While we wait for the Dallas Cowboys to finalize their coaching staff, we might as well take a look at a favorite NFL offseason past-time - mock drafts. Unfortunately for both the team, and the number of mocks we can look at, the Cowboys do not have a first-round draft pick. That was traded away, smartly as it turned out, for wide reciever Amari Cooper. That makes the Cowboys second-round pick (#59 overall) their first pick in the draft.
Luckily, there are some early two-round mock drafts to examine (we note that some of these mocks are a couple of weeks old). The early favorite, as far as position group goes, is tight end.
Cowboys — Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox
He’s a converted QB who is still learning the nuances of the position, namely blocking, but Knox is a specimen of an athlete who has terrific upside. With his size and ability to high-point the ball, Knox would be a red-zone upgrade over what the Cowboys currently have. Don’t forget they were leapfrogged by the Eagles for Dallas Goedert in this same range a year ago.
(For those wondering, I would project Iowa TE Noah Fant to go off the board at the top of Round 2, as well as his teammate, T.J. Hockenson, should he declare, too. There could be a run on a good group of tight ends this year in this range.)
Besides the above mocker’s belief in the long-ago discredited idea of the Cowboys drafting Dallas Goedert in 2018, tight end is certainly a logical choice. Tight ends generally come off the board later than most position groups, possibly allowing the Cowboys to score a talent even deep in the second round. On the downside, Knox is described as a physical specimen still learning the nuances of the game? It’s not exactly Rico Gathers but the Cowboys could be looking for more of a sure thing.
Knox has more than one mock throwing his name the Cowboys way.
Dallas — Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss, Jr.
It’s clear the retirement of Jason Witten left a significant hole in the Cowboys offense. The production isn’t there for Knox (he was underutilized by the Rebels), but the athleticism and work ethic certainly is. Top needs: TE, OL, S
Here are a few other names that pop up at tight end.
Dallas Cowboys | Kaden Smith | TE | Stanford
JOSH OLIVER - Tight End, San Jose State
Okay, moving on from tight end, safety seems to be a popular position. Of course, if the Cowboys pursue Earl Thomas in free agency that would certainly change things. But as it is, Juan Thornhill is a popular pick.
Dallas Cowboys: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia The Cowboys have a great defense, but their secondary is a weakness outside of Byron Jones. They’ve been trying to trade for Earl Thomas, so if they can’t get a deal done, here’s the safety upgrade they need.
Juan Thornhill is a sound tackler and covers very well.
I’m not sure the Cowboys secondary is a weakness, but the safety position might be one.
Dallas Cowboys: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
It takes a long time, but Dallas Cowboys fans finally see their team make a selection. It ends up being a selection that should make them happy as they address a huge need by selecting Virginia safety Juan Thornhill. With Xavier Woods developing into a solid safety, they new add a running mate for him with the 210-pound Thornhill. He had 98 tackles and six picks in 2018 and Dallas can surely use the help in this area.
Looking for a hybrid corner/safety?
Michael Jackson Miami (FL) CB
Question: How many 6 foot 200 pound Defensive Backs who run a sub 4.4 forty and can play both Cornerback and Safety does it take to stuff an NFL roster? Answer: With Kris Richard constantly whispering in Rod Marinelli’s ear, that number can stretch ”To Infinity and Beyond!” - Buzz Lightyear . Yes True Blue-and-Silver Believers, I realize the Cowboys’ needs are many . . . specifically, Defensive Tackle, OL reinforcements, and the list could be expanded based on off-season contract negotiations. But the more coverage skills you have in a defensive backfield (for those of you clamoring for a Center Field at the FS position), the more creative the aforementioned Coach Richard can be in establishing coverages.
As long as his neck is not too sore from constantly wearing the”Turnover Chain” (4 Int and 2 Fumbles Recovered, 1 for a TD), Jackson should be a welcome addition to Dallas’ stable of DBs. He is a willing tackler (97, with 6.5 for loss) and is credited with 11 Passes Defended.
What’s your take, BTB?