There are two types of mock drafts available for our perusal at this time of year. One that sticks with the draft order as currently laid out, meaning each team picks where they are slotted. The other mock draft tries to go a step further than just projecting picks, it also tries to project trades.
We have a mock draft of the second variety today from Mel Kiper at ESPN. It has trades, and as you may have guessed, quarterbacks play a large role in the trades of the first round. In fact, Kiper has five quarterbacks going in the first nine picks. His list includes Trevor Lawrence (#1, Jacksonville), Zach Wilson (#2, Atlanta via trade), Justin Fields (#7, San Francisco via trade), Mac Jones (#8, Carolina), and Trey Lance (#9, New England via trade).
All that action would be great for the Cowboys as it would push down some of the picks they might really be interested in. Also going in this top 10 are Kyle Pitts (#4) and Penei Sewell (#5). Add in a couple of receivers in DeVonta Smith (#3) and Ja’Marr Chase (#6), and you are left with a lot of prospects for the Cowboys to choose from.
In this situation, the Cowboys would have their choice of Caleb Farley or Patrick Surtain if cornerback is their preferred route. Most mocks tend to go Farley in this spot with both available, but Kiper prefers Surtain for the Cowboys.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
I was down to offensive line or cornerback for Dallas, and with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis likely to leave in free agency, I see corner as the bigger need. The Cowboys were terrible on defense last season, and new coordinator Dan Quinn has a ways to go to turn it around. Surtain on one side with former Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs on the other is a great way to start. The Dak Prescott decision looms large on the Cowboys’ offseason, but I expect him to get franchise tagged or sign a long-term deal.
In this mock, Farley actually makes it all the way down to the 15th pick. Rashawn Slater, another popular mock pick for the Cowboys, goes at pick #13.
It’s no surprise that the Cowboys are mocked to pick a cornerback. The need is there, especially if they let both Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis leave in free agency. Building on two young corners in Trevon Diggs and either Surtain or Farley could be the move that sets the defense up for years to come.
The big question there is which one do you take?