2017 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys reload at WR, snag Washington's speedy John Ross

The Cowboys have undergone a youth makeover on offense, with quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott the present and future of the franchise.

And wide receiver is next.

Ignore the trade chatter because Dez Bryant isn't going anywhere and is the clear No. 1 pass-catcher on the Cowboys' roster. But he has also missed 10 of the past 21 games due to injury and the Dallas front office would be wise to upgrade the wide receiver depth chart to complement him. Terrance Williams is in the final year of his rookie contract and Brice Butler has yet to prove himself as a legitimate No. 2 option, making wideout a possibility early on draft day.

Washington Huskies 's John Ross has average height with a very lean body type, but he runs like the wind with the vertical speed that keeps defenses on their toes. The Long Beach native has an easy release off the line of scrimmage and excellent plant-and-burst in his breaks to create his own separation downfield. With his catch-and-run skills and ability to take the top off a secondary, Ross would make an instant impact for the Cowboys and help the growth of both Prescott and Elliott.

First Round

1. Cleveland Browns

DeShone Kizer , QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish : The Browns' search for a quarterback of the future continues with Robert Griffin III being placed on injured reserve, and Kizer could be a name high on their list with his intelligence, poise and physical tools at the most important position.

DeShone Kizer could be the Browns' quarterback of the future. USATSI

2. San Francisco 49ers

Deshaun Watson , QB, Clemson Tigers : San Francisco has the worst quarterback depth chart in the NFL (yes, worse than the Browns). Watson is unpolished in areas, but he is an above average athlete with a terrific arm who would fit well in Chip Kelly's offense.

3. Chicago Bears

Mitch Trubisky , QB, North Carolina Tar Heels : Unless Jay Cutler changes the narrative in 2016, the Bears would be wise to invest in a long-term option at quarterback if a prospect like Trubisky is available.

4. Carolina Panthers

Marlon Humphrey , CB, Alabama Crimson Tide : Carolina has several questions marks on its cornerback depth chart, but adding Humphrey, who is NFL-ready right now, would help change that.

5. New York Jets

Myles Garrett , DE, Texas A&M: The front seven on defense isn't the main issue with the Jets, but they aren't passing on a talent like Garrett if they have a chance to draft him.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars

Malik McDowell , DT, Michigan State Spartans : Jacksonville has invested heavily in the defensive line, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Jaguars do so again if a talent like McDowell is available for them.

7. New Orleans Saints

Tim Williams , OLB, Alabama: The Saints struggled to consistently pressure the opponent's backfield last year and didn't do much to upgrade the issue over the offseason. Williams would change that.

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Jonathan Allen , DE, Alabama: Cincinnati relies on a four-man defensive front and a talent like Allen would give the coaching staff options with his versatility to line up inside, outside and excel at various spots up front.

9. San Diego Chargers

Jabrill Peppers , SS, Michigan Wolverines : Peppers might not be a clear prototype for a traditional position, but his athleticism, toughness and ball awareness will make a defensive adjust their scheme around his strengths.

Jabrill Peppers will be a difference-maker for any team, including the Chargers. USATSI

10. Miami Dolphins

Teez Tabor , CB, Florida Gators : The Dolphins need to add more talent to the cornerback depth chart and Tabor is arguably the best at his position in the 2017 class with his ball skills, athleticism and toughness.

11. Indianapolis Colts

Leonard Fournette , RB, LSU Tigers : A player in the trenches on either side of the ball is the bigger need, but Fournette would help open the offense for Indianapolis.

12. Arizona Cardinals

Brad Kaaya , QB, Miami (Fla.): Carson Palmer isn't getting any younger and it's tough to see him starting all 16 games in a season moving forward. Kaaya would give Arizona a future at the game's most important position.

13. Tennessee Titans

Malik Hooker , FS, Ohio State Buckeyes : Only a redshirt sophomore in his first year as a starter, Hooker has performed like an All-American so far this season, flashing first round traits. He's still inexperienced in areas, but his upside is off the charts.

14. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles)

JuJu Smith-Schuster , WR, Southern California Trojans : The Titans have plenty of bodies on the wide receiver depth chart, but no true difference-maker. A target like Smith-Schuster would help the development of Marcus Mariota .

15. Baltimore Ravens

Carl Lawson , DE, Auburn Tigers : Lawson isn't without his question marks due to lack of size and strong durability concerns, but his ability to infiltrate the pocket makes him an attractive NFL prospect.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jamal Adams , SS, LSU: The Buccaneers addressed the secondary in the first round of last year's draft, but need more help, especially at safety where Adams would be an upgrade over Chris Conte .

17. Detroit Lions

Derek Barnett , DE, Tennessee Volunteers : With Devin Taylor possibly hitting free agency after the season, the Lions could be looking to add a defensive end opposite Ziggy Ansah. Barnett isn't elite in any one area, but his well-rounded skillset and intangibles will endear him to NFL coaches.

18. New York Giants

Dalvin Cook , RB, Florida State Seminoles : The Giants' running back depth chart has been damaged due to injury, with the team averaging under four yards per carry. Seeing what Elliott is doing for Dallas, Cook will be appealing to New York.

Dalvin Cook could breathe life into the Giants' backfield. USATSI

19. Washington Redskins

Reuben Foster , ILB, Alabama: The Redskins' defense has struggled against both the pass and run this season and needs more speed at linebacker. Foster plays fast and looks for the violent collision on each snap.

20. Buffalo Bills

Cam Robinson , OT, Alabama: The Bills' offensive line has been up-and-down this season, especially with the uncertainty at right tackle. Robinson would provide positional depth and a long-term answer on the right side.

21. Houston Texans

O.J. Howard , TE, Alabama: Houston hasn't received enough production out of the tight end position and Howard is the type of weapon coach Bill O'Brien wants to add to the offense.

22. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)

Desmond King , CB, Iowa Hawkeyes : The Browns' secondary has been routinely torched this season with upgrades needed across the board. King isn't the biggest or fastest, but he is instinctive with playmaking skills.

23. Kansas City Chiefs

Solomon Thomas , DE, Stanford Cardinal : Kansas City has built a physical front-seven on defense, but that won't stop them from adding more impact players up front. Thomas has separated himself as one of the Pac-12's top defensive prospects.

24. Green Bay Packers

Cordrea Tankersley , CB, Clemson: Green Bay needs help on offense, but cornerback is also a need area. Tankersley has size/length/aggressive profile that fits the Packers' scheme.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers

Marquis Haynes, OLB, Mississippi: The Steelers have several question marks at pass rusher heading into next season, and could look to address that need through the draft. Lawson is among the SEC leaders in tackles for loss, sacks and quarterback hurries.

26. Atlanta Falcons

Charles Harris , DE, Missouri Tigers : The Falcons' pass rush has been sporadic this season and hasn't lived up to the vision of head coach Dan Quinn. Harris has the edge quickness and burst to capture the edge and give blockers trouble.

27. Oakland Raiders

Bucky Hodges , TE, Virginia Tech Hokies : Oakland has more pressing priorities on defense, but the front office also knows quarterback Derek Carr needs more help on offense. A former quarterback, Hodges is a tight end/receiver hybrid with a very high ceiling.

28. Denver Broncos

Zach Cunningham , OLB, Vanderbilt Commodores : Denver locked up Brandon Marshall long-term at linebacker, but more depth is needed. Cunningham is easy to overlook on a below average Vanderbilt squad, but he is the real deal.

29. Seattle Seahawks

Dan Feeney , OG, Indiana Hoosiers : The Seahawks have several question marks up and down the offensive line, and Seattle will likely still be looking for answers in next year's draft.

30. Dallas Cowboys

John Ross, WR, Washington: With Terrance Williams' rookie contract up after the 2016 season, Dallas could be in the market for a new No. 2 wideout opposite Dez Bryant. Ross has difference-making speed.

john-ross.jpg
John Ross could be the ideal No. 2 receiver in Dallas if Terrance Williams leaves. USATSI

31. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)

Sidney Jones , CB, Washington: The Eagles are very thin at cornerback on the depth chart, especially with Nolan Carroll on a one-year deal. Jones is wiry, but tough and has the athleticism and ballskills to blanket receivers on the outside.

32. New England Patriots

Christian McCaffrey , RB, Stanford: Whether used in the backfield or the slot, McCaffrey gives a versatile Patriots offense more options. His intelligence and athleticism are a combination New England will appreciate more than some other clubs.

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