The Dallas Cowboys decided to stand pat in the first-round of the 2022 NFL Draft and watched as things played out in front of them with the first 23 picks. In so doing, they saw both the top-rated offensive guards get drafted early and nearly all of the wide receivers projected to go in the first round. So what do they do? They went with Plan B.
With the 24th pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys selected Tyler Smith, offensive tackle, Tulsa.
Dane Brugler’s thoughts on Tyler Smith:
A three-year starter at Tulsa, Smith lined up at left tackle in head coach Philip Montgomery’s up-tempo smashmouth spread. One of the youngest players in the draft (and has only been playing on the offensive line for five years), he earned the starting left tackle job in 2020 and earned All-AAC honors each of the last two seasons. With his size, movement skills and physical brand of football, Smith is the type of young talent ideal for drafting and developing at the right price. However, he relies too much on his aggression, and his chaotic timing and technique lead to balance issues. Overall, Smith is incredibly raw, but he has the play strength and physical traits to get significantly better with technical and mental development. There is a sizable gap between where he is now and his ceiling as a potential NFL starter and will require a patient coaching staff ready for a project.
24. Dallas Cowboys: C
Tyler Smith no doubt has the intangibles to develop into a starting caliber offensive lineman, but it’s hard to give a higher grade for the selection due to the positional value and the fact there were higher-rated players still on the board who probably would’ve made a more immediate impact.
Joe Philbin, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach, and the rest of the coaching staff now have to figure out how to get Tyler Smith up to speed quickly and improve his overall technique/fundamentals, especially considering he is more than likely facing a position switch from left tackle to left guard.
My guess is that Tyler Smith will compete for the LG spot from the jump. With maybe an idea that he can bump out to tackle in the future if need be.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) April 29, 2022
The back half of the first is basically a jumble of guys with 2nd round grades, and the Cowboys combo of grade + need won out.
Having said all of that though, Smith does fill one of the Dallas Cowboys biggest roster needs along the offensive line. He will be expected to kick inside to LG at first, but could develop into Tyron Smith’s eventual replacement in the not-too-distant future.
Overall, this is a talented player with a pretty high ceiling if he can continue to develop his game at the next level. It may have been a bit of a reach by the Dallas Cowboys to select him with the 24th overall pick, but they only have themselves to blame after not addressing the position earlier in the pre-draft process via free agency.