Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with Leighton Vander Esch is selected as the number nineteen overall pick to the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
As we noted before, the Dallas Cowboys have built one of the league’s most versatile back sevens in terms of how they can use and deploy their linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties. Dallas drafted LB Leighton Vander Esch with their first-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, continuing that narrative as Vander Esch is on the heels of a breakout year with Boise State.
LVE enters Dallas’ linebacker room after finishing first in the draft class in run-stop percentage and total defensive stops a season ago but has also shown abilities against the pass.
Versatility on defense and the selection of Vander Esch aside, the Cowboys remaining picks in the 2018 NFL Draft also showcased the front office’s ability to create a plan and attack through the draft whether it was filling needs that were recently created or bolstering specific units for years to come.
Connor Williams was added in the second round from Texas and should immediately fit in on the offensive line as he has versatility to play multiple spots in a pinch while he could serve as a starter right away. Michael Gallup enters the receiver room as the nation’s highest graded receiver a season ago, filling a need after the departure of Dez Bryant while Dalton Schultz helps repair the hole left by the retirement of Jason Witten. Add in the length and power of Dorance Armstrong (on the edge) and Bo Scarbrough (at running back), and this draft class is complete, concise and seemingly exactly what Jerry Jones and Co. wanted.
For more on the Cowboys fifth-round pick in QB Mike White, and where he could possibly find a role with Dallas this year or in years to come – check out our resident quarterback experts Zac Robinson and Steve Palazzolo’s recent writeup on scheme fit and skillset usage for each rookie quarterback.
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