Based on nearly all reviews, the Dallas Cowboys crushed the 2020 NFL Draft. Will McClay, the Jones family, and the whole organization, added star power, impact players, and incredible value throughout the draft, beginning with pick number 17 until grabbing a quarterback in the seventh round. Dallas also did a great job in identifying and securing some talented UDFAs shortly after the draft concluded.
The Cowboys’ draft class ranked second in Dane Brugler’s favorite classes, and it graded out as the best of the bunch according to the consensus.
Needless to say, the front office and scouting department did a wonderful job of acquiring talent despite the virtual setting and logistical problems that this year’s draft may have presented.
NFL executives and evaluators are high on who Dallas added to its roster.
The Athletic’s Mike Sando spoke to “coaches, executives and evaluators around the league” regarding their thoughts on this year’s draft for all 32 teams. As expected, many were puzzled about the Packers’ decisions throughout the seven rounds. It also appears that the overall consensus around the league is that Dallas did a great job of adding talent to its roster.
The two players that were highlighted the most for the Cowboys in Sando’s piece were none other than the first two picks: wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and cornerback Trevon Diggs.
Everybody is in agreement that Lamb is a special talent and him falling to Dallas was very unlikely prior to the draft. His rare after-the-catch ability, impressive catch radius, and ridiculous ball skills and body control make Lamb a special talent that should allow him to produce as soon as he steps onto the field.
One exec. said what many of us assumed going into the draft: “Dallas had no intention of taking a receiver”. When a talent like Lamb falls to 17, things change.
“Dallas had no intention of taking a receiver,” an exec said. “Then the receiver who was arguably the top one in the class (CeeDee Lamb) falls to them. OK, they are going to be in 11 personnel a lot. It makes sense, them taking him.”
11 personnel should be what Dallas is primarily in during the upcoming season. This is a passing league and defenses will be stressed to find a way to stop the trio of Amari Cooper-Michael Gallup-Lamb along with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard with Dak Prescott behind center.
Trevon Diggs is a player that many consider to have a high ceiling in the secondary with his history of playing the wide receiver position and the length that he brings to the table. Many believed Diggs could have been the first-round pick if Lamb or EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson were not available. Instead, the Cowboys grabbed the Alabama product outside the top-50 picks.
Unlikely as Lamb’s availability at No. 17 might have seemed, owner Jerry Jones said he estimated there was a one percent chance Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs would be available when Dallas selected in the second round.
“I would have put money on the same thing,” an exec said. “Very, very unlikely, especially with Damon Arnette going at 19 and Noah Igbinoghene going at the bottom of the first.”
The first two picks of Lamb and Diggs has to be up there with every other class across the league. A wide receiver with superstar potential and a talented corner that has a chance to make an impact early is hard to top. An executive told Sando that “this draft to me is probably one of the best ones.”
“The only thing you can say about them is, a lot of guys they took are super talented,” an exec said. “Diggs was probably the third-best corner on the board. If you get the best out of him, you hit a grand slam. This draft to me is probably one of the best ones. When your owner is also the GM, you can take some risks.”
As always, it is way too early to truly judge the success of this draft class. After all, none of these players have even sat in a meeting at The Star, much less played in an actual game. The Cowboys, by all accounts, crushed the draft on paper, though.
Dallas was able to add value after their first two picks by grabbing defensive tackle Neville Gallimore in the third-round, cornerback Reggie Robinson on day three, and pass rusher Bradlee Anae in the fifth-round, for example.
The majority of the players that the Cowboys added to its roster through the draft will likely have a chance to step in and play important snaps as rookies. CeeDee Lamb is expected to plug right in and play, while Diggs and Robinson will help fill some of the void left by Byron Jones. Fourth-round center Tyler Biadasz is expected to compete for the starting job along the offensive line as well.
Not only are draftniks high on the Cowboys’ 2020 draft class, many around the league are impressed by what Jerry Jones and company pulled off.