Connor Williams, Cowboys' other top picks headed for big roles

Connor Williams will be the opening-day starter, and while he's been overpowered a couple times, he's also had solid moments as he joins an elite group. Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire

A breakdown of the Dallas Cowboys’ 2018 draft class and its progress after three weeks of training camp:

Leighton Vander Esch, LB, first round: A groin injury kept him out of the last preseason game and could limit his work this week but he has shown the Cowboys what they want: an athletic linebacker, who can cover tight ends and running backs while also stepping up in the run game.

Connor Williams, G, second round: He has been a starter since the first minicamp in the spring and will start the opener. He has had some good moments as he moves from college tackle to pro guard but has been overpowered a couple of times.

Michael Gallup, WR, third round: He has caught Dak Prescott’s attention almost immediately and has shown he can make the difficult catches and big plays. Like every rookie, he needs to be more consistent but he could play a big role this season.

Dorance Armstrong, DE, fourth round: He has what Rod Marinelli wants: he’s long, he can bend and he doesn’t stop. He might find it difficult to get on the gameday roster to start the season but he has been among the more pleasant surprises once the pads came on after a so-so offseason.

Dalton Schultz, TE, fourth round: As the Cowboys transition to a committee approach at the position, Schultz will get some work behind Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin. He has caught the ball better than expected and had difficulty blocking at times, which was the opposite of his scouting report.

Mike White, QB, fifth round: Playing behind the third offensive line group with inexperienced receivers doesn't help, but he has an NFL arm. He has hesitated at times instead of just letting it rip. He has a chance to make the 53-man roster but could be a practice-squad guy.

Chris Covington, LB, sixth round: His start to camp was delayed by a case of bronchitis and he's only practiced fully for about a week. He has speed and is not afraid to stick his nose into the action. He will have to show he can be a special-teams’ player in the final three preseason games.

Cedrick Wilson, WR, sixth round: His rookie season ended almost just as it began because of a shoulder injury that will require surgery. Consider this a redshirt season.

Bo Scarbrough, RB, seventh round: With Ezekiel Elliott around, he will not get much work, but he has shown he is capable of doing what the Cowboys want from their runners. He is big. He can gain tough yards. He is decent out of the backfield. He is showing a willingness to play special teams.