Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: Operating in Balance

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Reed Blankenship, SAF, MTSU
Reed Blankenship, SAF, MTSU /

Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft

5th Round, Pick 177

Reed Blankenship, SAF, Middle Tennessee

The 6-foot, 191-pound safety from Middle Tennessee State was a small-school prospect on a lot of peoples’ radars to start the college football season. The season progressed in a rather underwhelming fashion from what we’re used to seeing from Blakenship, and now he is available in the fifth round. To make matters worse, he only played six games.

In four years in Murfreesboro, the safety recorded 309 total tackles, 190 solo tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 11 pass deflections, and 8 interceptions. Blankenship’s career arch feels close to Donovan Wilson’s. An incredibly productive player in college who displays good athletic ability but over the course of his career has dealt with injury, over aggression, and below-average final seasons.

The Cowboys could use an athletic rangy safety to pair with the aforementioned Wilson and Blankenship could be that guy if not for the previously drafted Cisco. Two attempts to find the single-high safety should be enough especially with both players having storied college careers and good athletic ability with some mental processing issues to iron out.

6th Round, Pick 188

Jared Patterson, RB, Buffalo

The Buffalo Bulls running back is tied for the NCAA record in rushing touchdowns in a game and holds the MAC single-game rushing record. The underrecruited running back from Glendale, Missouri had an amazing career in Buffalo and was likely going to receive some draft love even without his record-setting performance.

The junior is only 5-foot-9, 175 pounds but like most players of his stature, his presence is a lot bigger. Patterson displays good play strength, good lateral quickness, and solid explosiveness. He possesses solid foot speed but because of his height doesn’t have that next gear to separate from defenders. However, he does use his good vision and instincts to make defenders with his lateral quickness and uses his low center of gravity to power through second-level defenders.

But why a running back for the Cowboys? The Cowboys don’t really need another running back with Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, and Rico Dowdle, but Patterson has a different enough skillset from all of them and this means he can likely find a niche on the team’s practice squad.

Everyone loves a rags-to-riches story; no one in this front office would be opposed to selecting Patterson with this in mind.