Until the first-round of the 2022 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 28, we will be forced to live in the land of hypotheticals. That’s all these mock draft are, but fun to read and analyze nonetheless. Today, we’re going to take a look at PFF’s latest two-round mock draft to dissect who they decided to select for the Dallas Cowboys.
No Power Five interior defensive lineman earned a higher PFF grade in 2021. Wyatt also earned a grade above 80.0 both against the run and as a pass-rusher — something no other player at the position in the Power Five accomplished.
The former Georgia Bulldog was the most impactful interior defender in the Power Five. That carried through the Senior Bowl, where he led all at the position in win rate during the one-on-ones.
Georgia DI Devonte Wyatt with a cross chop rip vs former teammate Justin Shaffer.— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) February 4, 2022
Wyatt was right there with FSU edge Jermaine Johnson II for best defensive player in @seniorbowl practices. pic.twitter.com/MC4qNeuNiB
While upgrading the defensive front could be a priority for the Cowboys, the position almost never gets addressed this early. The last time the Cowboys drafted a first-round DT was over 30 years ago when they selected Russell Maryland first overall in the 1991 NFL Draft. Maybe, just maybe, Devonte Wyatt is the player to end the drought.
Wyatt is arguably the best DT in the 2022 draft class, although many prefer his Bulldogs teammate Jordan Davis. For the Cowboys, Wyatt would be a great addition to their defensive line. He can play any DT position and is the kind of impact player against both the pass and run they haven’t had in decades.
In the second-round of PFF’s mock draft, they further reinforce the Cowboys trenches by selecting former Kentucky Wildcats offensive lineman Darrian Kinnard.
Kinnard is a tackle-to-guard convert who can immediately provide value in the run game. He posted run-block grades of 89.1, 91.9 and 91.8 in his three years starting at the collegiate level. He may take some time to develop into starter level, but Dallas can afford to take that on.
Much like Connor Williams did when the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the second-round out of the University of Texas, Darrian Kinnard will be asked to make the transition from collegiate left tackle to left guard, which is believed to be his best position at the NFL level. At 6’5”, 345-pounds, the former Wildcats LT would definitely beef up the interior of the Cowboys offensive line.
Landing Darrian Kinnard at No. 56 should probably be viewed as another home run hit for the Cowboys. His position flex is definitely something Dallas places a value on and his ability to slide into the starting role at LG for Connor Williams from Day 1 should make him an immediate impact player. And in time, if he proves himself worthy, he could be Tyron Smith’s eventual replacement at left tackle.
Overall, landing both Devonte Wyatt and Darrian Kinnard in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft would not only give the Dallas Cowboys two immediate impact players, but also address positions of need to the roster. However they decide to use the remainder of their seven draft picks could just be the cherry on top if this is indeed the way things play out.