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2023 NFL Mock Draft roundup: Bryan Bresee, Calijah Kancey, and Steve Avila all connected to Cowboys

NFL Draft experts are focusing on the trenches for the Dallas Cowboys.

Capital One Orange Bowl - Clemson v Tennessee Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

There is less than a month to go until the 2023 NFL Draft and certain names are starting to make more sense for the Dallas Cowboys than they may have otherwise early on in the process.

Obviously the Cowboys have done a great job of positioning themselves for the draft with how they have handled themselves in free agency and as we have noted many times that has left them in a position where they can truly take the best player available to them. Simply put this is the most ideal scenario.

But this also casts the widest net in terms of possibilities for the team which makes predicting what they are going to do all the more difficult, never mind the fact that there are all sorts of permutations as far as what can happen during the 25 picks in front of them.

Nevertheless the mock drafts roll on and the latest batch have a bit of a theme at the top for the Cowboys... some help for the trenches. ‘s Bucky Brooks has mocked Clemson DT Bryan Bresee to the Cowboys

It remains impossible to believe that the Cowboys could consider drafting a defensive tackle in the first round given that they have not done so in over 30 years. Many factors related to the team have changed since then, but 30 years is 30 years (which we full well know for other unfortunate reasons).

But if we are talking about Dallas selecting the best available player then it is highly possible that Clemson’s Bryan Bresee will be it when the Cowboys are on the clock for the first time.’s Bucky Brooks has Dallas taking him in his latest mock.

Pick 26

Dallas Cowboys

Bryan Bresee

Clemson · DT · Sophomore (RS)

If Cowboys coordinator Dan Quinn loves athletic defensive tackles with heavy hands and ballerina-like feet, Bresee could be in play here. The Clemson product is a talented interior defender with amazing tools that could help him blossom into a star as a pro.

At present time defensive tackle remains the only position that the Cowboys have yet to really address in some way. There seems to still be a heartbeat on the idea of Johnathan Hankins and/or Carlos Watkins returning, but until they are back they obviously are not.

One aspect of interest with mock drafts is always who the mocker passed in slotting a player to a team (in this case the Cowboys). For what it’s worth the next five players off the board in order were Jordan Addison, Dalton Kincaid, Michael Mayer, Mazi Smith and Adetomiwa Adebawore who are all players that could make their own bit of sense.

ESPN’s Jordan Reid has the Cowboys selecting Calijah Kancey and Steve Avila in the first two rounds

Until the Cowboys address defensive tackle in some fashion they are going to be connected to the top names in the class. Clearly there is a case to be made that they should be connected to them regardless.

Brooks’ mock draft dropped on Tuesday but Wednesday saw ESPN’s Jordan Reid release one for every single pick in the draft. Reid notably assigned Calijah Kancey and Steve Avila to Dallas in the first two rounds.

26. Dallas Cowboys

Calijah Kancey, IDL, Pittsburgh

The Cowboys have had an active offseason with the emphasis around adding proven players to the roster. They filled their needs at cornerback and wide receiver, and their biggest deficiencies remain in the trenches. Although they have a loaded depth chart at edge rusher, they lack a game-changer along the interior. Kancey would immediately change their ability to get after the passer. His electric first step, quick hands and ability to generate pressure are areas Dallas lacks. He had 14 sacks over the past two seasons.

58. Dallas Cowboys

Steve Avila, IOL, TCU

The Cowboys might have an opening at left guard, depending where 2022 first-rounder Tyler Smith ends up. Avila has experience at all three interior spots. A durable and strong blocker, he fits the mold of what the Cowboys have gravitated toward in previous years.

The first few picks after Dallas’ first-rounder were not quite the same as in Bucky Brooks’ mock, but it is worth mentioning that Bryan Bresee made it all the way down to the Philadelphia Eagles. Dalton Kincaid fell out of the first round entirely.

But the trenches are an obvious theme here and it is not difficult to understand why. If the Cowboys walked away from the first two rounds with Kancey and Avila they would have immediate impact players that could serve as a part of their core moving forward and help transition beyond the current nucleus that they have.

If you are curious, Reid has the Los Angeles Chargers selecting Bijan Robinson in the first round, but he also has the Cowboys addressing their future at running back with their very next pick.

90. Dallas Cowboys

Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA

With Ezekiel Elliott released, Dallas needs to find a bigger running back to spell Tony Pollard in spurts. Charbonnet is a tough and determined runner who is dependable as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. He averaged 7.0 yards per carry for the Bruins and caught 37 passes for 321 yards last season.

Charbonnet would be a fantastic “consolation prize” for not landing Robinson and again would give the Cowboys a bridge to a future beyond Tony Pollard.

While each of these picks makes sense in their own way this mock does not have the Cowboys addressing wide receiver, tight end or cornerback in the top 100 and there are arguments to be made that they can/should. They do ultimately take a tight end according to Reid, in fact with their next pick but no corner or receiver at any point.

129. Dallas Cowboys: Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State

169. Dallas Cowboys: Jerrod Clark, IDL, Coastal Carolina

212. Dallas Cowboys: Clayton Tune, QB, Houston

244. Dallas Cowboys: Micah Baskerville, LB, LSU

The Cowboys have been very outspoken about wanting to select a quarterback in this year’s draft and Day 3 obviously makes the most sense for that. It would be difficult to see them not getting any help at receiver, but beyond the Brandin Cooks trade they do still have Jalen Tolbert entering his second year which could yield something.

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