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2015 NFL Mock Draft: With The Twenty-Seventh Pick, The Dallas Cowboys Select...

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Have the Dallas Cowboy turned over a new leaf when it comes to the NFL Draft? The man making the selection for the Cowboys in this mock draft says yes. And no. See what I mean by reading who was taken and why.

Ponchos will always get you featured on Battle Red Blog.
Ponchos will always get you featured on Battle Red Blog.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A year after they nearly took Johnny Manziel before cooler heads prevailed, the Dallas Cowboys are up to bat in the 2015 Battle Red Blog Mock Draft. Roll.Texans.Roll with the pick and a great explanation below.

With the 27th pick of the 2015 BRB Mock Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Benardrick McKinney (LB--Mississippi State).

First thought I had was to do a crazy Silver Star Satan thing and take a guy projected to be there later; I actually considered Bryce Petty here. Like. a good bit of thought went into it. Eventually, my Cowboys fan brother persuaded me that Jerry is stupid, but not that stupid.

My second thought was to go RB. I think Jay Ajai was made for this offense. I also considered Tevin Coleman. He is a guy that has had to fight from day 1 and would do good in this O. Hell, I could probably run behind that offensive line.

Ultimately, I came down to a safe, boring, un-SSS like pick.

First, his scouting profile:

Benardrick McKinney
HT: 6'4" WT: 246 LBS.
POSITION: ILB
SCHOOL: Mississippi St.
ARM LENGTH: 33"
HANDS: 9"

Overview:

Started every game and led the team in tackles in 2014 and 2013. Selected first-team All-SEC and second-team All-American in 2014. Selected to Freshman All-SEC Team in 2012 and took a redshirt in 2011. Was starting quarterback for Rosa Fort High School (Miss.) his senior season, finishing with 15 touchdown passes and 7 rushing touchdowns. He also finished with 34 tackles and was the team's punter.

Combine Stats:

40 YARD DASH: 4.66 SEC. BENCH PRESS: 16 REPS. VERTICAL JUMP: 40.5 INCHES. BROAD JUMP: 121.0 INCHES. 3 CONE DRILL: 7.21 SEC. 20 YARD SHUTTLE: 4.27 SEC.

ANALYSIS:

Strengths:

Tall, proportionally built inside linebacker with ability to play outside. Has thick, powerful legs. Good straight-line speed to chase. True take-on linebacker who can meet linemen head-on or beat them to the spot and leverage his gap with above average play strength. Scrapes and stalks while using length and powerful hands to keep himself free and clear of blockers. Steps into hole and fires into running back, finishing with wrap-up tackle. Able to run downfield in seam with tight ends. Aware of cutback lanes and rarely runs himself out of the play. Shows very good attention to assignment. Seems to have a nose for the play and is frequently in the mix. Has value on special teams and as a blitzer. Has adequate football intelligence.

Weaknesses:

Plays high and is lacking suddenness. High center of gravity causes clunky change of direction in space. Foot quickness in tight quarters is below average and limiting. Instincts against run are there, but tends to fight his feet and marginal agility. Has trouble clearing the trash near his feet and labors against cut blocks, losing lateral momentum. Potential liability against the pass. Looks stiff when asked to cover in space and gives away too much separation to routes in his area in zone coverage.

NFL Comparison: Brian Cushing.

Bottom Line:

Productive, steady performer in the middle with above-average size and length for the position but below-average agility. McKinney plays within the scheme and finds himself near the play frequently. He plays with strength and has an ability to take on offensive linemen and get downhill to finish his tackles. McKinney looks like an above-average NFL inside linebacker who could become part of a really good defense. He lacks star-making talent, though.

Thanks for that, NFL Network.

Now, my reasoning. Sean Lee is the Cowboys' version of Cushing. He cannot stay healthy, but is a freak when he is healthy. You have to plan ahead, and there is not a single place in that front 7 that I would call 100% safe. After losing out on the ILBs of free agency, the Cowboys are looking to a Sean Lee on the mend and Rolando McClain, who will start the season most likely suspended. McKinney could play outside or inside, much like Cushing. I think he stays inside, plays well this season while learning from Lee and the rough path McClain has taken, and ultimately gives Dallas a chip to play against Lee to bring his contract down to Earth. Jerry loves him some SEC players, and McKinney is a damn good one.

Full disclosure......I think this pick gets put in a package for Adrian Peterson.

Nothing like that last line to get everyone's tongues wagging. Your thoughts on this pick, whether Dallas keeps McKinney or packages him in a hypothetical trade to the Vikings for Adrian Peterson?

The Denver Broncos and BNew417 are up next.  That selection is due via e-mail at or before 7 p.m. CDT this evening.

Recapping the first round of the 2015 BRB Mock Draft so far...

Team
Reader
Player Drafted
Pos
School
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers hlc1221 Jameis Winston QB FSU
2. Cleveland Browns (From Tennessee) Caprock High Football Leonard Williams DE/DT USC
3. Jacksonville Jaguars AFBuzz Vic Beasley OLB Clemson
4. Oakland Raiders HTown5 Amari Cooper WR Alabama
5. Washington Redskins BriceMcCainHOF Randy Gregory DE/LB Nebraska
6. New York Jets WotanTX Marcus Mariota QB Oregon
7. Chicago Bears DaJarBot Dante Fowler Jr OLB Florida
8. Atlanta Falcons grandmasteroz Alvin Dupree DE/OLB Kentucky
9. New York Giants Coolbreeze3 Danny Shelton DT Washington
10. St. Louis Rams El Torito Brandon Scherff OT Iowa
11 Minnesota Vikings Puma028 DeVante Parker WR Louisville
12. Tennessee Titans (From Cleveland) Huggy The Bear Shane Ray DE Missouri
13. New Orleans Saints UTBawse23 Trae Waynes CB Michigan State
14. Miami Dolphins Bleyd La'el Collins OT LSU
15. San Francisco 49ers fredy05 Rivers McCown Kevin White WR West Virginia
16. Houston Texans BRB Masthead Eric Kendricks ILB UCLA
17. San Diego Chargers traviscogg Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE/OLB UCLA
18. Kansas City Chiefs

Zach_The_Gamecock

Rivers McCown

Cedric Ogbuehi OT Texas A&M
19.Tennessee Titans (From Cleveland via Buffalo) Huggy The Bear Todd Gurley RB Georgia
20. Philadelphia Eagles gm.in.waiting Phillip Dorsett
WR
Miami
21. Cincinnati Bengals Free Range Malcolm Brown DT Texas
22. Pittsburgh Steelers bigralph Landon Collins S Alabama
23. Detroit Lions BostonianToro Melvin Gordon RB Wisconsin
24. Arizona Cardinals bt20 Eli Harold DE/OLB Virginia
25. Carolina Panthers

TexanStro

Sugel Mendoza

Breshad Perriman

Andrus Peat

WR

OT

UCF

Stanford

26. Baltimore Ravens Three and Out Jaelen Strong WR Arizona State
27. Dallas Cowboys Roll.Texans.Roll Benardrick McKinney LB Mississippi State
28. Denver Broncos BNew417


29. Indianapolis Colts Schaubshank Redemption


30. Green Bay Packers FeedEmToTheWolves8099


31. New Orleans Saints (From Seattle) UTBawse23


32. New England Patriots MD.Texan


TIMING FOR SUBMITTING REMAINING PICKS:
Team
Reader
Pick Due By...
28. Denver Broncos BNew417 4/19 @ 7 p.m.
29. Indianapolis Colts One Man Blitz 4/20 @ Noon
30. Green Bay Packers FeedEmToTheWolves8099 4/20 @ 7 p.m.
31. New Orleans Saints (From Seattle) UTBawse23 4/21 @ Noon
32. New England Patriots MD.Texan 4/21 @ 7 p.m.