The 2022 NFL Draft is less than a week away so it’s finally time for me to do a mock draft. This year, I’m taking it a step further and addressing a different position with each one of the Cowboys' nine picks.
Is it what the team is likely to do? Probably not, but for this exercise, it will be fun to spread the love a bit. In the mock I am offering up my personal favorite for the pick, as well as a prediction of who the Cowboys will actually pick.
In ROUND 1 (pick 24) the Dallas Cowboys select...
G Zion Johnson, Boston College
Zion has an ideal frame with great strength and athleticism. His body control is fantastic as he is constantly repositioning himself. There is no wasted movement with this guy and he’s quick to be in the right place at the right time. Getting a smart, fundamentally sound player who has all the athletic traits to be a star at the position would be a great way to kick off the Cowboys' draft.
G Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
Johnson is higher on my board, but if he gets swept up right underneath the Cowboys, then Green is a nice consolation prize. He’s super fast out of his stance, plays wide, and shows good body control. He’s got a lot of pop in his hands and has excellent lower bend to be able to anchor on a dime. He also plays with a bit of a mean streak.
We all expect the Cowboys to come away with a guard in round one, so let’s not over-complicate things.
In ROUND 2 (pick 56) the Dallas Cowboys select...
LB Christian Harris, Alabama
Closing my eyes and envisioning a Trevon Diggs-like second-round steal brings visions of Harris. Yes, they both played at Alabama, and like Diggs, Harris is one of a handful of linebackers expected to go in round two after the consensus top two picks come off the board. Harris is a fast attacker who can do a lot of things, and pairing him with the hybrid linebacker/edge rusher Micah Parsons would be fantastic for the Cowboys' defense.
LB Quay Walker, Georgia
Some say that Walker is the best Georgia linebacker in this draft class, and that is quite the statement considering he was only a one-year starter at Georgia. However, his length and athleticism have allowed him to put some pretty impressive moments on tape, even if it’s not that plentiful. There’s some high upside with this one.
There are talks about the Cowboys going linebacker at pick 24, but they can find a reliable starter just the same if they wait a bit.
We did a bit of a war room simulation on the latest episode of The Star Seminar on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
In ROUND 3 (pick 88) the Dallas Cowboys select...
WR Alec Pierce, Cincinnati
This is more an infatuation pick than a realistic outcome. The Cowboys have met with Pierce so it’s nice to see him on their radar, but he’s too early to reach for at 56 and might be off the board at 88. If he’s there, he could end up being a Michael Gallup-like third-round score. Pierce runs fast, has good size, and his ball skills allow him to come away with some big plays.
WR Khalil Shakir, Boise State
Shakir should be more of a fourth-round target, but if the Cowboys find the wide receivers start flying off the board, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to pull the trigger. Shakir is not a savvy route-runner, but he has great quickness and he would be a fun toy in this offense. He is dangerous with the ball in his hands.
The Cowboys may go earlier at wide receiver, but there are some good players who could be lingering in round three to justify addressing other positions first.
In ROUND 4 (pick 129) the Dallas Cowboys select...
TE Cade Otton, Washington
Even fans of Dalton Schultz should recognize that if the Cowboys somehow come away with Otton in this draft, they might be able to replicate Schultz’s exact contribution at a much cheaper cost. Otton is a very good in-line blocker who is an effective (but not flashy) route-runner. He’s got nice hands and should waste no time being a reliable target for Dak Prescott.
TE Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin
It’s hard to understand why Ferguson is so low in the rankings as all the Wisconsin tight end does is make tough catches. Not only does he pull some throws out of the dirt, but he also makes a valiant effort as a blocker, enabling him to stay on the field on running downs. The Cowboys may have desired a different tight end in this draft, but settling for Ferguson isn’t the worst thing.
Round four could be the sweet spot for Dallas to target a tight end, but which players would ultimately still be available.
In ROUND 5 (pick 155) the Dallas Cowboys select...
EDGE Tyreke Smith, Ohio State
Smith has a multitude of athletic traits that offer some nice upside, but unfortunately, health hasn’t allowed him to build on his skillset. He’s quick off the snap, shows nice footwork, and is an impressive hand fighter. He’d be a development guy, but he’s one of the few players this late in the draft that has this high of a ceiling.
EDGE Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma
It’s hard to believe that Thomas has the most sacks for the Sooners over the last two years when Nik Bonitto was on the other side, but that’s the case. Thomas is not twitched up, but he uses his power very well and knows all the intricacies of getting through the line. There may be limitations to what he can ultimately do, but he has the skills to be a contributing rotational pass rusher.
This is a deep class for edge rushers and there are still some quality contributors available on Day 3.
In ROUND 5 (pick 167) the Dallas Cowboys select...
CB Akayleb Evans, Missouri
The Cowboys are very particular about the make-up of their corners, but Evans looks like a match. He’s got good size at 6’2” but also has 4.46 speed. His length combined with great acceleration when closing makes him a sneaky good corner selection on Day 3.
CB Jaylen Watson, Washington State
Similar to Evans, Watson is a lengthy corner with good speed. He doesn’t have nearly the experience as Evans, but that all the more makes him an enticing option as he is still growing at the position. He’s a physical corner who loves to attack. Give him some time under Dan Quinn’s tutelage and the Cowboys could find themselves good depth at a cheap draft cost.
The Cowboys know what they want in a corner and there are a few guys late in the draft who fit the bill.
In ROUND 5 (pick 176) the Dallas Cowboys select...
S Dane Belton, Iowa
Belton has impressive ball production and the meat and potatoes of his success rests on his superb instincts. He has good speed and is a solid athlete, but can be a little rigid at times. He doesn’t have great upside, but he’s a baller and could end up being a contributing depth guy sooner versus later.
S JT Woods, Baylor
How about a tall, speedy ball-hawker roaming the secondary? Woods isn’t always the quickest responding to the scene, but his nine picks over the last two seasons speak to what he’s capable of. He’s got some work to do, but you have to love his traits and how he’s a magnet to the football.
While there are quality safeties on Day 2, the Cowboys just haven’t shown a desire to invest that early at the position.
In ROUND 5 (pick 178) the Dallas Cowboys select...
OT Vederian Lowe, Illinois
Lowe is a mature player who has shown the ability to be a reliable blocker, starting 52 games for the Fighting Illini. He sets a wide base, moves his feet well, and displays good fight in his hands. The Cowboys love to find gem tackles under rocks and if they want to do it again, Lowe might be the way to go.
OT Dare Rosenthal, Kentucky
Going the other direction, the Cowboys may choose to roll the dice. Last year, they took a chance on Josh Ball despite some character concerns and they may choose to do it again with Rosenthal. After some trouble at LSU, he put together a good season last year with Kentucky and has raised eyebrows. He’s a strong player who can move opponents, and while this pick comes with risk, he could be an interesting development project.
The Cowboys love finding sleeper offensive linemen in the draft.
In ROUND 6 (pick 193) the Dallas Cowboys select...
RB Ty Chandler, North Carolina
A top-level, bang-for-your-buck draft prospect, Chandler is a get-up-and-go type of running back. He’s a patient runner who can get skinny and shows nice burst through the lanes. He also has speed to create big plays. He can catch passes, doesn’t put the ball on the turf, and can even be utilized in the kicking game. For a player who will be drafted late, he has a lot to offer.
RB Hassan Haskins, Michigan
If the Cowboys are looking for a productive ball carrier who could fall down the ranks, Haskins could be that guy. He doesn’t have great athleticism, but he runs with a lot of control, powers through tackles, and always seems to finish with extra yards. At this late in the draft he’d be good value.
The Cowboys are going to need some new running backs eventually, but when will they start addressing the position? They may dabble a bit this year, but it won’t be early.