29 40-yard dash at the combine. Speed kills in the NFL and a guy like Dorsett on this spread offense would be extremely intriguing.
Buccaneers admit mistake, boot Aguayo
Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk
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Did Bucs put too much pressure on Aguayo?
Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk
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Broncos holding their breath on Derek Wolfe
Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk
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