Bo Scarbrough

Cowboys Sign 8 Draft Choices

The Cowboys now have all but one of their nine 2018 draft choices signed. Headlined by linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas reached agreements with everyone but third-round wide receiver Michael Gallup on Friday, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. Here’s the full list of signees:

The structure of the Boise State product’s contract slightly held up the team’s proceedings with its top draft investment, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill (Twitter link), but he’s now signed up. Vander Esch will earn approximately $11.847MM and collect a $6.696MM signing bonus.

Vander Esch met with numerous teams that held picks in the middle of the first round, and despite needs at both pass-catching positions, the Cowboys selected the Mountain West Conference standout. Connor Williams also didn’t play a position of dire need, given Dallas’ three All-Pro linemen, but he’s now in the mix for the team’s left guard spot.

Despite being unsigned, Gallup is working out at the Cowboys’ rookie minicamp on Friday. Many third-round picks around the league have yet to sign. This is an annual tradition due to the CBA’s gray area regarding third-rounders’ compensation.

Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne Enters Draft

Minkah Fitzpatrick isn’t the only Alabama underclassman going pro. Defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne and safety Ronnie Harrison announced this week that they will also skip their senior seasons in order to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.Da'Ron Payne (vertical)

[RELATED: Minkah Fitzpatrick Enters Draft]

Payne is leaving on the highest note possible after being named the defensive MVP of the Sugar Bowl and the National Championship game. His raw physical skills should vault him into the first round in April.

He’s the best. He’s the best I’ve seen,”Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran said recently (via Matt Zenitz of AL.com). “I’ve never seen a guy hit 385 on the power clean every single year. His first year he hit 365 on the power clean and it was like wow, freshman, that’s incredible.

Harrison recently received a second-round grade from the NFL’s College Advisory Committee. That’s no surprise after he racked up three interceptions and was named first-team AP All-SEC in 2017. Harrison also led Alabama with 74 tackles on the season.

Running back Bo Scarbrough is also entering the draft, but where he goes is anyone’s guess. Scarbrough split carries with Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris this past season, leaving him with a smaller share of the workload than anticipated. With solid workouts and some big games in his past (like 2016’s 180-yard showing against Washington), Scarbrough is hoping to put himself in the late-round conversation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.