The Dallas Cowboys suffered through a disappointing 2017 season, missing the playoffs for the sixth time in eight seasons. With the news about the Cowboys releasing Dez Bryant, will this mean their priority for a wide receiver in the first round is growing? Perhaps they target an elite defensive player instead of an offensive weapon in the first round due to the uncertainty of the position. Here are three players the Cowboys could select with pick #19 in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft:
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1.) Calvin Ridley, Alabama Crimson Tide
Ridley is older than you'd like a first-round wide receiver to be since he is 23 now and will be 24 as a rookie. For comparison, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper is 23 years old and already in his third NFL season. Ridley's skill set fits great with quarterback Dak Prescott's play style. His route running ability allows him to get open on his own and he can instantly help the Cowboys. Ridley would help replace the production from Dez Bryant last year.
Vita Vea is the perfect fit for the Cowboys as a 1-technique nose guard. Not only can he stuff the run, he can get after the quarterback. Vea would be able to stay on the field when the Cowboys use their 3-DL defense, which also allows DT Maliek Collins to move back to 3-technique.
3.) Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
The Cowboys have question marks surrounding their linebacking core with only two locked-in starters for next season who have their own problems - Sean Lee is often hurt and Jaylon Smith is still not fully healthy from a knee injury sustained his senior year of college. Finding a reliable third starting-caliber linebacker will be a major key for them. Insert Vander Esch who tore up the NFL combine and had a great year in 2017 with 141 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, four passes broken up and three interceptions.Back to the Dallas Cowboys Newsfeed