In general, it’s been observed by many that the Cowboys had a very successful 2020 draft. That belief goes beyond just the quality rookie season turned in by CeeDee Lamb. The rookie wide receiver was widely perceived to be a steal in the first round for the Cowboys and he proved that to be correct on the field. It’s disappointing that he didn’t get to spend his whole rookie year catching passes from Dak Prescott, his number could have been substantially better than they already were.
But what about beyond Lamb? There’s a feeling among a large portion of the fan base that the Cowboys did pretty well down the line in the draft, too. Second-round pick Trevon Diggs started at cornerback all year when he wasn’t injured, and his play got dramatically better as the season rolled on. Third-round pick Neville Gallimore had a slow start when he was was inactive for a good portion of the first half of the season, but once the Cowboys dumped Dontari Poe, Gallimore saw an increase in paying time. He also saw his play get better as he got more opportunity. Fourth-round pick Tyler Biadasz took over the starting center position part of the way through the season, and would have kept it the rest of the year if he hadn’t been sidelined by injury.
If you look at that, four guys who are starting or playing substantial roles on the team, you would think that’s pretty good. There is a lot of optimism that the growth trajectory for these players is up, and that a couple of them (Lamb and Diggs) could be stars.
Not everyone sees it that way. Bleacher Report graded every team’s 2020 draft class and the Cowboys got a “C” grade.
The Dallas Cowboys got a predictably strong return on first-rounder CeeDee Lamb, although their offense went off the rails when quarterback Dak Prescott suffered his season-ending ankle injury. Still, Lamb finished second on the team with 935 receiving yards and five scores, although he caught only 74 of his 111 targets.
Unfortunately, the majority of the Cowboys’ remaining draft class contributed to the league’s worst defense. Second-rounder corner Trevon Diggs flashed at times but allowed five touchdowns. Neville Gallimore got in the rotation a notable amount and finished with a 52.1 PFF grade.
The same went for fourth-rounder Tyler Biadasz on an injured offensive line, as he earned a 53.5 grade.
The Cowboys’ defensive picks might blossom under a new coordinator, but this class was top-heavy with the surefire star Lamb.
This seems to be missing a lot of context. For instance, Diggs did give up those five touchdowns, but he also had three interceptions and nobody can argue that his play wasn’t much better by the end of the year than it was in the beginning. A group of those touchdowns he gave up was early in the year when the Cowboys defense, and secondary, were totally confused about their roles and the whole unit was breaking down regularly.
By the end of the year, things were much better. Evaluating Diggs by his cover skills and ball-hawking ability, it became clear that the Cowboys could have a special player on their hands. Only time will tell, but Diggs looks like a foundational piece.
Similarly, Gallimore grew into his role as the season wore on. He became a disruptor that had a couple of standout games and was flashing potential with his quickness in the middle. Biadasz was a serviceable replacement at one of the harder positions for a rookie to play, and is likely going into 2021 as the starter.
From an outside point of view, and just taking PFF grades as the gospel, maybe you could make a case for such a mediocre grade. But if you watched the Cowboys all year long, you could see the growth of these draft picks and it’s likely the Cowboys got three starters and a possible starter/rotation guy out of six picks. That’s pretty good drafting.
What’s your take BTB? What grade should the Cowboys draft haul get?
The Cowboys 2020 draft class gets a grade of:
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