After spending the last 100 days preparing for the NFL draft, here is my final big board . Reminder: I am not one of the 32 NFL general managers nor one of the hundreds of NFL scouts. I am a football nerd with the time and inclination to learn as many of these players as possible (about 75) by watching them play college football extensively and talking to people in the sport who know more than me.
Through that, I have attempted to stack these players in a hypothetical order of where I would draft them if I was general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. That means scheme and fit has been considered from that franchise’s perspective, but it also means that I am thinking as if I was in charge (which, of course, differs from Jerry Jones). So, this is not a mock draft or a prediction of order of picks. Rather, it is a ranking that I hope stands up in five years -- which is invariably ridiculous.
A difference-maker in the secondary who could be your best option at all five defensive back spots.
Non-issue for Cowboys, but he is my bet for best to become a legitimate franchise QB in 2020.
Somewhere along the way, the masses started suggesting Bosa is not a difference-maker I disagree.
The player who appears to have the least questions to answer, but ideally plays left tackle.
In terms of pure cover skills, he appears to be as good or better as Ramsey on an island.
North Dakota State
Possibly pushed up because of position scarcity, but he has impressive traits to consider.
From the standpoint of ceiling, age and ability, this player looks like a real star.
Another defensive player with a high ceiling, but with his knee injury he could drop further.
Get by the various issues off and the field and against the run, he is superb rushing the passer.
No question he is the best RB in draft. The issue is whether he is good or generational. I believe the former.
Of all the inside defensive players, he could best fit Dallas’ needs at 3-technique.
A talented player who can really step right in and be a starter with versatile skills.
A distant second place behind Tunsil on the OL, but still has tools to be very solid.
For me, he is best as a 5-tech in a 3-4 defense. Cowboys may disagree and like him for their 4-3.
Difficult to fully analyze and project, but his top performances are impossible to ignore.
This guy is just a sliver behind Stanley for me and may actually develop beyond him. He looks great.
All things equal - which they are not - you might prefer him to Lawson. But age and body of work go to Shaq.
A man this size should certainly not be this disruptive. But, he might give Rankins a run for best DT.
Will likely miss 2016 and his medical evaluations mean everything. But, the tape is incredible before injury.
Local defensive tackle who certainly has plenty of traits to be an incredible 1-technique run-stopper.
There is little in this fine combination of speed and size that gives one pause. He looks the part.
You could make the case that he should be higher. I see a young Vince Wilfork.
There is no reason this player with this much talent should be below the top 10\. He could be great.
Another capable tackle who went toe-to-toe with several draftable DL and held his own.
So athletic, with plenty competitive edge and productive. Should destroy Baylor stereotypes at position.
Honestly, A’Shawn and Jarran are very close to each other. I would consider A’Shawn slightly more freakish.
Big corner who has a chance to develop a bit more into a strong corner on the edge.
He is aggressive and confident, but you would like to see more than zero interceptions in college.
There is no doubt in my mind that Henry, behind Dallas’ zone OL, would fit like a hand in glove.
There is little not to like, although Spriggs is a bit of a projection here. Underrated but interesting.
Seems like an absolute third-down machine who can do many things well.
Doctson has a chance to be special, but will his build cause issues getting off the line vs. press?
Yet another disruptive DT behind the line of scrimmage. Seems to have some versatility.
I admit that his knee evaluation is key, but if he checks out he is the second-best safety in 2016.
I believe he can really develop into something \impressive. But, there are many doubters.
A modern-day linebacker in that runs like a DB, but he is no Ryan Shazier as he doesn’t hit much.
No question he brings plenty of thump. I wonder about his range in a league that requires it.
A much safer, more conservative, and less physical version of a safety upgrade. Center field candidate.
I believe he is the fourth-best QB and has a chance to really prove his critics wrong if fit is right.
After Ogbah, this is the next pass-rusher who can move inside or win on the edge.
There is a chance here to land a big and fast corner. But, he really lost deep too much at Baylor.
He certainly looks like he could be a factor inside, although pass rush skills are limited.
Those wanting Elliott in first round should hope to grab Booker later. Will his knee help him fall to early third?
Ball security is a concern, but competitiveness, ability and versatility are certainly not.
I’m willing to ignore the criticisms and believe my gut that he will be a playmaking force for a decade.
Is undersized for sure, but can be a game-wrecker around the edge at times. Sacks are premium for sure.
The only top tight end up top who will struggle with blocking inline, but should find seam routes delightful.
A dangerous deep threat who has proven himself, but with small hands and drops has limitations.
A difficult player to figure out, but he has no natural position besides nickel pass-rusher.
Not the best scheme fit, but at No. 50 I think Correa is going to impact the league.