It seems like every couple of years, the Dallas Cowboys’ draft board gets leaked, and the guys over at Blogging the Boys always manage to get it and break it down. That happened again this year as the 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft Board was again leaked, which, at least this time, it came a few months after the Draft rather than during the event.
Of course, Blogging the Boys jumped all over it, breaking down exactly where the Cowboys had most of the college prospects ranked. The picture that showed the board was of a hand-written version of the board, so some of the players were illegible, and the BtB guys could not figure out where everyone was ranked, but it still is a fairly well done breakdown of the players in all seven rounds. Here’s the picture that was used:
You can click the “2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft Board” link above to see the full board, but we are going to use that board to see where the players the Miami Dolphins selected stacked up against the Cowboys’ board. Of course, Miami could have had different grades on players, but you have to imagine that most teams would have similar grades for most players - maybe shifting them around a few picks here or there.
Laremy Tunsil, offensive tackle, Ole Miss
This is obviously going to be a good pick for the Dolphins because Tunsil fell in the Draft after the video of him smoking from a bong appeared on his Twitter account minutes before the start of the Draft. While that hurt Tunsil in the wallet, Miami was not going to miss out on an opportunity to grab a player that was considered among the Draft’s elite.
The only two players the Cowboys had rated higher than Tunsil were running back Ezekiel Elliott, the player Dallas picked fourth overall, and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was picked fifth.
Dolphins’ pick: 13th overall
Cowboys’ draft board: 3rd overall
Xavien Howard, conerback, Baylor
The Dolphins jumped up four spots in the second round in order to go get Howard, fearing a run on cornerbacks was about to happen. The team clearly targeted Howard and made the move they thought they had to make in order to go get him.
The Cowboys had Howard ranked as the 45th player on their board, just behind where Miami originally sat before the trade up. That said, there was only one cornerback on the board ahead of Howard, with Kendall Fuller ranked 23rd overall. Fuller, however, was not picked until the 84th selection.
Dolphins’ pick: 38th overall
Cowboys’ draft board: 45th overall
Kenyan Drake, running back, Alabama
Miami added a running back that it again appears they had specifically targeted and grabbed when they had the chance. He is an injury concern, having played primarily as a backup at Alabama because injuries kept sidelining him. He does give Miami a change-of-pace back, when compared to presumed starter Jay Ajayi, and he should be able to find playing time (which could be hurt if Miami signs Arian Foster).
Dallas had several running backs ranked higher than Drake on the board still including Devontae Booker (graded 61st on Cowboys draft board, selected with the 136th overall pick), Paul Perkins (graded 52nd overall, selected 149th overall pick), and Jordan Howard (graded 58th overall, selected 150th overall pick). The vast difference between the grades for the running backs and the selected picks is odd here, with the Cowboys clearly ranking several running backs more than other teams.
Dolphins’ pick: 73rd overall
Cowboys’ draft board: 68th overall
Leonte Carroo, wide receiver, South Carolina
This pick is where Miami fans really started to get confused during the Draft. The expectations of a defensive heavy draft crumbled with the selection of a wide receiver, a position most fans assumed was fairly well set before the Draft. Carroo will provide depth for the team, likely playing as the fourth wide receiver behind Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills. Miami traded back into the third round to get Carroo, another player they knew they wanted and so they made the move to make sure they got him.
The only wide receiver who was still on the board for Miami’s pick that was ranked higher than Carroo on the Cowboys’ draft board was Pharoh Cooper, who was selected 117th overall with a 70th position on Dallas’s board.
Dolphins’ pick: 86th overall
Cowboys’ draft board: 84th overall
The rest of the Draft
The rest of the draft board is either illegible where Miami’s picks were made, or the Cowboys did not rank the players Miami took with their final four selections. Unfortunately, we cannot compare Dallas’s draft board to Miami’s selections in the sixth and seventh rounds.
Round 6a: Jakeem Grant, wide receiver, Texas Tech (186th overall)
Round 6b: Jordan Lucas, defensive back, Penn State (204th overall)
Round 7a: Brandon Doughty, quarterback, Western Kentucky (223rd overall)
Round 7b: Thomas Duarte, tight end, UCLA (231st overall)