It’s draft day!
After months of anxiously waiting without the comfort of other sports to keep us occupied, the day has finally arrived when the Dallas Cowboys will select some new players. For many of us, it’s like Christmas. So many new toys to be had, yet they’ve been under wraps and now we finally get to see who they are. It’s a wonderful time.
Before the ceremony begins, there are still a handful of questions many of us have about what to expect this year. After engaging in many topics on social media, I have gathered my thoughts and will share with you four questions that have come up the most.
Who is going to be the Cowboys pick at 17?
It’s obviously difficult to attempt to answer this question without knowing which players are still available when pick 17 rolls around. Here are five guys who are the most likely options for Dallas at that spot, with an estimation of when they’ll come off the board.
The preference here is one of the trench warriors in Javon Kinlaw or K’Lavon Chaisson as both of them have All-Pro upside. The addition of Henry Ruggs III is very exciting as his skill set complements this offense’s weaponry very well. There’s probably not any other player in this draft that would make the offense more explosive with the pieces they already have than Ruggs. C.J. Henderson reminds a lot of Byron Jones. The athleticism is there, but his humdrum ball tracking skills allow him to fall outside the top 10. But make no mistake about it, like Jones - he’d be an outstanding addition to the defense. And then there’s Xavier McKinney. He’s a great safety, and is the most NFL ready of all these guys, but is his talent really worthy of a mid-first-round selection? The hope is to do better there, but McKinney is a nice fallback if their board dries up.
The smart money is on Chaisson. The talent combined with probability of falling makes him the most logical choice. Some fans seem unenthusiastic if he was the pick, but I’m certainly not one of them. A query to self-proclaimed LSU homer and staff writer over at the Mothership, David Helman, explored why that was, and he explains that it stems from Taco shell-shock.
pretty simple, I think. the last time they tried to draft a DE they screwed it up, so people are terrified they’ll do it again.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) April 19, 2020
doesn’t matter that K’Lavon & Taco are nothing alike as prospects, that’s what people see ♂️ https://t.co/nUYj3nY0Ze
What player could you see the Cowboys taking at 17 that people might not expect?
A couple weeks ago, we discussed this actual situation, and this was the result...
Call me crazy, but I can totally see Zack Braun being that "last minute draft favorite/don't call me a reach/no way in hell we're passing up on a TJ Watt-type player again" first-round draft pick by the Cowboys.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) April 7, 2020
Now, is it likely Braun will be the pick? No. But if he is, don’t be completely caught off guard. The edge rusher would be the most surprising pick as he hasn’t been projected to come off the board that early by many people. Another candidate is linebacker Kenneth Murray, and we’ve already suggested that he’s a legit possibility at 17.
One last name to throw in the hat is Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs. There have been some who have said Henderson may come off the board real early and it wouldn’t be inconceivable that a third corner comes off the board before pick 20. The Cowboys definitely need a corner, and if there is a third guy that is graded high - that’s a realistic possibility. Diggs should be that no. 3 corner. He has the combination of size, strength, and awareness of the ball to succeed. His footwork needs to be cleaned up, but that’s what the coaches are for. His upside is still very appealing. The preference, obviously, would be to get him at 51 if he somehow made it that far, but he should be under consideration for the Cowboys first-round selection.
When should the Cowboys draft a wide receiver?
There are a number of great receivers to like spread over a few different rounds - Ruggs III, Jalen Reagor, and Devin Duvernay, just to name a few. But what they need to look for when drafting a wide receiver is great value. Since there is such a large range of how these guys are evaluated, I want the guy the Cowboys love who has fallen. It’s similar to how they approached it with Michael Gallup and that worked out magnificently.
Here’s a Cowboys-specific wide receiver mini board that includes where the great values are.
Tee Higgins at 51? Yes please! Michael Pittman in round three? Count me in! K.J. Hill on Day 3? Bazinga!
There’s plenty to like with the other guys, but with a wide receiver draft class so deep, it’s preferable to collect great value at other positions, and wait for the wide receiver steal to come to you.
Should the Cowboys be looking for an offensive lineman, and if so - when?
An early-round investment in the offensive line doesn’t seem like a smart play for a couple of reasons. First, it’s good for the the team to balance their resources a bit. Spread some of that talent around to other positions. But more than that, if they’re loaded in any one area, it really takes them out of the mix to capitalize on some great value picks later in the draft.
That is the hope if they draft another lineman. Wait it out, and let a super-great value guy fall in their lap. If by the third round, LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry III is still available (best case - pick 33, worst case - pick 131), then pounce. But if there is nobody high on the board who has fallen, then it’s fine to go into camp with the bodies already on the roster. As Stephen Jones likes to say, “I like the guys we have.”
A couple other possible great-value guys to keep an eye on are Temple’s Matt Hennessy and Washington’s Nick Harris.
What about you? What are your final thoughts/predictions for the Cowboys draft?