If you are on board the “Javon Kinlaw to the Cowboys at 17” train, then pull up a seat and let’s talk about what great times that would be. The South Carolina defensive tackle is one of the top interior defensive linemen in this draft and the Cowboys have a big need at the position as Maliek Collins, Christian Covington, and Antwaun Woods (ERFA) are all free agents this offseason. Not only that, but hybrid DE/DT’s Michael Bennett (UFA) and Tyrone Crawford (potential cap casualty) could be on their way out as well. Adding a player like Kinlaw would be a great get for the Cowboys.
The chances of Kinlaw being available when the Cowboys are up aren’t great, but not impossible either. He’s one of those players who many fans would view as a steal for Dallas if he made it that far. Speaking of steals, there is one team that might be a little bit of a problem if fans are holding their breath for Kinlaw - the Atlanta Falcons.
Perusing down the list of some recent mocks can be somewhat of a tease as Kinlaw appears on his way to making it to 17; only to be mocked to the Falcons at pick 16. CBS’s Daniel Jeremiah has him going to Atlanta, Bleacher Report has him going to Atlanta, and the most recent mock from The Draft Network also has him going to Atlanta. With interior DL being identified as one of the Falcons biggest needs, it makes perfect sense.
Having Kinlaw being picked right under the Cowboys nose is such a Falcons things to do. Back in 2017, Atlanta moved up from pick 31 to 26 so they could take UCLA’s edge rusher Takkarist McKinley. It’s a good thing they did too, because the Cowboys had Takk in their sights.
The Cowboys also had first-round interest in UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinely, but the Falcons jumped the Cowboys and picked him at No. 26. The Cowboys selected Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton at No. 28 and were satisfied with the choice.
Suffice to say, the Cowboys weren’t satisfied with that choice for very long as Charlton was released after just two seasons with the team.
The Falcons were up to their old tricks again last year when they traded up from pick 137 to 135, jumping ahead of the 136 spot, which just so happened to be held by the Cowboys. Atlanta selected Charleston pass rusher John Cominsky, a player Dallas had as one of their official 30 visits. Was that who the Cowboys were targeting with that pick? We have no way of knowing for sure, but the Falcons definitely thought so for them to jump over just one team to get their guy. The Cowboys then turned around and traded out of that pick, which could’ve been an indication that the guy they wanted was gone.
Once again, the Falcons have an opportunity to hurt some feelings by taking a potential draft target of the Cowboys. If Dallas really wants Kinlaw, would they be wise to try to jump ahead of the Falcons to get him? Moving up from 17 to 15 would cost the Cowboys 100 points according to the trade value chart. That equates to giving up their third-round pick and picking up Denver’s fourth-rounder. Would you do it?
The answer lies is how the Cowboys view the landscape of this draft. If Kinlaw is a guy they have ranked real high, and he’s the last remaining player they have in that tier, then it warrants the investment. But with the team expected to take a hit in free agency, replenishing their roster from draft picks is crucial. They can’t be frivolous with their draft capital.
Would you make the deal?