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Cowboys Draft 2020: Best players still available after the first round

There’s still plenty of talent on the board

2020 NFL Draft - Round 1 Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

The Cowboys did the unthinkable and took arguably the best wide receiver in the draft in CeeDee Lamb after he fell to the 17th overall pick. But Dallas then watched three of the cornerbacks they were reportedly interested in come off the board afterwards. The Cowboys won’t pick until 51st overall on Friday, but there are still a lot of intriguing options at various different positions for them as the second round awaits.

Lloyd Cushenberry III, C - LSU

Travis Frederick’s retirement caught fans by surprise, but Dallas has some very viable options to replace him with Joe Looney, Connor McGovern, and others. Still, there was buzz that they were interested in Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz, but Lamb’s slide changed everything.

On day two, Lloyd Cushenberry III stands out as the clear top center still available and would be an immediate plug-and-play prospect for any team. If Dallas wants to fortify their interior offensive line further, Cushenberry could be a target.

Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE - Penn State

Rumors had been swirling the past week that Dallas was falling in love K’Lavon Chaisson as a versatile edge defender, but with Lamb falling into their laps the Cowboys could not pass it up.

Still, finding an edge rusher will likely be a priority in the second day of the draft. Yetur Gross-Matos offers a whole lot of upside as a pass rusher and some impressive run defense skills to go with it. Reports popped up in the past week that the Cowboys have done a lot of work on him, so don’t be surprised if they go after him.

Zack Baun, EDGE - Wisconsin

Zack Baun gained a lot of popularity in the last few weeks as a potential option for the Cowboys in the first round, and a virtual interview with the team brass confirmed that Dallas had interest in the versatile pass rusher.

A failed drug test at the combine seems to have cooled things off for Baun a bit, but he should still be in high demand on Friday. His ability to play in a wide variety of roles would make Baun an ideal fit for a defense that’s looking to be more multiple.

AJ Epenesa, EDGE - Iowa

At one point early on in the draft process, AJ Epenesa was considered to be the best edge rusher in the class after Chase Young. Concerns over his athleticism and pass rush ability caused his stock to drop significantly, though, and Epenesa could become a second-round steal.

Epenesa is a prospect who definitely fits the mold of edge rushers the Cowboys have valued in the past, with long arms and powerful hands, but it’s unclear if his profile is still what the team is looking for under the Mike McCarthy regime.

Trevon Diggs, CB - Alabama

Cornerback is still a need for Dallas, and some of the prospects Dallas had been looking at heavily - notably C.J. Henderson, A.J. Terrell, and Damon Arnette - are all gone. But Trevon Diggs is still available, and the word is Dallas is very keen on him.

With a lot of length, height, and strength, Diggs is exactly the kind of cornerback that Kris Richard would covet. Of course, Richard isn’t here anymore, but it seems like Dallas still likes his ability to play physical press man coverage and high Cover 3 sets. Diggs was highly productive at Alabama as well, so landing him in the second round could be considered a steal.

Kristian Fulton, CB - LSU

Few college football programs have put out a better crop of defensive back talent in the last few years than LSU, and Kristian Fulton is looking to become the next name on that list. After putting together a highly impressive career in Baton Rouge, Fulton dropped out of the first round for no clear reason.

Fulton is generally considered to be a cornerback prospect that doesn’t do any one thing great but is pretty solid all around. He has a similar skill set to that of Diggs, but he lacked a large amount of takeaways in college. The Cowboys’ new desire for ballhawks could deter them from looking Fulton’s way.

Jaylon Johnson, CB - Utah

Jaylon Johnson was one of the faster risers in this cornerback class, and there were rumors that he may even go in the first round. That didn’t happen, but the scrappy and physical corner from Utah shouldn’t have to wait too long to hear his name called Friday.

Johnson is not the most athletic corner still on the board, but his aggressive style of play resulted in him making an innumerable amount of plays in college against some pretty high quality wide receivers. If he makes it to 51, the Cowboys may not be able to resist.

Xavier McKinney, S - Alabama

The Cowboys signed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency to pair with Xavier Woods, but that hasn’t taken them out of the running to draft a safety still. Xavier McKinney is one of the prospects that had been commonly connected to the Cowboys leading up to this draft as well, and the fact that he’s still available makes him a heavy contender for them to look at.

McKinney was used in a wide variety of ways at Alabama, and his versatility as a defensive back might be a reason why the Cowboys are reportedly so interested in him. While McKinney primarily plays safety, he also lined up at various cornerback spots and even at linebacker. He could become a Swiss Army knife for the Dallas defense.

Grant Delpit, S - LSU

Grant Delpit was the apple of Cowboys fans’ eyes all throughout the 2019 season after the safety put up a wildly impressive performance the year before. But after playing through nagging injuries his final year, Delpit’s tape revealed some holes in his game.

The thought is that his decline may be solely due to his injury, and in that case he’s an elite prospect that’s fallen to the second round. If not, Delpit could still provide good value in the second round.

Antoine Winfield Jr., S - Minnesota

If the Cowboys really want ballhawks in their secondary, they can’t do better than Antoine Winfield Jr. Like his father, Winfield became a star in college because of his penchant for making huge splash plays all over the field.

Average athleticism and a diminutive stature likely played a role in teams’ decisions not to take him in the first round, but Winfield can make an immediate impact on the back end of any team’s secondary, which is something the Cowboys could definitely use.

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