We are almost one month away from the 2023 NFL Draft and the Dallas Cowboys are acting like they are not taking any chances for the time in between.
Since the legal tampering period began across the NFL last week we have seen the Cowboys pull all sorts of things off that surprised us. Maybe this was partly due to an exaggerated memory of how inactive they have been in recent seasons, but whatever the case our team is moving and grooving and that is worth celebrating.
While each move that Dallas has made so far this offseason has served to strengthen their roster they have also checked another box; the Cowboys are addressing their needs before the draft gets here. Every year the Cowboys tell us how they want to draft the best available player and as a result of their work to this point they will in all likelihood be able to do just that.
This is obviously a good thing in the overall but it makes predicting what direction that the Cowboys will go just a bit more difficult. If you don’t need anything then what do you really want (measured with a touch of need of course)? What will even be available to you?
The latest round of mock drafts have the Cowboys going defensive line
As far as the Cowboys are concerned Tuesday was a pretty busy day full of all sorts of activity. They brought back both Rico Dowdle and Dante Fowler plus finally got on the board in terms of veteran free agent signings with Chuma Edoga and Ronald Jones. Again, all good things in their own ways.
But Tuesday also brought with it the latest batch of mock drafts from experts in the industry. We have sampled two here and both of them have Dallas going defensive line.
First up is ESPN’s Mel Kiper. It should be noted that in this mock both Bijan Robinson and Darnell Washington were still on the board (they went the next two picks after Dallas) as far as names that a lot of people often discuss with the Cowboys.
26. Dallas Cowboys
Adetomiwa Adebawore, DE, Northwestern
You might remember Adebawore from his performance at the NFL combine, where he ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at 282 pounds, putting up the fastest time of any player over 280 pounds at the combine since at least 2006, according to ESPN Stats & Information. I wrote at the time that he was going to rise, and he’s likely going in Round 1 now. He wasn’t super productive in college — 9.5 sacks since 2021 — but his talent is undeniable. Adebawore played about 75% of his snaps at defensive end, but he could move inside at the next level and work as a 3-technique tackle.
For the Cowboys, we know defensive coordinator Dan Quinn values versatility, and Adebawore could get reps all over the line. DeMarcus Lawrence turns 31 this offseason, and they need to keep adding young players to their rotation.
It is certainly true that Dan Quinn loves players who can do multiple things and he has shown in his time commanding the Cowboys defense that he is unafraid to use that kind of skillset in multiple spots. Is Adetomiwa Adebawore the name that makes sense, though? There have not been a lot of people mocking him to the Cowboys so far, but you never know.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah went a bit of a different direction. Bijan Robinson was long gone, but Darnell Washington was still there here as well, again just for some context.
26. Dallas Cowboys
Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
Smith has generated a lot of buzz in personnel circles for his combination of athleticism and power. His best football is ahead of him and he’d fill a need in Dallas.
Mazi Smith has impressed a lot of people with his athletic profile, so much so that he came in at number one on Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List” over at The Athletic. A combination of speed and power along the interior of a defensive line that has all sorts of outside pass rushers sounds pretty incredible on paper.
Again, we still have a little over a month to go until it is time for teams to select players, but it is always interesting to see who the top experts have the Cowboys taking.
We will see.