The NFL’s Wild Card Round kicks off this weekend, and unfortunately, the Cowboys will be at home watching. While all of the talk regarding the Cowboys this week has surrounded Jason Garrett, and how he’s somehow still (technically) the head coach of the team, it’s important to dive into the 2020 NFL Draft so we can look forward to the future of Dallas Cowboys football.
In this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s Predictive Board for simulation purposes. This will give us a realistic look at how the draft will fall come April, minus a few late declarations or decisions to go back to school. Let’s get started.
Round 1, 17th Overall - Kristian Fulton, LSU, CB, Senior
Players on the board: Henry Ruggs III, Trevon Diggs, Curtis Weaver
Kristian Fulton is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL draft, in an absolutely loaded class. Fulton has above average size at 6-foot-0, 200-lbs, and pairs his size with great footwork throughout his backpedal, around the line of scrimmage, and breaking with wideouts in-and-out of routes. While lacking ideal length, Fulton is very physical at the line of scrimmage which shows when lined up in press-man. Fulton has his struggles in run support, which should make him fit in even better with the Cowboys group of corners. Corner will be a top need in the draft regardless if Byron Jones is retained or not, but a player of Fulton’s caliber being available at 17 is great value at a position of need.
Kristian Fulton is one of the top CB's in the 2020 draft class. Not sure he has the size/length to intrigue Richard if he's still the guy in 2020, but he's a ton of fun. pic.twitter.com/rP5e4TxCxV— Connor Livesay (@ConnorNFLDraft) December 12, 2019
Round 2, 51st Overall - Ashtyn Davis, California, FS, RS Senior
Players on the board: Jonathan Greenard, Justin Jefferson, Cole Kmet.
The Cowboys will go into the 2020 NFL Draft with a sense of rebuilding their secondary. With the first pick being a cornerback, the Cowboys go back to the secondary in the second round picking their free safety of the future. With Xavier Woods struggling to show growth in 2020, the Cowboys need to add a ball-hawking safety to their defense in 2020 and Ashtyn Davis would be a great addition. Davis showcased athleticism when playing at California, and is known for his range in coverage, his big-hitting ability, and man-coverage skills when given that opportunity. While Davis is still developing his skills as a true run defender, Davis’ abilities in run support shouldn’t scare teams off. The Cowboys must start taking the ball away if they want to be consistently successful on defense and with their first two selections they will begin their secondary rebuild.
Ashtyn Davis coming in hot and laying the boom! He's an athletic freak and a guy who has no fear on the back end. One of the best safeties in the 2020 draft class.pic.twitter.com/upAbYitN3H— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 29, 2019
Third Round, 82nd Overall - Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M, DT, RS Junior
Players on the board: Leki Fotu, Bradley Anae, Malik Harrison
One of the more underrated players in the 2020 NFL Draft is Justin Madubuike. With Maliek Collins likely playing his last game in Dallas, and with the question marks surrounding Trysten Hill, 3-technique will yet again be a massive need for the Cowboys heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. Madubuike has a lot of similar traits to Trysten Hill, except he’s much more polished and ready to make an impact in year one. Madubuike showcases an impressive first-step, good hand technique, and consistently shows the ability to live in the backfield at Texas A&M. Madubuike is coming off of back-to-back 5.5 sack seasons, and could be yet another impressive building block for the future of the Cowboys defense.
Texas A&M DT Justin Madubuike (#52) a v good athlete who's v good at everything he does on the field, yet remains underrated. Draft him.— James Thomas (@JamesThomasHT) September 18, 2019
Seriously tho, he's a better pass rusher than some of the top-ranked iDL's in the 2020 class. Gimme all the 3-Techs who impact all 3 downs: pic.twitter.com/efrw6JAiOc
Round 4, 113rd Overall - Devin Duvernay, Texas, WR, Senior
Players on the board: Collin Johnson, Nick Coe, Jake Hanson
With the likelihood of Amari Cooper being re-signed, that could mean Cowboys Nation will say bye-bye to Randall Cobb, leaving a massive hole at slot-receiver for the Cowboys. Devin Duvernay is a guy who can come in and play multiple roles for the Cowboys in 2020 and for the next few years. Duvernay has a body type very similar to Randall Cobb, and reminds a bit of Deebo Samuel coming out last year, who is having an impressive rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers. Duvernay isn’t a guy who creates a ton of separation with his route running, but he does win at the catch point and is a ton of fun after the catch with the football in his hands. Similar to Samuel, it’s likely Duvernay could receive a big jump in stock after a good week down in Mobile at the 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Round 5, 146th Overall - Benito Jones, Ole Miss, NT, Senior
Players on the board: Colby Parkinson, Michael Divinity Jr., Denzel Mims
With Jason Garrett, Rod Marinelli, and Kris Richard potentially on the way out, nose tackle may finally be viewed as a priority in the Dallas Cowboys war room. Picking outside of the top 100, nose tackle is a position that has one of the safer floors in the NFL, and Benito Jones fits the mold perfectly. Listed at 6-foot-1, 329-lbs, Jones has a short, squatty build but man does he move much quicker than you’d think for a man of his stature. For a massive man, Jones moves so smoothly when working down the line of scrimmage playing the run or when using pass rush quickness to get in the backfield to disrupt the quarterback. The Cowboys struggled mightily in 2019 with rub fits, mostly due to the interior of their defensive line struggling to maintain their gaps, and keeping offensive lineman off the linebackers. Jones will never lead the team in sacks, but he’s be a big body that does offer some juice as a pass rusher on early downs.
Benito Jones (95) was legitimately unblockable for #OleMiss on Saturday. Set the tone for that defensive front early.— Nathanael Gabler (@nategabler) October 7, 2019
Great use of the quick hands in the pass rush and pure physicality on the run stuff from these three plays pic.twitter.com/BoynOkHCrx
Round 7, 233rd Overall - Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty, WR, Senior
The Cowboys red-zone struggles have been an issue ever since Dez Bryant was released before the 2017 season. Wearing #11, wearing red and black, and with his size, Antonio Gandy-Golden looks eerily similar to Julio Jones when lined up at the X-receiver spot for the Liberty Flames. Now don’t think I’m comparing the two players, but they do look a lot of like when on the field. Listed at 6-foot-4, 220-lbs AGG has the ideal size to help the team out when inside the opponents territory. Gandy-Golden is not going to win with his speed or route-running, but if you’re in a situation where you need to throw the 50/50 ball or a guy to pick up some yards after the catch, Antonio Gandy-Golden rarely lets you down. This late in the draft, drafting a player with the upside of Gandy-Golden, and the potential he brings as a walk-in red-zone weapon would be a steal in the seventh round.
Antonio Gandy-Golden could start for all 32 NFL teamspic.twitter.com/LmtXvaVIn1— Barstool LU (@BarstoolLU) September 1, 2019
The way the draft is laid out today, the depth at EDGE really doesn’t intrigue me. That could make Robert Quinn more of a priority this offseason as well as some other names that the team could target via free agency. But in terms of a draft haul, this would be a great group of guys at areas of need for the Cowboys. The Cowboys will also likely pick up a fifth-round compensatory pick from the loss of Cole Beasley last offseason, but that won’t be added, until we know for sure where the pick will be.
What are your thoughts on this haul for the Dallas Cowboys?