As you may know by now, the Cowboys often go into NFL Drafts with a good grasp on the landscape of the draft, and how deep it is as certain positions. At times this can hurt them, when they reach for positions in certain rounds, due to how deep or not-deep however said position is throughout the draft.
Most recently, the Cowboys drafted Trysten Hill in the second round of the draft, passing up on safety and corner, because they liked some of the guys they could get later. Most notable was 2017, where the Cowboys drafted Taco Charlton in the first round, because of how WEAK the 2017 class was at defensive end, and also how DEEP it was at cornerback (grabbed Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis later).
In 2020, there’s a similar situation brewing, and while it’s hurt them in the past, let’s hope they use that same mindset when they are on the clock on day one of the 2020 NFL Draft. You heard it here first ladies and gentlemen, the Cowboys should not draft an offensive tackle with the 10th overall pick, unless the slim-chance that Penei Sewell falls to that pick.
Why you may ask?
For the first time in forever, the NFL Draft is absolutely loaded at offensive tackle. While still having plenty to work through, and the chance that some grades could change, I currently have 15 offensive tackles graded inside my top 100. That is an abnormally large number for a position that is very weak in the NFL. Let’s take a look at some of the slept on prospects and why the Cowboys should avoid spending the 10th overall pick on one of the top two or three (Sewell, Slater, Darrisaw) offensive tackles in this class. In the end you want to draft the best player available (at a position of need). While the Cowboys do have a somewhat need at tackle, the defense is in desperate need of a talent influx, and there’s a really good chance you can find a high-quality tackle, while also addressing positions of greater need with earlier picks.
Let me repeat, if Penei Sewell falls to the 10th overall pick, the Cowboys should definitely consider sending that card in, but even if he does, it shouldn’t be slam dunk with how deep this class is. Thanks to a Dak Prescott injury, and one of the worst defensive performances in NFL history, the Cowboys will be picking near the top of each round in each round of the 2021 NFL Draft. In the second round, the Cowboys hold the 42nd overall pick, putting them in range to land one of the second-tier offensive tackles consisting of Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield, Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg, Texas’ Samuel Cosmi, Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins, or Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood. All of these players are starting caliber tackles (primarily left tackle), that also have the same ability as Sewell and Slater to slide inside and play guard if Tyron Smith and La’el Collins come back at full-strength.
I've been enjoying studying Teven Jenkins' tape.— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) January 22, 2021
Backside cut-off to the 2nd level
Torque & finish pic.twitter.com/aqMKHPvz0C
Even if the Cowboys don’t decide to add an offensive tackle in the first two rounds, the Cowboys do hold two third-round draft picks this year, and even in the third round, the Cowboys could find a starting caliber tackle. Some of the names to keep an eye on in the third round would be Clemson’s Jackson Carman, North Dakota State’s Dillion Radunz, Stanford’s Walker Little, Cincinnati’s James Hudson, or Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown. Four of the five guys played left tackle in college, with the exception of Spencer Brown who fits in more as a right tackle. All five of these players could be massive steals late on day two of the draft, and could really improve the Cowboys offensive tackle room immediately.
Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson has caught my eye. First thing I notice is how big he is (6’5”, 345). He’s a nasty blocker and an excellent athlete for his size. Carman has a high ceiling and should be in early discussion for OT2.— Seth Mitzel (@SkolMitzel) August 10, 2020
Definitely has Day 1 potential. pic.twitter.com/GOdL0De5eo
If there’s this many guys with starting caliber ability available on days one and two, there’s no way there are guys available on day three that could step in and make an impact though, right? Wrong, again this all could change, but as of today, there’s a really good chance that even at the start of day three, some talented offensive tackles will still be on the board. Now, this could be a situation where if the Cowboys wait until day three, they may need to move up in order to get a guy they love (similar to Tyler Biadasz in 2020). Some of the names to keep an eye on in the fourth/fifth round would be BYU’s Brady Christensen, Notre Dame’s Robert Hainsey, East Carolina’s D’Ante Smith, and Middle Tennessee’s Robert Jones. They are all guys who I think could still be available on day three, and have the ability to start games and make an impact in year one of the NFL. While these guys have a bit more projection left to their game, they still have exciting traits, quality tape, and plenty of things to like in terms of size, length, versatility, athleticism, and power.
East Carolina’s D’Ante Smith has looked great no matter where he lined up. Guard? Tackle? Don’t matter, D’Ante is gonna block whoever is in front of him! pic.twitter.com/NcD5kzfECE— Lorenz (@ScoutingLenz) January 28, 2021
The moral of the story here Cowboys is this:
- Your defense stinks
- You should be getting Tyron Smith and La’el Collins back
- Terrence Steele and Brandon Knight showed improvement in 2020
- Sign your quarterback, and he makes a lot of the OL woes go away
- Unlike most drafts, you can find starting quality OT depth throughout the draft
Let’s try to avoid drafting offensive tackle with the 10th overall pick, because you are almost guaranteed another shot at a really good tackle prospect in one of the later rounds.