Dane Brugler is a well respected draft analyst as his thorough evaluations of college prospects come in handy as we try to figure out when certain players will be drafted. Not only that, but he’s also very in tune with how the Cowboys organization thinks and can often be found joining the DallasCowboys.com group over on The Draft Show. It’s always refreshing to see his mocks because you know it comes with a lot more credibility than your typical mock because his knowledge of the Cowboys and what they look for in their players.
So, when his Top 100 Draft Board came out, needless to say that brought about a lot of excitement as we get a look as his stacking of the top players in the upcoming draft. If you like Brugler’s stuff, I highly recommend checking out the entire article over on The Athletic (subscription required). For this article, we’re just going to focus some of the players who could be available when the Cowboys on are the clock and see what type of options they might have.
ROUND ONE (10th overall)
Cowboys could come away with the top defensive player in the draft
Looking at Brugler’s rankings, his top nine players are all on offense. This isn’t a big surprise as we expect things to be offense heavy early on, but how nice would it be if the Cowboys were lined up perfectly to get the best defensive player in this draft. Brugler has Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley as his top defender with Alabama’s Patrick Surtain right behind. These two are the clear top two corners in this draft and your favorite may depend on whether you prefer the high upside athleticism of Farley or the high floor fundamentals of Surtain.
Last week, Brugler mocked offensive tackle Rashawn Slater to the Cowboys as the Northwestern star is his second-highest ranked tackle behind Oregon’s Penei Sewell. His choice there shows how the Cowboys won’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a player that doesn’t necessarily play a position of need. With Tyron Smith and La’el Collins expected back, it doesn’t seem like the best use of draft capital, but things can change quickly and talent trumps all. While the Cowboys have bigger needs on defense, we can’t rule out the team going offense, especially with that side of the ball having all the top talent.
For what it’s worth - CeeDee Lamb, who was taken with the Cowboys 17th overall pick, was ranked ninth on Brugler’s top 100 board last year.
ROUND TWO (44th overall)
Could they dare steal the top safety in the draft?
While the Cowboys themselves won’t do this, we’re going to cut down our list of potential selections to the more needy position groups at this point. The chances they go after a quarterback or running back this early seems very improbable, and although we can’t rule out them drafting an edge rusher, guard, or even another wide receiver, those will be hard to guess.
This one will come down to which amazing talent falls all the way to them at pick 44. You may have noticed we started all the way back at Brugler’s 20th ranked pick. Last year at this time, Trevon Diggs was ranked 19th overall on Brugler’s list. Somebody will fall; they always do.
The Cowboys may try to snag another second-round starting caliber corner if one of those SEC stars slide. There are also a few linebackers and a couple defensive tackles that could help improve the defense. And the deep offensive tackle class offers up some good choices as well.
The player that most people will eyeball here is TCU’s star safety Trevon Moehrig. Could the front office’s extreme patience in investing in the safety position finally pay dividends by them landing the top safety in the draft? Fan’s have been burned before, so we’re not holding our breath, but adding a player like Moehrig would be a great score for this defense.
If the Cowboys started the 2021 NFL Draft with their first two picks being the top corner and top safety in this draft class, would you take it?— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) January 22, 2021
ROUND THREE (75th overall)
A lot of different directions they can go in round three
While the Cowboys pick at 75 in round three, we begin the list at 47 as that is where Brugler had Neville Gallimore ranked last season. Some of these good players will be available. Round three has a similar distribution of talent as the previous round with a handful of potential options at corner, linebacker, and defensive tackle. One thing that stands out is the scarcity of safety talent in this draft as Brugler only has three safeties ranked in the first 73 players on his board.
What would you like to see the Cowboys take from this group?
Thanks to letting the talented Byron Jones walk in free agency, the Cowboys will get a compensatory pick at the end of the third round. Brugler’s rankings shows a variety of position groups to choose from in this area. There are more safety options in this group, but are any of them good enough to be NFL starters?
Which of these players would you like to see the team select with their comp pick?