Before we get started, yes it’s January, and yes we’re already starting mock draft season. You may be upset, but let’s remember that the great thing about early season mock drafts is they are not meant to be 100% accurate, their used to give everyone an idea of what scenarios could play out when the draft rolls around in April.
For the Cowboys, who are now locked in with the 10th overall pick, it’s important for them to not totally rule out the trade back option they still should have in their back pocket. And that’s exactly what we’re kicking this 2021 mock draft season off with. In this mock, we used The Draft Network’s premium mock draft simulator feature which does allow for trades. In this four-round mock, the Cowboys will trade the 10th overall pick with the Chicago Bears as they come up to grab their quarterback of the future in Trey Lance. Here are the trade details:
Cowboys trade the 1.10 for Chicago’s; 1.20, 2.52, 6.197, and a 2022 third-round pick. With the 10th overall pick the Chicago Bears take QB Trey Lance out of North Dakota State.
Let’s dive into the Cowboys selections.
Round 1, 20th Overall
Azeez Ojulari - Georgia - EDGE - RS Sophomore - 6’4” 240-lbs
If you watched the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, you will need no introduction to Azeez Ojulari. Listed at 6’4” 240-lbs, Ojulari is a twitched up EDGE out of Georgia that plays with tremendous burst, hand usage, and bend while rushing off the weak-side for the Bulldogs. Ojulari is the the most “toolsy” pass rusher in this draft class, and compliments his tool-belt with really exciting tape as well. In a very weak EDGE class, Ojulari is my early favorite for EDGE1, and the hype should start to build the closer we get to the combine where he’s expected to test very well. Pairing Ojulari with DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory would give the Cowboys a very strong, yet versatile EDGE room for the foreseeable future.
Terrific hand usage by Azeez Ojulari to get the strip sack on Ridder pic.twitter.com/pVC4RgzXJR— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) January 1, 2021
Round 2, 42nd Overall
Tyson Campbell - Georgia - CB - Junior - 6’2” 185-lbs
The top three cornerbacks in this class seem to be a consensus with Caleb Farley, Patrick Surtain, and Jaycee Horn. But Georgia’s Tyson Campbell isn’t too far behind. Listed at 6’2” 185-lbs, Campbell has excellent size to pair with Trevon Diggs on the outside in Dallas. Campbell is very athletic, has above average length, and plays with great technique on the boundary for the Bulldogs. Campbell is clean in his transitions, and stays in phase throughout routes to compete at the catch point consistently. While Campbell still has some developing to do, he reminds me a bit of Byron Jones with his coverage skills and athletic traits. While Campbell may not be talked about as much as the big-three, his tape shows a player that isn’t far behind, plus his traits make him a very high-rated prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Tyson Campbell— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 11, 2020
Mocked 19th overall last week by @GrindingTheTape to the Colts!
Pros: Physical, Long, Twitchy, Loose, Click n Close, Aggressive tackler
Cons: Doesn’t always find ball, Eye violations
NFL Style: Marlon Humphrey pic.twitter.com/XOe4Hjn8j5
Round 2, 52nd Overall
Trevon Moehrig - TCU - Free Safety - Junior - 6’1” 208-lbs
After what seems like centuries, the Dallas Cowboys finally add a high-quality safety to a defense that has been in desperate need of that back-end ball hawk. The Cowboys have gotten quality play out of Donovan Wilson for the back-half of the 2020 season, but with Xavier Woods hitting free agency, Trevon Moehrig steps in as an instant upgrade as a starting free safety for the Cowboys. Moehrig plays with excellent ability as a centerfield safety, and has the range to cover from sideline-to-sideline from the single-high spot. In his three years at TCU, Moehrig picked off seven passes, and had 21 passes defended. Adding Moehrig to the safety room would allow Donovan Wilson to play in his Jamal Adams-lite role that he saw success in during 2020.
Round 3, 74th Overall
Alim McNeill - NC State - iDL - Junior - 6’2” 315-lbs
Similar to the safety position, the Cowboys finally stop ignoring the nose tackle position, and add a stud in NC State’s Alim McNeill in the third round. It’s early, but McNeill has some of my favorite film in this draft class at the defensive tackle position. Like most NC State defensive linemen, McNeill plays hard through the whistle, rarely gets pushed around, and plays assignment sound football in the interior of the defense for the Wolfpack. McNeill is the rare nose tackle prospect that had success rushing the quarterback in his college career, and offers the ability to stuff the run and get after quarterbacks from the one-technique position, thanks to his freakish athleticism. While McNeill projects best as that big-bodied one-tech, he also has enough explosiveness and more than enough athleticism to play at the three-tech spot as well.
A prospect to keep an eye on Saturday night is #NCState DL Alim McNeill against VT.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) September 25, 2020
Against Wake a week ago: 2 TFLs, 1 FF, disruptive.
+Push and Pull, plus TFL
+Controls matchup at POA
+Heavy hands, moves well for size.
Was on @BruceFeldmanCFB's freak list this summer. pic.twitter.com/2xdMBT1XIQ
Round 3, 99th Overall
James Wiggins - Cincinnati - DB - RS Senior - 6’0” 205-lbs
James Wiggins is my guy in the 2021 class. Wiggins is a Cincinnati safety, but also has the ability to play as a nickel defender in the NFL, which is where he could be used in Dallas early in his career. Wiggins can cover, tackle, hit hard, take the football away, and is an extremely intelligent defender in the secondary that can play multiple roles on the back-end and around the line of scrimmage. Wiggins has tremendous ball skills, and his athleticism pops off the tape both as a cover-man and defending the run. Wiggins brings the intensity this defense desperately needs, and has the alpha male mentality the Cowboys defense currently lacks.
One of the relatively unknown guys that I'm really excited to watch at the @seniorbowl is safety, James Wiggins, out of the Cincy. Very fluid in coverage (man & zone) and can hit. Could be a mid-round gem. pic.twitter.com/2OS4YZJdYC— The 4th Wise Man (@TriggeredWise) December 28, 2020
Round 4, 111th Overall
Baron Browning - Ohio State - LB - Senior - 6’3” 248-lbs
With most of the Cowboys linebacker depth about to hit free agency, it’ll be important for the Cowboys to add quality depth, and guys that can push Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch for playing time if they miss time due to injury, or if their play continues to dip. Browning is an uber-athletic off-the-ball linebacker that is also used in pass rushing situations for the Buckeyes throughout his career. Browning is an absolute freak athlete that can cover in the passing game, make plays against the run sideline-to-sideline and can be used as a situational pass rusher given his speed, explosiveness, and length. Browning would be an absolute steal in the fourth round, and could be a plug-and-play player as a rookie as a versatile linebacker.
Ohio State LB Baron Browning (@baronbrwnng) is going to be a perfect SAM in a 4-3 scheme that plays a lot of 4-3 over. Can rush the passer and has great coverage skills. One of the most athletic players in the class. His stock is going to skyrocket. #NFLDraft #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/qtsJ1sVicZ— Jack Borowsky (@Jack_Borowsky) December 14, 2020
Round 4, 136th Overall
Jaelon Darden - North Texas - WR - Senior - 5’9” 170-lbs
After upgrading the entire defense with the first six selections, we turn to the offensive side of the football to add a speedy, big-play playmaker in North Texas’ own Jaelon Darden. Darden is everything the Cowboys thought they were getting in the Tavon Austin experiment a few years ago. Darden will be listed as a wide receiver in the draft, but can play slot-receiver, can stretch the field vertically as a boundary receiver, and can take snaps in the backfield as well. The dude is an absolute baller with the football in his hands, and while many will look at him as a gadget player, he can also line up as a receiver and dominate with his route-running, speed, and competitive toughness. With the addition of Darden, the Cowboys offense would add yet another explosive piece that could allow CeeDee Lamb to play more on the boundary as his career develops. Darden is lightning in a bottle, and would make this offense even more fun than it already is.
Finally got a chance to study #NorthTexas WR Jaelon Darden last night, one of the most explosive athletes in the country. Here were some things he does well:— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) January 6, 2021
+Acceleration after the catch
+Creating separation with speed, footwork pic.twitter.com/QfvgweUYc0