Welcome to the 2022 NFL Draft season! Now that the Dallas Cowboys have been eliminated from the playoff the focus suddenly shifts to the moves that can be made in the offseason, both in free agency and the draft. It’s the latter of which that we will focus on today.
With the handy-dandy mock draft machine from The Draft Network, we will attempt to fix and hopefully upgrade the Dallas Cowboys roster. While all of this is in good fun, it is important to remember that it still way too early to predict anything with any kind accuracy because of all of the different variables that had to be completed first. But, these exercises are still fun and entertaining nonetheless.
(This mock uses the rankings from The Draft Network for each player. Rankings will surely change as draft season rolls on, but this is how they have them today.)
Round 1, Pick 24 - EDGE Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
From being buried on the depth chart at Georgia to starting at Florida State after transferring, Jermaine Johnson has worked himself into first-round consideration in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6’5”, 265-pound EDGE rusher is a potential replacement if the Cowboys choose not to re-sign Randy Gregory. He may not have Gregory’s natural bend, athleticism, or ankle flexion, but few players do. What Johnson does have though is his stoutness against the run and his ability to convert speed into power as a pass rusher. He possesses all the tools necessary to be a successful every down player at the next level.
Round 2, Pick 56 - IOL Zion Johnson, Boston College
The Cowboys had a problem throughout the 2021 season at the left guard position. Neither Connor Williams or Connor McGovern played particularly well, which leaves a void to fill for next season. The solution, draft Zion Johnson and call it a day. He is a perfect fit at LG and would immediately help stabilize the interior of the Cowboys OL for years to come. At 6’3”, 316-pounds, the former Boston College OG is tailor-made to play in a zone blocking scheme. He is a smart and physical blocker who plays with consistent technique. Because of that, he would be a welcomed addition if added to the Cowboys OL next year.
Round 3, Pick 88 - LB JoJo Domann, Nebraska
With Leighton Vander Esch most likely moving on in free agency, and a decision to be made on Keanu Neal, the Cowboys could suddenly find themselves pretty thin at the linebacker position. Other than Micah Parsons and maybe Jabril Cox, depending on how he rebounds from his season-ending injury, the cupboard is pretty bare behind them. With a player like JoJo Domann, the lack of depth becomes much less of a concern. Domann, a former safety turned linebacker, is arguably the best coverage LB in the entire 2022 draft class. He can cover tight ends or running backs with the fluidity of a safety in space.
Round 4, Pick 125 - WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State
Christian Watson is flying a little bit under the radar right now, but as the draft process continues to progress people will likely start hearing his name with more regularity. The 6’5”, 208-pound wide receiver would be a great addition to the Cowboys passing game. He has the speed to take the top off of defenses vertically and the ball skills to win those ever important 50/50 catches.. He’s also sneaky good picking up yards after the catch. With the Cowboys he can be utilized as a big slot WR or lined up on the outside. Because of that he would provide a little more versatility as a potential Michael Gallup replacement.
Round 5, Pick 165 - S Bryan Cook, Cincinnati
Other than Donovan Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys don’t have much proven depth at the safety position besides the players who are free agents (Damontae Kazee, Malik Hooker, Jayron Kearse). That will likely change when free agency gets underway, but even that shouldn’t exclude them from using some draft capital on the position. With that in mind, Bryan Cook is a player they could consider targeting on Day 3. He is a versatile player who played in the box, in the slot, and as a deep safety at Cincinnati in 2021. He may not be an immediate day-one impact player at the position, but he has the tools and skill set to develop into a starter in the not-too-distant future, perhaps as a rookie.
Round 5, Pick 174 - TE Cole Turner, Nevada
With Dalton Schultz and maybe even Blake Jarwin’s futures in Dallas hanging in the balance, finding a suitable tight end replacement could be in the cards at some point in the 2022 NFL Draft for the Cowboys. Cole Turner, a wide receiver turned tight end, is an intriguing Day 3 prospect who isn’t being talked up enough among this year’s TE draft class. At 6’6”, 240, Turner is a type of mismatch TE teams are starting to covet in the NFL. He’s a good route-runner with speed to win deep and a natural hands-catcher. He’s also proven to be a pretty big threat in the red zone due to his size and catch radius.
Round 6, Pick 201 - WR Tre Turner, Virginia Tech
Drafting Tre Turner with the last of the Dallas Cowboys draft picks was all about value in this particular mock draft, but quite possibly a necessary one even though it’s double-dipping at the position. Other than Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys don’t have any other proven depth heading into 2022 unless they re-sign one fo their free agents. The former Virginia Tech WR would change all that. At 6’2”, 190, he’s another versatile player who could play either on the outside or in the slot for the Cowboys. He has natural hands, outstanding body control, and terrific ball skills. He possesses the talent and skill set to compete for a contributing role.