Many were unsure how this draft would go for the Dallas Cowboys. The team had a number of needs to address, it was unclear who would still be on the board at number 17, and the virtual draft added another element to everything.
While some were optimistic that things would go well, others were unsure what to expect when factoring in a new coaching staff and the staff unable to be in the same room when making the pick. Would Dallas want to trade down if their guy was off the board? Was the team going to reach for need instead of taking positional value?
In the end, the Cowboys had, by several accounts, an incredible draft — especially value-wise. CeeDee Lamb in the middle of the first-round was a steal, getting one of their top corners outside the top-50 was great to see, and Dallas continued to select prospects with good grades by many.
The Athletic’s Arif Hassan put together a Consensus Top-300 Big Board for the draft, compiling data from “forecasters” and “evaluators”. It is a pretty interesting table to look at and gives a clear visual on what the overall consensus thought is about each prospect.
With that said, how did the Cowboys do in terms of drafting for value?
FIRST-ROUND, PICK 17: CeeDee Lamb (The Athletic Consensus Big Board ranking: 9 overall)
Lamb was ranked as a consensus top-10 player in the 2020 NFL Draft class. Many tabbed the Oklahoma product and Richmond, Texas, native as the top receiver in the class thanks to his incredible catch radius and special ability after the catch. It was a no-brainer to add such an elite prospect once he fell right into the Cowboys’ laps at pick 17. Dallas opted to go Best Player Available over need in round one.
SECOND-ROUND, PICK 51: Trevon Diggs (36 overall)
Diggs was reportedly in serious consideration for the Cowboys’ first-round pick before Lamb fell all the way to their selection. It was no secret that the Cowboys wanted to fill holes on the defensive side of the ball, hence why K’Lavon Chaisson and a number of different defensive backs were often mocked to Dallas. Adding Diggs in the second-round without needing to make a move up is incredible value.
THIRD-ROUND, PICK 82: Neville Gallimore (48 overall)
Dallas added defensive linemen Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe through free agency, but that did not stop the Cowboys from adding another interior lineman through the draft. Gallimore is regarded as an athletic and ascending player with the potential to be a better pro than he was in college. According to The Athletic’s big board, the Oklahoma prospect gave Dallas three top-50 players through their first three selections.
FOURTH-ROUND, PICK 123: Reggie Robinson (142 overall)
Robinson was the first player to not be ranked higher than where he was drafted. Still, many are high on what the Tulsa product brings to the table. Robinson picked off four passes for Tulsa in 2019 and was a regular special teams contributor — something that has to be attractive to John Fassel. Much like Gallimore, Robinson possesses incredible athletic traits that should allow him to succeed in the NFL.
With pick 123 in the 2020 NFL Draft, the #Cowboys selected Reggie Robinson II, CB, Tulsa.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 25, 2020
He posted an elite #RAS with elite size, great speed, great explosiveness, okay agility at the CB position.https://t.co/crtlhTzwYq#DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/gVRQKAPAHn
FOURTH-ROUND, PICK 146: Tyler Biadasz (91 overall)
Dallas made a trade! In deal in which the Cowboys gave up a pair of fifth-round picks (one in 2020, one in 2021) to the Eagles, Dallas jumped back into the fourth-round to take a player that they had their eyes on. Biadasz, a center out of Wisconsin, was a unanimous All-American in 2019 but his lack of elite athletic ability and his injury history dropped his stock. He was ranked as the 91st player in the class according to the consensus big board but fell until the end of round four.
FIFTH-ROUND, PICK 179: Bradlee Anae (81 overall)
Anae was mentioned in our article that looked at some of the best players available heading into day three. Many wanted Anae to be the pick in the fourth, but Dallas was able to grab the Utah product at the end of the fifth. Anae lacks ideal length for the position and ran a poor 40 at the NFL Combine, but he brings 29.5 sacks on the collegiate level and impressive technique to the Cowboys. Many saw the EDGE as a day two pick, but Dallas grabbed the first team All-American much later than expected.
To cap off the draft, the Cowboys added a quarterback in the seventh-round with their final pick: James Madison’s Ben DiNucci. With Harrison Bryant and even Anthony Gordon still available, it was an interesting pick. Nonetheless, it never hurts to add a quarterback late to add some competition behind Dak Prescott.
Overall, it is clear that the Dallas Cowboys not only grabbed really good prospects, but that they did so with good value — and aside for the move for Biadsaz, the Cowboys did not have to trade up for who they wanted. The draft fell to them in such a good way that it is almost hard to fathom. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus put it best after the Cowboys grabbed Robinson:
Dallas snagging Reggie Robinson too?— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 25, 2020
Did Jerry's evil criminal mastermind yacht actually hack the NFL draft?
This draft is so good it's almost like it's rigged!
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler also gave his thoughts on the Cowboys’ draft:
Shorter arms. 4.91 speed. But Anae can get after the quarterback.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 25, 2020
Give me hungry rushers with physical hands who can break down the rhythm of blockers. The theme of the #Cowboys draft has been value, landing talent later than they should have lasted. https://t.co/DTzzl0mVBU
It remains to be seen how each draft pick will work out, but kudos are warranted for the front office and the scouting department for developing a plan for this draft and executing it to perfection.