2020 NFL Draft winners and losers: AFC North, Cowboys dominate while the Patriots, NFC North falter - Josh Edwards, CBS Sports
CBS Sports evaluates each team and what they were able to get done over these last three days, and declares their winners and losers. Spoiler alert - the Cowboys were winners.
Their path began by jumping on the chance to select the draft’s best wide receiver: CeeDee Lamb. They parlayed that optimism into two more productive days. Cornerback Trevon Diggs and defensive tackle Neville Gallimore were valued higher than they were selected. Edge rusher Bradlee Anae and center Tyler Biadasz were both valuable additions. There were no issues with the selections of cornerback Reggie Robinson II and quarterback Ben DiNucci. Dallas got better over the course of these three days.
Kyle Dugger is a 24-year old speedster who possesses some concerns regarding his lateral mobility. Edge rusher Josh Uche has a lot of upside. Michigan did not utilize him to the best of his abilities. The additions of offensive linemen Michael Onwenu and Justin Herron were welcomed choices on Day 3 but reaches with their first two picks marred the haul. Edge rusher Anfernee Jennings, tight end Dalton Keene, tight end Devin Asiasi, kicker Justin Rohrwasser, linebacker Cassh Maluia and offensive lineman Dustin Woodard were all earlier selections than most were comfortable with.
With such a great haul, the Cowboys have been identified as one of the biggest overall winners from the draft.
How ’bout them Cowboys? Dallas was among our first-round winners after having Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb, who they had as their sixth player available, fall to them at No. 17. From there, the Cowboys grabbed Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs (who wouldn’t have been a complete shock if they grabbed in the first round) with their second-round pick and may have been gained another steal at No. 82, where they selected Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, who had a second-round grade in many mock drafts. The Cowboys later helped fill the void left by cornerback Byron Jones with another physical corner in Tulsa’s Reggie Robinson, to go along with Diggs before adding Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz to help fill the void left by Pro Bowler Travis Frederick, who retired this offseason.
This list of great decisions goes on and on...
In terms of maximizing value, no team might have done a better job than the Cowboys. CeeDee Lamb was an absolute steal at No. 17 overall, as were Trevon Diggs and Neville Gallimore in the middle of the second and third rounds. Then, in the fourth, they added arguably the top center in the draft in Tyler Biadasz, who should immediately take over for the recently retired Travis Frederick. They added a bunch of talent to a roster that underachieved last season. There’s no question as to who should be the overwhelming favorites in the NFC East.
Handing out grades to each NFL team, guess which team is at the head of the class?
Dallas Cowboys: A
The Cowboys absolutely nailed the first two days of the draft. CeeDee Lamb falling to them at No. 17 was an absolute gift, but Dallas deserves credit for prioritizing his talent over the team’s needs. Coming back on Day Two and landing Trevon Diggs and Neville Gallimore only strengthens the team’s grade. Both guys will play meaningful snaps for Mike McCarthy in his first season at the helm in Dallas. Don’t lose sight of the team’s work on Day 3 either. Tyler Biadasz will help provide valuable depth at center after Travis Frederick’s decision to retire. Bradlee Anae could do the same at defensive end. Add it all up and the Cowboys had the best draft in the NFL.
The staff writers over at the Mothership offer up their favorite Day 3 pick, and it shouldn’t be all that surprising that there was a lot of love to go around.
Rob Phillips: Let this sink in for a moment. The Cowboys were able to draft a consensus All-American pass rusher, Bradlee Anae, with a compensatory pick at the end of the fifth round. That’s rare. Maybe it’s a miscalculation but other teams. Maybe speaks to the overall depth of this year’s draft. Regardless, the Cowboys benefit. If Anae can emerge as a starter or regular contributor, any debate about addressing wide receiver in the first round over pass rush/secondary becomes moot. Anae piled up 29.5 sacks in three seasons at Utah. He’s technique sound and he’s got good bend for an edge rusher. A slow 40 time really shouldn’t have dropped him that far. Good pick by Dallas.
NFL Draft 2020 Beat Writer Wrapup: Best, most questionable pick for all 32 teams - Staff, The Athletic
Jon Machota takes on the Cowboys review over at The Athletic as they examine each teams best, most questionable, and sleeper pick.
Sleeper Pick: CB Reggie Robinson II, Tulsa.
Cornerback was Dallas’ second-biggest need. After getting Diggs in the second, the Cowboys came back two rounds later and selected another big corner with a proven ability to make plays on the ball. Robinson had a breakout season last year at Tulsa, recording four interceptions and 17 passes defended while allowing only one touchdown. The cornerback room includes Diggs, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Anthony Brown and Maurice Canady, but Awuzie, Lewis and Canady are only signed through this season. Robinson could end up looking like quite the bargain a year from now. Dallas’ first six picks all have a shot at playing a significant role this season.
Tyler Biadasz was a ‘blinking light’ on the Cowboys’ draft board, and sending picks to Philly was worth getting him - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys made one trade in this draft and it was to move up to get center Tyler Biadasz, the DMN offers up an explanation.
Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ executive vice president, said the team spent an hour discussing ways to move up for Biadasz, whom he described as a “blinking light” because of the high value he possessed. Coach Mike McCarthy told owner and general manager Jerry Jones the ability to get stronger in the middle was prevelant in this draft. And Stephen Jones noted the draft capital was worth it. Biadasz became the fourth center taken off draft boards and that might have been because of his health. After the 2018 season, he underwent hip surgery, forcing him to miss spring practices. And after a strong 2019 season, he had surgery on an AC joint of his shoulder. Biadasz missed the scouting combine where he would have displayed his strength and agility.
ESPN staff writer Todd Archer provides his take for each of the Cowboys seven picks.
Round 7, No. 231 overall: Ben DiNucci, QB, James Madison
My take: In the pre-draft news conference, the Cowboys lauded coach Mike McCarthy’s ability to develop a quarterback, so DiNucci becomes his first quarterback in Dallas. A transfer from Pitt, DiNucci completed 70% of his passes with 29 touchdown passes and just six interceptions in leading his school to the FCS national championship game, which was played just up the road from The Star. He joins a quarterback room with Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush and Clayton Thorson. In 13 seasons with Green Bay, the Packers selected five quarterbacks during McCarthy’s tenure and had seventh-round success with Matt Flynn. Maybe DiNucci can be another seventh-round find.
The Mothership provides breakdowns of each of the team’s Day 3 draft selections.
The Cowboys got some additional depth at corner with the selection of Tulsa’s Reggie Robinson, but he offers us some extra value as well.
The fourth-round pick will at least be given the opportunity to earn a starting cornerback spot, but he doesn’t plan on waiting on that chance to contribute. “I’m trying to get on the field as soon as possible, whether that’s at corner or on special teams.” Robinson was an essential special teams player at Tulsa where he played on punt, punt return, kickoff, and kickoff returns and blocked punts every single season he saw the field. “Special teams is something that I take pride in because it can change games, and I changed a couple games blocking kicks.”
New center Tyler Biadasz helped lay the groundwork for an impressing running game at Wisconsin, and he’s hoping to be a part of that same type of success at the pro level.
“We used to watch so much film on Travis of when he was in college and when he was a Cowboy,” said Biadasz, who isn’t running away from the comparison.
“I try to mold [my game] like his. He’s one of the greats. He’s an animal. I try to play just like that. I think our body types are very similar.” Like Frederick before him, Biadasz anchored a Wisconsin offensive line that leaned on the running game perhaps more successfully than any program in the nation. The Badgers’ starting running back, Jonathan Taylor, rushed for over 6,000 yards in just three seasons running behind Biadasz. “I take a lot of pride in that,” the fourth-rounder said. “We knew JT’s success would be our success. We just wanted to be the best O-Line in the nation.”
A breakdown of the Cowboys new edge rusher, Bradlee Anae.
How He Fits In: The Cowboys lost Robert Quinn and his team-leading 11.5 sacks in 2019 to free agency. Dallas signed Aldon Smith last month and are hoping to have Randy Gregory back, but neither player can be counted on to come back from extended absences and play at a high level. The Cowboys will be hoping that Anae will be able to earn the starting right defensive end spot opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. If he is able to come close to approaching the production of Quinn then he will raise the expectations of the entire Cowboys’ defense.
A breakdown of the Cowboys seventh-round pick, QB Ben DiNucci.
The Rundown: A transfer from Pittsburgh, DiNucci started 29 games in two seasons at James Madison, posting a 23-6 record and an appearance in January FCS Championship game held in Frisco, just up the road from The Star in Frisco. He was a first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association pick last year, throwing for 3,441 yards and 29 touchdowns with only six interceptions. His 70.6 completion percentage led the nation.
NFL Draft 2020: Dallas Cowboys undrafted free agent signings tracker - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
We got you covered for all of the Cowboys UDFA signings.
Here’s the sequence in which the names came in while we were live tracking the signings on Saturday and Sunday. These are all reported signings or agreements, but as noted above, they could change.
TCU RB Sewo Olonilua (via Bobby Belt)
UAB DT Garrett Marino (via Terez Paylor)
UNT EDGE Ladarius Hamilton (via Tom Pelissero)
Utah LB Francis Bernard (via Josh Newman)
Michigan TE Sean McKeon (via Josh Henschke)
URI WR Aaron Parker (via Mark Daniels)
South Carolina RB Rico Dowdle (via Rico Dowdle)
James Madison EDGE Ron’Dell Carter (via Bobby Belt)
Mississippi State WR Stephen Guidry (via Bobby Belt)
Illinois State S Luther Kirk (via Andre DiCecco)
Texas Tech OT Terence Steele (via Jane Slater)
Portland State TE Charlie Taumoepeau (via Cleodis Floyd)
Kansas EDGE Azur Kamara (via Patrik Walker)
Texas A&M WR Kendrick Rogers (via Travis L. Brown)
BTB Podcast and YouTube
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