The Dallas Cowboys have a reputation to uphold. With free agency being business as usual in terms of Cowboys inactivity, the team will turn to April’s draft to do the heavy lifting of the roster building. However, with just one top 50 pick this year, the team finds themselves in a tough spot as they have to pick late in each round of the draft.
The team does have some extra draft capital later thanks to the Amari Cooper trade and a couple of compensatory picks. In all, the Cowboys have a total of six picks on Day 3 (a 4th, four 5th’s, and a 6th) ranging from 129 to 193. That’s a lot of darts, and considering their early draft capital isn’t all that great, the team really needs to come through with a couple of hits on Day 3. With that in mind, here are four potential sleepers on the offensive side of the ball who have some intriguing upside.
Note: Average draft rank courtesy of NFL Mock Draft Database
OT Max Mitchell, Lousiana-Lafayette (Average draft rank: 103)
While this draft class offers some premier talent early, the Cowboys are likely to miss out on all the top offensive tackles. There are some good players sprinkled within other rounds and that trickles down to Day 3. Of the later-round choices, Max Mitchell is a player who would fit the Cowboys nicely.
Explosive off the snap, Mitchell gets to his spot quickly and uses his hands well to fend off blockers. Similar to Josh Ball (who was also selected on Day 3), Mitchell is surprisingly nimble for a guy of his size. He does have happy feet and doesn’t anchor as well as Ball, but his quickness makes him a strong zone-run blocker. Adding him to the mix could give the Cowboys some good competition for the swing tackle job.
OG Marquis Hayes, Oklahoma (Average draft rank: 119)
Marquis Hayes is packed with so many intriguing qualities. He’s a smart player who is very alert at the point of attack. He plays with a good base, drives his feet well, and does a good job keeping his defender close to him. And he’s a violent hand-striker who shows great competitive toughness.
He does play a bit upright and his footwork needs to be refined, but Hayes is a player who wouldn’t need all that much development to become an NFL starter along the offensive line.
WR Romeo Doubs, Nevada (Average draft rank: 136)
It might seem like the Cowboys would seek out a complementary wide receiver with a specific set of skills to go with CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. Maybe a little rascal speedster to take the top off the defense? Nevada’s Romeo Doubs isn’t a small shifty receiver who can maneuver through space, but he does have some pretty impressive speed that makes him a huge deep threat.
And he’s not a one-trick pony. He also is a solid route-runner who uses his strong hands to snare 50/50 balls. He possesses good body control and has a nice catch radius. He even has punt returner experience which could come in handy considering Cedrick Wilson is gone and CeeDee Lamb is now the team’s no. 1 receiver (and probably shouldn’t be returning too many punts). The team got incredible value when they drafted Wilson on Day 3 and could very well do it again this year with such a deep wide receiver class.
TE Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin (Average draft rank: 157)
This spot in the article had been reserved for Washington’s Cade Otton as he was one of my favorite potential draft-day values. Watching his tape was like watching Dalton Schultz. But now, the Cowboys don’t need a Schultz-clone because they’re keeping the original. That leads me to prefer a pass-catcher to pair with Schultz, and that’s exactly what Jake Ferguson is.
Possessing some of the best hands in this tight end draft class, Ferguson has a very good catch radius and has a knack for making difficult catches. He’s not a great route-runner, but he’s solid. He’s not a great blocker, but he’s solid. He’s a smart player who was moved around a lot pre-snap to keep defenses thinking. Ferguson’s draft stock seemed to dip a bit as some of the more athletic tight ends impressed more at the combine, but his tape does a lot of talking and he could be a nice Day 3 steal for a team that needs help at the position.