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Mel Kiper mock draft: Cowboys will light up the scoreboard with this pick

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The latest ESPN mock draft likes offense.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The latest mock draft from ESPN is out, this time courtesy of Mel Kiper Jr. It’s unknown whether the Travis Frederick retirement was taken into account, but it was probably not given the proximity of that announcement and the publishing of this mock. It will be interesting going forward if that retirement changes anything about the Cowboys draft plans in the eyes of the mockers.

While the Cowboys continue to have huge holes on defense, if you’re drafting for value and not for need, then the pick at #17 doesn’t necessarily have to be on defense, even though safety and corner have been popular picks in the past. In this mock, Kiper joins what we’ve internally among the BTB staff been calling the “40-burger club” as a reference to picking an offensive player for the Cowboys already high-powered offense, and hoping Dallas will put 40 points on the board each game and just out-score their opponents in shootouts. That is just a funny way of noting that the Cowboys could go offense if the value is there.

And one place that value could be there is at wide receiver. Our own Connor Livesay wrote about this idea earlier this month. Kiper’s on board with this pick.

17. Dallas Cowboys

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Cowboys don’t have many glaring needs, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see them draft a cornerback or safety (Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix appears to be a one-year flier). I’m going to stick to my board, though, and go with the best prospect available. Lamb, No. 12 in my latest rankings, shouldn’t fall far; with fantastic route-running ability and big-play potential, he’s capable of being a No. 1 receiver at the next level, and he could play outside or in the slot. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Lamb would instantly become one of the NFL’s top wide receiver trios. Keep an eye on defensive end here, though, as Dallas could add young talent to that group.

This is legit because of the value the Cowboys would get with this pick. Sure, a third receiver is not the top need on the board, but as Kiper notes, defending Cooper, Gallup and Lamb would be a nightmare for defenses. As the NFL moves more and more to a passing game, and with Kellen Moore showing signs of being creative enough to manage a multi-pronged attack, the idea of adding Lamb is juicy.

Still, the lure of helping an already mediocre defense that has been hit hard in free agency must be a consideration. Especially at one of the most important positions on the field, cornerback. The Cowboys lost Byron Jones, and Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are on the last years of their rookie contracts. Re-stocking that position has to happen at some point, but there is a lot of talent at the position in this draft, they might be able to hit on someone on day two.

How would you feel BTB if the Cowboys added to their strength by grabbing another offensive weapon?