- Tim Cowlishaw: A
- Michael Gehlken: A
- John Owning: A
- David Moore: A-
- Kevin Sherrington: A-
- Calvin Watkins: B
Owning perhaps best summarizes a sentiment shared by many fans:
I’m not sure I’ve ever felt this good about a Cowboys draft class, as the Cowboys did a great job finding value throughout the draft. CeeDee Lamb was the steal of the first round, as the Cowboys secured an alpha receiver who should enable Dallas’ offense to reach new heights. Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson provide the defense with two high-upside outside cornerbacks who can disrupt at the line of scrimmage and create turnovers at the catch point. Even though I’m typically against trading up for non-QBs, Tyler Biadasz was a good enough value at an important position to warrant the pick. Bradlee Anae was the steal of Day 3 and Ben DiNucci will be Mike McCarthy’s new pet project at QB.
And the national pundits agree, the Cowboys aced the 2020 NFL draft. Here’s a summary of the final draft grades for the four NFC East teams in table form. For your reading convenience and reading pleasure, the best grade from each source is marked in green, the worst grade is marked in a lovely Howie Roseman shade of red.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Grade A+
How about that guy Jerry Jones? Drafting from a yacht, he had the Cowboys living the absolute high life finding extreme value throughout the draft, starting with Lamb at No. 17 overall. Jones was laser-focused on their biggest needs and didn’t let the best available player pass him up, either. Lamb is a massive upgrade from Randall Cobb. Diggs and Robinson are good rebounds from losing Byron Jones in free agency. Gallimore gives them another way to get to the QB inside and Anae is capable of filling the edge void created by Robert Quinn. After seeing another reliable interior Badger retire from their offensive line in Travis Frederick, Biadasz was a steal, too.
Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated: Grade A+
With Randall Cobb joining Houston, the Cowboys needed a new slot receiver. What they smartly realized is if they found one who could also play the “Z” position, going in motion and aligning outside, that would allow them to slide pricey star Amari Cooper into the slot, where he’s guaranteed to avoid the press-jam coverage that sometimes gives him trouble. Even better is that CeeDee Lamb himself can also play significant snaps inside, affording offensive coordinator Kellen Moore the ultimate flexibility with his first-round wide receivers. Expect to see even more of the creative pre-snap motioning and stack-release tactics from Moore this season.
Having Lamb and Cooper together almost assures that Michael Gallup, who is quietly developing into a nice “X” receiver, will often face one-on-one coverage. And in that same vein, it could mean lighter run boxes for Ezekiel Elliott. This is a quality pick with a potentially significant domino effect.
Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post: Grade A+
Cowboys apparently trust their Southwest area scout. Lamb was the steal of the first round and the Diggs-Robinson combination softens the blow of losing free agent Byron Jones.
Doug Farrar, MSN: Grade A+
The Cowboys were already fairly loaded at receiver with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Still, Jerry Jones decided to make Dak Prescott’s life even better with the first-round selection of Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, the best overall receiver in this draft class. Jerry and Co. didn’t stop there, either. From rounds two through seven, the Cowboys added some great players.
Vinny Somma, Heavy.com: Grade A+
Dallas absolutely nailed the draft. CeeDee Lamb fell right into their laps, giving them a top-10 talent at pick No. 17. Trevon Diggs is a guy who the Cowboys would have likely targeted with their 1st-Round pick had Lamb not been there. Gallimore and Robinson II will both see the field early on, while Biadasz should come in day one and battle for the starting center spot.
Luke Easterling, DraftWire: Grade A+
Maybe Jerry Jones should run the draft from his yacht every year? He destroyed this year’s event in the best way, kicking things off with arguably the biggest steal of the first round, landing Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb at No. 17 overall.
Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs was another bargain in the second round, and his skill set is perfectly suited to replace the departed Byron Jones. Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore was their third steal in a row, coming off the board at least a full round after he should have at No. 82 overall.
Day 3 brought more value and quality depth with another big, athletic corner (Tulsa’s Reggie Robinson II), a versatile interior blocker (Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz) and one of the Senior Bowl’s most impressive edge defenders (Utah’s Bradlee Anae). Throw in an intriguing small-school quarterback in James Madison’s Ben DiNucci, and the Cowboys made themselves much better on both sides of the ball.
PFF: Grade A+
Day 1: Dallas was one of the biggest winners of the first round, and it’s all because a few teams ahead of them made mistakes and handed them CeeDee Lamb at the 17th overall pick.
Day 2: “Cowboys are ripping the doorknob off this draft. Every pick they've made was much higher on the PFF Draft Board: 17 – CeeDee Lamb (PFF board: 6th), 51 – Trevon Diggs (31st), 82 – Neville Gallimore (51st).” – PFF Lead Draft Analyst Mike Renner on the Cowboys’ draft after Day 2.
Trevon Diggs isn’t a fit for every scheme due to his athletic limitations, but he is the perfect fit for Dallas’ press-heavy scheme. There were a handful of interior defensive linemen taken over Gallimore who shouldn’t have been, and the Cowboys once again took advantage of others’ mistakes.
Day 3: Dallas’ dream draft continued into Day 3 when they got two guys for great value in Tyler Biadasz (87th-best prospect on PFF Big Board) and Bradlee Anae (130th-best prospect on PFF Big Board).
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: Grade A
Draft analysis: Lamb was the top receiver in the class and Diggs joined Gallimore in shoring up sore sports on defense, so I have zero complaints about Jerry Jones' moves on the first two days of the draft.
Love the pick of Robinson as an outside corner with athleticism in the fourth round. He should have been selected much earlier. I expected Dallas to pick Biadasz early in the fourth round so it wasn't surprising they moved up to get the sturdy pivot later in that round. Giving up a future pick is not always a great move, but sending a fifth-rounder in 2021 to the Eagles to move up for a probable long-time starter makes plenty of sense to me.
Anae is a top-100 talent who fell to Dallas at the end of Round 5. While not the quickest edge rusher, his strength, moves and hustle are difficult for tackles to deal with.
Nate Davis, USA Today: Grade A-
They didn’t overthink it with WR CeeDee Lamb sitting there at No. 17. Nice pick – even if it didn’t fill a hole, Lamb was too good to pass up and might’ve been wearing Eagles green otherwise. Down the board, Jerry Jones and Co. appeared to do a pretty good job of wedding value with need, getting CB Trevon Diggs in Round 2, DT Neville Gallimore in Round 3, Wisconsin C Tyler Biadasz in Round 4 (who better to replace retired ex-Badger Travis Frederick?) and a potential steal with the selection of pass rusher Bradlee Anae in the fifth.
This team probably should be expected to win the NFC East.
Joe Tansey, Bleacher Report: Grade B+
Dallas dipped back into the Oklahoma pipeline in the third round with defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, who was an underrated force on the interior for a Sooners defense headlined by Los Angeles Chargers first-round pick Kenneth Murray.
After skipping on the secondary Thursday to pick CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys took Alabama’s Trevon Diggs, the brother of Buffalo wide receiver Stefon, in the second round.
The Cowboys deserve credit for filling a pair of needs Friday after they were gifted a player they did not believe would be available Thursday at No. 17.