First, I used CBSSports.com’s Big Board of the Top 50 prospects to use as our “best available player” board.
Second, I took into account each team’s draft needs, current schemes and personnel as factors in determining selections.
Third, I tried to “reach” as little as possible, in terms of overall player value and the selection. But when I felt strongly that a team might reach to get a player they truly desire, I pulled the trigger.
Fourth, I tried to combine all of that into a first-round mock that is realistic, based on current scouting evaluations and information. I don’t believe a mock draft should be primarily what the writer thinks a team should take, though some of that does enter into this. Rather, I think it should be more about what the team is likely to take.
In terms of the Cowboys, they’ve shown a propensity to take the “best player available” on their board the past two years. So I assume that’s the mentality the Cowboys will carry into this draft. More explanation about their selection, in my eyes, once we get to No. 27.
For now, here is my first mock draft. It will certainly change, as our next mock will come on Feb. 27 and feature information from the NFL Scouting Combine.