Coaches, just like everyone else, have certain players they like above others each year in the NFL Draft. It’s only natural to have personal favorites, players you would pound the table for if you could on “Draft Day”. Opinions will vary of course, which makes it all the more interesting to discuss.
Today, we’re going to identify and predict one offensive player at each position who could be labeled as Mike McCarthy “guys” (earlier on Tuesday we took a look at targets that Dan Quinn could prefer). Taking on a new role as the offensive coordinator this year McCarthy will want to have players he believes fits his system better, which is the premises behind this entire exercise.
QB - Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
Whether it’s a draft pick or a priority free agent, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to add a developmental quarterback to the roster out of the 2023 draft class this offseason. Of potential late-round hopefuls, former UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, could be labeled as a Mike McCarthy “guy”. Although he’s built more like a receiver (6’2”, 203), he’s proven to be a superb athlete with an NFL caliber arm. He possesses all of the tools to develop into a solid QB2 in the not-too-distant future.
RB - Kendre Miller, TCU
Kendre Miller is less of a prediction as one of McCarthy’s “guys” and more of a confirmation. It definitely sounds as if the Dallas Cowboys have their sights set on drafting him in the 2023 NFL Draft. Projected as a late third- or early fourth-round pick makes him a target for the Cowboys with the 90th or 129th overall picks. The former TCU RB has the makings to be a three-down back in the NFL, but until then would complement Tony Pollard nicely.
Per Bobby Belt on 105.3 The Fan:
“They like Kendre Miller, the running back out of TCU. He did not test this week at the combine. He’ll test at his pro day, I believe at the end of this month. But the Cowboys are fans of his. (He’s) 5’11, 215 (pounds). Last year, he rushed for almost 1,400 yards, six yards per carry, 17 touchdowns,” Belt said Thursday on Shan and RJ. “He’s got size, can really work as a complete back for the Cowboys. That’s somebody that they definitely have interest in. In fact, I was told, while they didn’t meet at the combine with him, they’ve got a private workout scheduled with him over the next several weeks.”
WR - Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
While the Dallas Cowboys haven’t publicly shown a lot of love for Marvin Mims, he is a local prospect who will take part in “Dallas Day” according to Bobby Belt. He’s a three-level threat with legit speed (4.38 40-yard dash), who is not too dissimilar from the WR they recently traded for, Brandin Cooks. On average Mike McCarthy has typically targeted WRs who are around 6’1”, 204 pounds with 4.4 speed, and while Mims falls a little short of that threshold, he’s close enough to still be one of his “guys”.
TE - Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan
Luke Schoonmaker has already had a formal meeting with the Dallas Cowboys at the Combine and makes a lot of sense as a Mike McCarthy “guy”. McCarthy has previously stated he plans on running the ball more and it just so happens the former Michigan TE is one of the best blockers, whether in-line or split out, in the entire 2023 draft class. Not only that, he has untapped potential as a threat in the passing game and proved to be more athletic than expected at the Combine.
Luke Schoonmaker is a TE prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.75 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 26 out of 1020 TE from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/Jd1VNkpNhF #RAS pic.twitter.com/chng7ofvKI— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2023
iOL - Steve Avila, TCU
When it comes to versatility along the interior of the offensive line, Steve Avila is arguably the best and most productive in the entire 2023 draft class. He is a plug-and-play starter at either center or guard from Day 1 as a rookie. The Cowboys need more depth and possible starters at both positions. He could be the long-term solution at LG starting this year or potentially replace Tyler Biadasz in 2024 when he becomes a free agent. That kind of versatility could prove to be invaluable the way the Cowboys OL is currently constructed.
Most teams view TCU’s Steve Avila as OG but he’d bring unique size & strength to OC spot.— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 14, 2023
330-lber is good OC option for teams w/ undersized QBs who need deep pocket. Makes sense Round 2 for team that picks Bryce Young.
Avila is a wall in pass pro. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/Rc8OleRY2Q
OT - Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
It wouldn’t be all that surprising if Mike McCarthy pounds the table for a plug-and-play offensive tackle early on in the 2023 NFL Draft. The unknown future for both Tyron Smith and Terence Steele opens up the door for that happening. The former Oklahoma blindside protector, Anton Harrison, is someone the Dallas Cowboys have already shown an interest in and had a formal meeting with at the Combine. He checks all the boxes and could be in play for them at No. 26 the first-round.