Sadly, it is already mock draft season for the Dallas Cowboys. That’s what happens when you bomb out of the NFL playoffs in the first round. The bitter taste of that defeat still lingers, but at least there is the promise of the draft coming in a few months.
Obviously so much can happen between now and then, including free agent signings and the NFL Combine. So what we believe are good picks now, may not make sense once the draft roils around. Still, there is some entertainment value in speculations, so let’s speculate.
Rather, let’s see what two respected mock drafters are speculating.
24. Dallas Cowboys — Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
Left guard Connor Williams, who probably played his final game in Dallas on Saturday, was a liability for most of the Cowboys’ wild-card game, and the 49ers took advantage. Although Green played predominantly at left guard for the Aggies, he also logged starts at left tackle, right tackle and right guard in 2021 and would give Dallas a versatile blocker who can fill in at several positions if needed.
This is one of those more substance-than-sizzle moves the Cowboys may need to make. Picking a guard in the draft doesn’t exactly light up the fanbase like a pass rusher, quarterback, or some other glamour position. But with the way the Cowboys line performed down the stretch, it may be a necessary move to help build a better football team.
Connor Williams is a free agent and the Cowboys are not likely going to overpay to keep him. In fact, they may have tipped their hand on this issue when they benched Williams mid-season and tried to get Connor McGovern to take over the job. That didn’t exactly work out, but they may be able to accomplish it with a rookie in the draft.
In the second round, Brugler has the Cowboys taking Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker. This is a need that hasn’t been talked about much, but the Cowboys have three safeties who played significant reps hitting free agency. Damontae Kazee, Malik Hooker, and Jayron Kerase. Out of the three, Kearse had the best season is probably the bigger priority to re-sign. So they will need some more safety help with only Donovan Wilson assured of coming back. Here is a little on Brisker.
At 6’1″, 204 pounds, Brisker has a long, compact frame. And within that frame, he has many of the desired athletic traits. Brisker is a twitchy athlete who can change directions quickly. He’s an exceptionally smooth mover with loose hips and light feet. Additionally, he’s a great lateral athlete. The Penn State product can sink his hips into direction changes and divert course with little delay. Brisker has shown he can flip his hips while backpedaling as well.
Daniel Jeremiah also tossed out a mock draft and his pick brings up an interesting situation.
Pick 24 Dallas Cowboys
SELECTION: Nakobe Dean, LB
Dean is one of my favorite players in the 2022 class. He oozes instincts and playmaking. However, his lack of ideal size (6-0, 225) will probably cause him to drop a little bit. Landing Dean this low would be a steal for the Cowboys. It would free them up to use All-Pro Micah Parsons more on the edge as a pass rusher.
Nakobe Dean just came off winning the National Championship with Georgia. If the Cowboys selected him, that would be a clear signal that they are moving Micah Parsons to defensive end. Dean could take over the role of off-the-ball linebacker. How the Cowboys approach free agency and the whether they re-sign Randy Gregory (and/or Dorance Armstrong), or whether they go out and get a veteran linebacker or two could tell us a lot about their plans for Parsons in 2022.