It is important to know the difference between general managers leaking information to get a narrative rolling and what it actually true. This is especially true as we get closer to the 2020 NFL Draft. Teams will do their best to get the player that they want to fall to their pick or to gain leverage for trade talks entering the draft.
Two of the most talked about positions in this year’s talented draft class are wide receiver and offensive tackle. CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs headline a very talented wide receivers group. Tristen Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, Andrew Thomas, and Jedrick Wills Jr. are the consensus top four tackles and are widely considered to be blue chip talents. Josh Jones, Isaiah Wilson, Ezra Cleveland, and Austin Jackson are three other names at the position that have been mentioned as first-round possibilities for offensive line-needy teams.
The Cowboys do have a need at receiver — specifically in the slot, assuming Mike McCarthy and company keep Amari Cooper on the outside — but it’s been suggested that Dallas has no interest in taking a wideout early. Meanwhile, Travis Frederick retired, but the Cowboys are set at offensive tackle with Tyron Smith protecting Dak Prescott’s blindside and La’el Collins manning the right side of the offensive line.
NFL insider Benjamin Allbright reported on Saturday evening that a league source is expecting “multiple trade ups” for receivers in round one. The talent at receiver is deep, but according to Allbright’s source, there are “maybe 4-5 starters” at the position in this draft.
1/ "Deep" WR class means different things to league vs fans/media.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 19, 2020
League source says he sees maybe 4-5 starters at WR in this draft. "Could be 15-20 'contributors'...guys that snag 30 & 300 a year...but not a lot of WR1 talent here."
Expects multiple trade ups for WRs in rnd 1
Allbright continues, mentioning that the Philadelphia Eagles (who pick at number 21) and the Denver Broncos are two teams that could make a move up in the draft order, likely for a talent such as Lamb or Jeudy. That should not be too big of a surprised. It is no secret that the Eagles would like to solve their need at receiver after addressing the secondary through free agency.
Wide receiver is not the only position that teams will be prioritizing in the draft. Allbright says that we will “probably going to see” six to seven offensive tackles on the first night of the draft.
Keep an eye on Eagles and Broncos as possible "move up" teams.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 19, 2020
Keep an eye on Cardinals, Browns and Jets as "move back" teams.
Falcons are known to want to move up, but no one thinks they're on a WR.
Probably going to see 6-7 OTs go in round 1.
The majority, if not all, of “Big Four” tackles will more than likely be off the board in the first 15 picks, but that could push the need for teams looking to add a Jones, Wilson, Cleveland, or Jackson before the talent at the position really drops off.
Therefore, the Cowboys may be able to take advantage of desperate teams looking for help on the offensive line or in the passing game. A team like the Dolphins, who are linked to quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert at pick five but also pick at 18 and 26, may want to move up a spot or two to secure a franchise pass protector for their potential new signal-caller.
Along the same lines, it’s no secret that the Dolphins are looking for help on the offensive line. So, could a team like the Minnesota Vikings — who have been rumored to be looking at tackle — want to jump in front of the Dolphins, similar to how the Eagles jumped the Texans for Andre Dillard last year?
At receiver, there are obvious options that could want to jump up in the draft. Philadelphia, as mentioned above, is a clear candidate. The Vikings, who traded Stefon Diggs to the Bills and have two first-round picks because of that, is another. The Jaguars, who pick at 9 and 20, would be smart to surround Gardner Minshew with another weapon to pair with D.J. Chark. Jacksonville has been rumored to like defense with the first of their two round-one selections, but may come back around and get a wideout with the second.
The Cowboys, who either are not interested in the position early (wide receiver) or do not have a need (offensive tackle) could use this to its advantage and move back while accumulating more draft capital to fill holes on the defensive side of the ball.
For teams searching for a wide receiver, getting in front of the Jaguars or the Raiders, if they do not add a weapon for Derek Carr at number 12, would be a smart move because those are both teams looking to add talent to its passing game.
For franchises wanting an offensive tackle, it would be ideal to jump ahead the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins, similar to the Texans in 2019, have been long linked to taking a tackle at pick 18. We could see a team want to ensure they get their guy at the position before Miami can.
All of this, if it were to happen, of course, has the potential to help the Dallas Cowboys. For one, it could push a talent such as cornerback C.J. Henderson or EDGE K’Lavon Chaission to pick 17 after the run on wide receivers, offensive tackles, and the quarterbacks. Or, on the flip side, it could allow the Cowboys to trade back in the first-round, grab an additional third round pick, and still get a guy they really like.
We are just a few days away from the draft, so we will have answers one way or another very soon. But if this plays out, the Cowboys could capitalize.