2016 NFL Mock Draft: Dallas Cowboys land impact LB Myles Jack

By The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 9, 2015 at 1:48 PM
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The Dallas Cowboys have been searching for an impact linebacker in the first round of the past few NFL Drafts.

Two years ago, Dallas was ready to select Ryan Shazier 16th overall, but the Pittsburgh Steelers acted first and drafted the Ohio State linebacker one spot ahead of them. Last year, the Cowboys had their eye on Shaq Thompson late in the first round, but the Carolina Panthers pounced and drafted him 25th overall.

Both of those situations worked out for Dallas as it added impact players in guard Zack Martin and cornerback Byron Jones in the past two drafts, but the Cowboys are still searching for that athletic and versatile linebacker, which is why UCLA's Myles Jack could be a player Dallas targets in the top 10 this year.

If the draft was held tomorrow, here's how it might play out.

NFL MOCK DRAFT - ROUND 1

1. CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-10): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: The Browns are desperate to find the right answer at quarterback and will be doing their homework on all the passers in the 2016 class. Lynch has the size, athleticism and arm talent that translates well to the pro game, and he continues to get better with added experience.

2. TENNESSEE TITANS (3-9): Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss: Tennessee needs to address the offensive line this offseason and if the Titans have the chance to add a talent like Tunsil, they would be wise not to pass, pushing Taylor Lewan over to right tackle.

3. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (3-9): Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State: San Diego has been ravaged due to injuries and has several need areas on the depth chart. Bosa is ideally suited for a traditional 4-3 base, but he has the scheme-versatile skill-set to fit any defense.

4. BALTIMORE RAVENS (4-8): Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State: Baltimore corners Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb are locked into long-term contracts, but both have struggled to stay healthy and the Ravens can't pass up a talent like Ramsey if he's still available here.

5. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (4-8): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame: Jacksonville has invested money and draft picks to improve the offensive line, but there are still question marks at several spots. Stanley needs mechanical refinement, but his dancing bear athleticism puts him in the top-10 discussion.

6. DALLAS COWBOYS (4-8): Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA: The Cowboys defense needs help at each level, including at linebacker, especially with the futures of Rolando McClain (free agent) and Sean Lee (injuries) in doubt. Although currently sidelined with a knee injury, Jack has top 10 talent if his rehab is on track.

UCLA LB Myles Jack (30) hits QB Logan Thomas (3) of Virginia Tech at the Sun Bowl on December 31, 2013 in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Jeff Schultes/Shutterstock

7. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-8): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss: Regardless of who is at quarterback, the Saints need to find the "new" Marques Colston - a large target with athleticism. That description fits Treadwell, who is a less dynamic version of Dez Bryant.

8. ST. LOUIS RAMS (4-8): Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida: With starting CBs Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson in the final year of rookie contracts, the Rams might be looking for a corner or two in the 2016 draft. Hargreaves doesn't have ideal size, but the ball awareness and toughness help compensate.

9. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-8): Jared Goff, QB, California: The 49ers and Colin Kaepernick are in the midst of a messy divorce and the franchise will be searching for his replacement. A San Francisco native, Goff still needs work, but his traits are extremely promising.

10. DETROIT LIONS (4-8): Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State: With a new front office, the Lions will be a wildcard in the first round, especially if Detroit makes a splash with one of the high-priced contracts (Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, etc.) on the current roster. Decker is a plug-and-play option on the offensive line, which would address the Lions' issues at right tackle.

11. NY GIANTS (5-7): Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State: The Giants rank near dead-last in the league in team sacks and aren't receiving the production they need from their edge rushers. Ogbah is among the NCAA leaders in sacks (13) and has the character and talent that fits the Giants' franchise.

12. MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-7): Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame: Miami needs to add athleticism at linebacker and Smith has plenty of speed. He isn't a power player, but has the range, instincts and competitiveness to start from day one.

13. OAKLAND RAIDERS (5-7): Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss: The Raiders hit a home run with Khalil Mack up front, but need to continue and add depth on the defensive line. Nkemdiche is still figuring out how good he can be, but his ceiling is sky high.

14. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-7): Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia: The Eagles have several holes on defense and need to add depth at each level. Floyd has a lean body type, but can bend the edge, disrupt the pocket and finish in pursuit.

15. CHICAGO BEARS (5-7): Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama: The Bears are far removed from the days of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs dominating the NFC and are missing impact players like that on the 2015 defense. Ragland has range, but his best trait is his aggressiveness downhill.

16. ATLANTA FALCONS (6-6): Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama: The Falcons are tied for last in the league in sacks and have accounted for only 52 yards lost on sacks, which is easily last in the league. Allen, who leads Alabama in sacks (10), brings a relentless combination of quickness and power to line up inside or outside on Atlanta's multiple front.

17. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-6): Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson: Tampa will address the cornerback position next offseason, either in free agency or the draft, possibly both. Alexander doesn't have ideal size, but he has the speed and aggressive nature to blanket receivers.

18. HOUSTON TEXANS (6-6): Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State: If Bill O'Brien is still the coach in Houston next offseason, pencil in a quarterback for the Texans in the first round. And Cook has the prototypical skills for O'Brien's offense.

19. BUFFALO BILLS (6-6): Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson: Buffalo hasn't received the production expected from the big names on the defensive line, largely due to injuries. Lawson, who leads Clemson in tackles for loss (20.5) and sacks (8.5), gives the Bills much needed depth up front and might prove to be a better option than Mario Williams in coach Rex Ryan's scheme.

20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-5): Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor: Although he said he will return to Baylor for his senior season, Billings is playing himself into a high draft pick and plans might change. He would provide Pittsburgh with a powerful nose tackle who can push the pocket and also make plays in pursuit.

21. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (5-7): Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama: Although he doesn't receive the same attention as others on the Alabama defense, Reed is built like a vending machine and is just as tough to move from his spot. The Redskins have used veterans to fill the nose tackle spot, but Reed would give them a long-term option.

22. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-6): DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon: The Colts need to invest early draft picks on the offensive and defensive lines and Buckner would be a great start. A long, powerful run stopper, Buckner will never be a high volume pass rusher, but he cleans up vs. the run and keeps blockers busy.

23. NY JETS (7-5): Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State: With Zac Stacy the only running back currently under contract for the 2016 season, the Jets' backfield could look very different next year. Elliott has terrific balance, vision and lower body athleticism to move the chains every time he touches the ball.

24. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (7-5): Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA: Seattle's defensive line depth needs restocking and Clark is a terrific run stopper with potential to be more with some seasoning.

25. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7-5): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State: With Eric Fisher struggling and Donald Stephenson eligible for free agency after the season, offensive tackle could be the top priority this offseason for the Chiefs. Conklin doesn't have the athletic tools of Tunsil or Stanley, but he's effective in other ways that help him handle both speed and power off the edge.

26. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-4): Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State: A lot of fingers can be pointed as to why the Vikings rank near the bottom of the league in passing yards, but the lack of perimeter weapons is a substantial reason. Thomas doesn't have elite speed, but he separates with crisp routes and displays NFL ballskills.

27. GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-4): A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama: With Mike Daniels and the Packers failing to reach an extension before the season, there's a realistic chance he hits free agency. Even if Daniels returns, Robinson is worthy of this pick with his versatility that fits Green Bay's odd-man front.

28. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-2): This pick is currently slated to be forfeited by the Patriots as part of the Deflategate punishment.

29. ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-2): Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky: A true wild-card prospect, Spence has first-round talent, there is no question about that. But the former Ohio State Buckeye has a history of drug abuse, although he has cleaned up his habits since being banned from the Big Ten. Arizona has the front office, coaches and locker room to take a chance on a boom or bust player like this.

30. DENVER BRONCOS (10-2): Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida: With Malik Jackson and Derek Wolfe set to hit free agency after this season, the Broncos might be looking for new beef at the grocery store. Bullard, who splits his time inside and outside for the Gators, is one of the best run-defending linemen in this class.

31. CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-2): Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor: With Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones both in contract years, the Bengals could be looking for wide receiver help in the draft.

32. CAROLINA PANTHERS (12-0): Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana: The Panthers have received excellent production from the bargain bin at the free agent store, but also need to develop young draft picks at key positions, including left tackle. A former tight end, Spriggs has several traits that translate well to the NFL.

--Dane Brugler is a Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with CBSSports.com.

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