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Mel Kiper 2021 mock draft: Cowboys get Surtain, but the first nine picks provide an interesting scenario

The Cowboys get the guy many predict in this mock, but the picks before it are interesting.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Let’s not bury the lede here. In the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Mel Kiper, the Cowboys choose the guy that many have predicted that they will draft. That player is cornerback Patrick Surtain II from Alabama. Need meets talent. The Cowboys are desperate for corner help, and Surtain is considered, at minimum, the co-best corner in the draft with Caleb Farley.

If the Cowboys walk away with Surtain at pick #10, it probably wouldn’t surprise anybody.

10. Dallas Cowboys

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

The Cowboys brought back slot corner Jourdan Lewis, but there’s still a hole at one of the outside spots, with Chidobe Awuzie walking in free agency. This selection could reunite former Alabama teammates Surtain and fellow CB Trevon Diggs. Surtain is the most fundamentally sound defensive back in this class. Offensive line is another position to watch — particularly if Oregon’s Penei Sewell is still on the board — though Dallas could save that for Day 2.

What is interesting about Kiper’s mock is that Surtain would be the first defensive player taken in the draft. That actually lines up with some other mock drafts that have the same scenario. The Cowboys could come on the clock at pick #10 with their choice of any defensive player they want in the draft. For a team that truly needs help on that side of the ball, it’s a blessing.

Kiper has four quarterbacks going in the first four picks, one of them via a trade up. He then has Cincinnati picking tight end Kyle Pitts at #5, then there is a run of three straight wide receivers brining us to pick #9.

That pick belongs to Denver, who until a few days ago, was thought to be interested in drafting a cornerback. But after signing Kyle Fuller, they may not go in that direction. Instead, in this draft, they trade out with Minnesota who jumps into the ninth sport to take Penei Sewell, the top-rated offensive tackle.

That is very close to Dallas having to choose between a defensive player, and a big-time offensive tackle talent that should, by all rights, be going earlier in the draft. There are other scenarios where a similar thing happens but it is Kyle Pitts who falls down the board.

The Cowboys may end up having their choice of any defensive player they want in the draft, but they may also have to weigh that against an offensive talent that has fallen and might be the best player available. If another quarterback or other surprise offensive player creeps into the top nine picks, that could be a scenario Dallas faces.