The 2023 NFL Combine has come and gone, and teams across the league have had a chance to get an up close look at several of the top prospects in this upcoming draft. We’ve also had a chance to form educated guesses as to which positions (and players) various teams are targeting. With that in mind, here is a full seven-round mock draft featuring several players the Cowboys appear to be targeting.
Note: this mock draft includes current projections for compensatory picks, which have not been announced yet. As such, parts of this draft order are subject to change.
1. Indianapolis Colts (from CHI): Bryce Young, QB - Alabama
*** MOCK TRADE***
CHI gets: 2023 1st (4th overall), 2023 3rd (79th overall), 2023 5th (140th overall), 2023 7th (223rd overall), 2024 1st
IND gets: 2023 1st (1st overall), 2023 7th (220th overall)
The Bears are almost guaranteed to trade out of this spot, and the Colts are desperate to draft a quarterback after spending so many years trying various veteran options that largely haven’t panned out. Owner Jim Irsay hasn’t hidden his admiration for Bryce Young, and the Colts offer up what it takes to land him here.
2. Houston Texans: Will Levis, QB - Kentucky
The Texans will get plenty of criticism for this pick, but Will Levis is a great fit for Houston’s new offensive coordinator, who comes from the 49ers and the Kyle Shanahan School of Offense. That’s what Levis is familiar with, having played for a Shanahan disciple in each of his last two coordinators at Kentucky. Plus, Levis has the raw talent to turn into a star at the next level, provided he develops properly.
*** MOCK TRADE***
AZ gets: 2023 1st (9th overall), 2023 2nd (61st overall), 2023 3rd (93rd overall), 2023 5th round (147th overall), 2024 1st, 2024 4th, 2024 6th
CAR gets: 2023 1st (3rd overall), 2023 3rd round (96th overall), 2023 6th (180th overall), 2024 7th
The Panthers have a solid roster everywhere except quarterback, and new head coach Frank Reich will want a permanent answer there. If C.J. Stroud makes it past the Texans, the Panthers will do what it takes to move up and get the electric playmaker.
4. Chicago Bears (from IND): Jalen Carter, iDL - Georgia
This is likely who the Bears want the most anyway, so being able to trade down and get him anyway is a steal and a half. Jalen Carter is an elite disruptor who will fill a vital role in head coach Matt Eberflus’ defense at the 3-technique spot.
It would be a bit of a surprise to see Tyree Wilson be the first EDGE off the board, but Daniel Jeremiah has been hearing a lot of love for him around the league. And the Seahawks are a team that regularly bucks convention in the draft anyway. Wilson is still developing, but his sky-high ceiling will have the Seahawks excited.
6. Detroit Lions (from LAR): Will Anderson, EDGE - Alabama
The Lions were elated to have Aidan Hutchinson fall into their laps last year, and they get some deja vu here with Will Anderson being available at sixth overall. You can never have too much pass rush, and the Lions need help on defense anyway, so they happily take the extremely polished edge rusher here.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr., OT - Ohio State
The Raiders have a big question mark at quarterback after moving on from Derek Carr, but it seems likely they’ll seek a veteran option there with pressure to perform after Josh McDaniels’ terrible first year in Sin City. They opt to get protection for Veteran QB To Be Named Later. Paris Johnson, Jr. is the best offensive lineman in this draft, and the Raiders should be thrilled to get him.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Gonzalez, CB - Oregon
The Falcons have gone 7-10 in each of their last two seasons while in the midst of a hefty rebuild. They’re starting to look solid on offense, and might just have something in Desmond Ridder, but the defense was terrible; Atlanta has been 30th in defensive DVOA each of the last two years. Adding Christian Gonzalez, a height-weight-speed dream who has shutdown corner potential, to play opposite A.J. Terrell is a great first step towards fixing this defense.
9. Arizona Cardinals (from CAR): Devon Witherspoon, CB - Illinois
Depending on what happens with DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals could look to address the receiver position here. But they also have dire needs on defense, with just two corners under contract right now. Devon Witherspoon has the ideal skillset to fit perfectly in new head coach Jonathan Gannon’s defense.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (from NO): Calijah Kancey, iDL - Pittsburgh
If there’s one thing Eagles GM Howie Roseman loves, it’s depth on the defensive line. Both Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are pending free agents, and both are also in their early 30’s. Philadelphia just beefed up a year ago with Jordan Davis, but the athletic pass rushing presence of Calijah Kancey would restock the Eagles’ consistently stout defensive line.
11. Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski, OT - Northwestern
The Titans made the decision to cut Taylor Lewan, moving on from the oft-injured left tackle. The opportunity to draft someone like Peter Skoronski made that decision a little easier. Skoronski is highly experienced and fundamentally developed as a left tackle, and should fit nicely into the fold in Tennessee.
12. Houston Texans (from CLE): Jordan Addison, WR - USC
The Texans don’t really have many weapons at the moment, so they’ll seek one to enter the league with Levis right out of the gate. Jordan Addison, an electric athlete and polished route runner, is an ideal fit for the Shanahan offense the Texans will be running. He’s also a great weapon to throw to as well.
13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT - Georgia
The Jets have to be disappointed that both Johnson, Jr. and Skoronski are gone here, but Broderick Jones is a nice consolation prize. Jones is a physical specimen who seems to love the brutal nature of playing in the trenches. He still needs some technical refinement, but Jones’ ceiling is very high. The Jets could use his potential and attitude right now.
14. New England Patriots: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR - Ohio State
The Patriots are hoping to recapture the magic of Mac Jones’ rookie year with Bill O’Brien returning as offensive coordinator. The next step is to get Jones some weapons, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba fits that bill quite well. As the best route runner in the draft, Smith-Njigba would be a perfect fit in the O’Brien offense, making Jones’ life much easier.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from GB): Anthony Richardson, QB - Florida
*** MOCK TRADE***
GB gets: 2023 1st (19th overall), 2023 3rd (82nd overall), 2023 6th (181st overall), 2023 6th (196th overall)
TB gets: 2023 1st (15th overall), 2023 7th (234th overall), 2024 4th
There are reports that the Buccaneers are confident in Kyle Trask, currently on their roster, to be their starting quarterback going forward. That may be true, but when Tampa Bay sees Anthony Richardson - who stole the show at the combine - available this late in the first round, they move up ahead of two potential fits in the Commanders and Lions to get him. Richardson possesses all of the traits to become a star quarterback, but will need some room to grow. Getting to throw to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin with a defense like the Buccaneers is a good starting point.
16. Washington Commanders: O’Cyrus Torrence, iOL - Florida
The Commanders actually have a solid roster across the board, but quarterback and offensive line are the biggest question marks. With Washington seemingly ready to move forward with Sam Howell, and Richardson coming off the board right before this pick, they opt to upgrade the line with the powerful, NFL-ready guard O’Cyrus Torrence.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr., CB - Penn State
The Steelers need to upgrade their cornerback room, and they get an opportunity to do that while also adding a legacy player in Joey Porter, Jr. His father played linebacker for the Steelers for eight seasons and also coached there for five seasons. Pittsburgh will know everything they could want about Porter, Jr., who seems tailor-made for the Steelers defense.
18. Detroit Lions: Brian Branch, S - Alabama
Upgrading the defense has to be a priority for the Lions, and their secondary needs a lot of help. Brian Branch is a hybrid safety who spent a lot of time in the slot for the Crimson Tide, and did so at a very high level. He can fill a similar role for Detroit, who are in serious need of playmakers in the secondary.
Could it be? The Packers drafting a receiver in the first round? Yes, it is. Green Bay appears ready to transition to the Jordan Love era, so getting another big target to pair with Christian Watson is a smart idea. Quentin Johnston is a rare blend of size and speed, not unlike Watson, and would give the Packers two huge targets for their new quarterback.
20. Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE - Clemson
The Seahawks need plenty of pass rush juice, even after taking Tyree Wilson fifth overall. Myles Murphy is a bit of a project, but his potential is sky high. Seattle bets on upside all the time, and an edge rushing duo of Wilson and Murphy could be lethal in the long run.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Zay Flowers, WR - Boston College
The Chargers have several weapons for Justin Herbert, but the one thing they’re lacking is speed. Zay Flowers takes care of that, especially after posting a 4.42 40-yard dash. Flowers is much smaller than the average receiver, but his breakaway speed will present problems for a defense when Herbert is the one throwing passes to him.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE - Iowa
The Ravens have thrived on letting the draft board fall to them, and simply capitalizing on great players sliding into their lap. Lukas Van Ness is a powerful, throwback style of edge defender. That’s enough for teams to not prioritize him in the first half of this first round, but Baltimore can get a lot of production out of his skillset.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Bryan Bresee, iDL - Clemson
Bryan Bresee was one of the most touted prospects in the nation coming out of high school, but he never really capitalized on his potential at Clemson. He did, however, show off tremendous athleticism and the ability to play a wide variety of positions along the defensive line. Those are two traits that make him a perfect first pick for new Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores.
The Jaguars’ success last year came largely on the shoulders of Trevor Lawrence and some high-priced free agent additions on offense. Now, it’s time to beef up the defense, especially a secondary that ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA. Emmanuel Forbes is an athletic, long corner with ballhawk instincts who would thrive in the scheme Jacksonville plays.
25. New York Giants: Dalton Kincaid, TE - Utah
The Giants seem to be trending towards keeping Daniel Jones, one way or another. The next step, then, should be upgrading the weapons around him. Dalton Kincaid is a quarterback’s dream, posing a legitimate threat as a pass catcher while offering a great attitude as a blocker. Kincaid would be a great safety blanket for this offense regardless of who’s under center in 2023 or beyond.
26. Dallas Cowboys: Kelee Ringo, CB - Georgia
The Cowboys are still looking for answers at the outside cornerback spot opposite Trevon Diggs, and they’re lucky to have such a loaded cornerback class to pick from this year. Taking Kelee Ringo here might be considered a reach on draft night, but so were Micah Parsons and Tyler Smith.
Ringo is a former blue-chip prospect with elite athleticism and promising traits. He had an incredible first year with the Bulldogs, but came back down to Earth this past year. You can read the full scouting report on Ringo here, but he has all of the tools to form a top-tier secondary alongside Diggs and DaRon Bland.
An underrated talking point this past season was how the Bills’ receiving corps (outside of Stefon Diggs) faded as the season progressed. Buffalo could very well be looking to give Josh Allen another reliable threat now, and Kayshon Boutte fits the bill after being a big-play machine in college.
The Bengals are set to lose tight end Hayden Hurst to free agency, creating a need at tight end yet again. This time, though, they opt to add the highly touted Michael Mayer. Many experts are calling Mayer the most complete tight end prospect in the draft, and he’d quickly become a key weapon for Joe Burrow in Cincinnati.
Tight end used to be a key position for the Saints offense, whether it was Jimmy Graham dunking on goalposts or Jared Cook fighting off Father Time. New Orleans has lacked an explosive receiving threat at the position lately, though, but the uber-athletic Luke Musgrave can change that. Musgrave has very little actual playing experience in college between COVID-19 and injuries, but his potential is too much to pass up.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Downs, WR - North Carolina
The Eagles saw Jalen Hurts take the next step last year, leading them to the Super Bowl, but he still has room to grow as a passer. Helping him take another step would look like adding Josh Downs, an electric slot receiver who could give the Eagles the best receiving corps in the NFL next to DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown.
31. Arizona Cardinals (from KC): Bijan Robinson, RB - Texas
KC gets: 2023 2nd (34th overall), 2023 4th (105th overall), 2023 6th (213th overall)
AZ gets: 2023 1st (31st overall), 2023 6th (219th overall), 2023 7th (257th overall)
The Cardinals appear ready to adopt a Shanahan style offense after hiring Drew Petzing from the Browns to run the offense. While Kyler Murray will undoubtedly be the focal point, Arizona needs reliable running backs as well. Petzing comes from an offense that featured Nick Chubb, while new Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort came from a Titans organization built around Derrick Henry. Bijan Robinson could be better than either of those two, so the Cardinals trade back into the end of the first round to land him.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers (from CHI): Nolan Smith, EDGE - Georgia
33. Houston Texans: Deonte Banks, CB - Maryland
34. Kansas City Chiefs (from AZ): Darnell Wright, OT - Tennessee
35. Indianapolis Colts: Darnell Washington, TE - Georgia
37. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN): Hendon Hooker, QB - Tennessee
38. Las Vegas Raiders: Mazi Smith, iDL - Michigan
39. Carolina Panthers: BJ Ojulari, EDGE - LSU
40. New Orleans Saints: Will McDonald IV, EDGE - Iowa State
41. Tennessee Titans: Andre Carter II, EDGE - Army
42. Cleveland Browns: Sydney Brown, S - Illinois
43. New York Jets: Trenton Simpson, LB - Clemson
44. Atlanta Falcons: Adetomiwa Adebawore, EDGE - Northwestern
45. Green Bay Packers: Anton Harrison, OT - Oklahoma
46. New England Patriots: Dawand Jones, OT - Ohio State
47. Washington Commanders: Cam Smith, CB - South Carolina
48. Detroit Lions: Jakorian Bennett, CB - Maryland
49. Pittsburgh Steelers: Drew Sanders, LB - Arkansas
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB - Alabama
51. Miami Dolphins: Jon Michael Schmitz, iOL - Minnesota
52. Seattle Seahawks: Julius Brents, CB - Kansas State
53. Chicago Bears (from BAL): Rashee Rice, WR - SMU
54. Los Angeles Chargers: Tuli Tuipulotu, EDGE - USC
55. Detroit Lions (from MIN): Gervon Dexter, Sr., iDL - Florida
56. Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Wypler, iOL - Ohio State
57. New York Giants: Nathaniel Dell, WR - Houston
58. Dallas Cowboys: Sam LaPorta, TE - Iowa
Dalton Schultz is likely leaving in free agency, where he should get a lot of money. Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot were solid contributors this past year, but the Cowboys need more juice in the passing game from the tight end position.
Enter Sam LaPorta (full scouting report here), who is the latest in a long line of great Iowa tight ends. LaPorta is special, though, as he finished with the most career receptions and yards of any Iowa tight end. He also showed off his wheels, recording the third most yards after the catch per reception of any tight end in this class. He could become an integral part of this offense right away, offering value in both the run and pass games.
59. Buffalo Bills: Darius Rush, CB - South Carolina
60. Cincinnati Bengals: Nick Herbig, EDGE - Wisconsin
61. Arizona Cardinals (from CAR): Steve Avila, iOL - TCU
62. Philadelphia Eagles: Keion White, EDGE - Georgia Tech
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Jalin Hyatt, WR - Tennessee
64. Chicago Bears: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE - Kansas State
65. Houston Texans: Marvin Mims, WR - Oklahoma
66. Arizona Cardinals: Jarrett Patterson, iOL - Notre Dame
67. Denver Broncos (from IND): Cody Mach, OT - North Dakota State
68. Denver Broncos: Daiyan Henley, LB - Washington State
69. Los Angeles Rams: Tanner McKee, QB - Stanford
70. Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Achane, RB - Texas A&M
71. New Orleans Saints: Karl Brooks, iDL - Bowling Green
72. Tennessee Titans: Tucker Kraft, TE - South Dakota State
73. Houston Texans (from CLE): Eli Ricks, CB - Alabama
74. New York Jets: Garrett Williams, CB - Syracuse
75. Atlanta Falcons: Jack Campbell, LB - Iowa
76. New England Patriots (from CAR): Matthew Bergeron, OT - Syracuse
77. Miami Dolphins (from NE): Zach Charbonnet, RB - UCLA
78. Green Bay Packers: Zack Kuntz, TE - Old Dominion
79. Chicago Bears (from IND): Joe Tippmann, iOL - Wisconsin
80. Pittsburgh Steelers: Siaki Ika, iDL - Baylor
81. Detroit Lions: Tyjae Spears, RB - Tulane
82. Green Bay Packers (from TB): Tyrique Stevenson, CB - Miami
83. Seattle Seahawks: Jordan Battle, S - Alabama
84. Miami Dolphins: Michael Wilson, WR - Stanford
85. Los Angeles Chargers: Jammie Robinson, S - Florida State
86. Baltimore Ravens: Jayden Reed, WR - Michigan State
87. Minnesota Vikings: Jaylon Jones, CB - Texas A&M
88. Jacksonville Jaguars: Clark Phillips III, CB - Utah
89. New York Giants: Ivan Pace, Jr., LB - Cincinnati
90. Dallas Cowboys: Tank Bigsby, RB - Auburn
The Cowboys haven’t been shy about their intentions to keep Tony Pollard by any means necessary, but there is growing speculation that they may move on Ezekiel Elliott, with potential for a hard reset at the position by 2024.
That’s why it won’t be a surprise if they draft a running back this year; after all, they met with quite a few at the combine. Tank Bigsby was one of those players, and his combination of physicality and explosiveness is reminiscent of Zeke earlier in his career.
91. Buffalo Bills: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE - Notre Dame
92. Cincinnati Bengals: Jaelyn Duncan, OT - Maryland
93. Arizona Cardinals (from CAR): Trey Palmer, WR - Nebraska
94. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Whyle, TE - Cincinnati
95. Kansas City Chiefs: Mike Morris, EDGE - Michigan
96. Carolina Panthers (from AZ): DeWayne McBride, RB - UAB
97. Washington Commanders: DeMarvion Overshown, LB - Texas
98. Cleveland Browns: Keeanu Benton, iDL - Wisconsin
99. San Francisco 49ers: Derick Hall, EDGE - Auburn
100. New York Giants (from KC): Parker Washington, WR - Penn State
101. San Francisco 49ers: Byron Young, EDGE - Tennessee
102. San Francisco 49ers:Kyu Blu Kelly, CB - Stanford
103. Chicago Bears: Christopher Smith, S - Georgia
104. Houston Texans: Moro Ojomo, iDL - Texas
105. Kansas City Chiefs (from AZ): JL Skinner, S - Boise State
106. Indianapolis Colts: Kobie Turner, iDL - Wake Forest
107. New England Patriots (from LAR): Zach Evans, RB - Ole Miss
108. Denver Broncos: Dorian Williams, LB - Tulane
109. Las Vegas Raiders: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB - UCLA
110. Atlanta Falcons (from TEN): Kendre Miller, RB - TCU
111. Cleveland Browns: Colby Wooden, EDGE - Auburn
112. New York Jets: Brandon Joseph, S - Notre Dame
113. Atlanta Falcons: Cedric Tillman, WR - Tennessee
114. Carolina Panthers: Tyler Scott, WR - Cincinnati
115. New Orleans Saints: Aidan O’Connell, QB - Purdue
116. Green Bay Packers: Jaquelin Roy, iDL - LSU
117. New England Patriots: Noah Sewell, LB - Oregon
118. Washington Commanders: Ronnie Hickman, S - Ohio State
119. Minnesota Vikings (from DET): AT Perry, WR - Wake Forest
120. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB - TCU
121. Jacksonville Jaguars (from TB): Isaiah McGuire, EDGE - Missouri
122. Kansas City Chiefs (from MIA): Ji’Ayir Brown, S - Penn State
123. Seattle Seahawks: Keondre Coburn, iDL - Texas
124. Baltimore Ravens: Roschon Johnson, RB - Texas
125. Los Angeles Chargers: Brodric Martin, iDL - Western Kentucky
126. Cleveland Browns (from MIN): Jalen Moreno-Cropper, WR - Fresno State
127. Jacksonville Jaguars: Zacch Pickens, iDL - South Carolina
128. New York Giants: Sean Tucker, RB - Syracuse
129. Dallas Cowboys: Viliami Fehoko, EDGE - San Jose State
Viliami Fehoko is one of the draft’s best kept secrets so far. He finished the 2022 season fourth in both pressures (ahead of Will Anderson!) and sacks, and Fehoko’s 21.5% pass rush win rate is sixth among EDGEs in this class.
Fehoko likely won’t replicate that dominance at the NFL level, as he didn’t face the highest quality of competition at San Jose State, but he brings plenty of experience and fundamentally sound play. With how stacked the Cowboys already are on the edges, Fehoko can plug in nicely as a solid depth piece with special teams value as well.
130. Buffalo Bills: Cam Jones, LB - Indiana
131. Cincinnati Bengals: Byron Young, iDL - Alabama
132. Carolina Panthers (from SF): Kei’Trel Clark, CB - Louisville
133. Chicago Bears (from PHI): Andrew Vorhees, iOL - USC
134. Kansas City Chiefs: DJ Turner, CB - Michigan
135. New England Patriots: Andrei Iosivas, WR - Princeton
136. Los Angeles Rams: Zach Harrison, EDGE - Ohio State
137. Chicago Bears: Jerrod Clark, iDL - Coastal Carolina
138. Houston Texans: KJ Henry, EDGE - Clemson
139. Buffalo Bills (from AZ): Tyler Steen, OT - Alabama
140. Chicago Bears (from IND): Riley Moss, CB - Iowa
141. Denver Broncos: Xavier Hutchinson, WR - Iowa State
142. Cleveland Browns (from LAR): Olusegun Oluwatimi, iOL - Michigan
143. Las Vegas Raiders: Chase Brown, RB - Illinois
144. Cleveland Browns: Chandler Zavala, iOL - NC State
145. New York Jets: Jake Haener, QB - Fresno State
146. Las Vegas Raiders (from ATL): Jose Ramirez, EDGE - Eastern Michigan
147. Arizona Cardinals (from CAR): Blake Freeland, OT - BYU
148. New Orleans Saints: Eric Gray, RB - Oklahoma
149. Tennessee Titans: Trey Dean III, S - Florida
150. Chicago Bears (from NE): Deuce Vaughn, RB - Kansas State
151. Green Bay Packers: Keaton Mitchell, RB - East Carolina
152. Washington Commanders: Durell Nchami, EDGE - Maryland
153. Seattle Seahawks (from PIT): Owen Pappoe, LB - Auburn
154. Detroit Lions: Max Duggan, QB - TCU
155. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Israel Abanikanda, RB - Pitt
156. Seattle Seahawks: Quindell Johnson, S - Memphis
157. San Francisco 49ers (from MIA): Rashad Torrence II, S - Florida
158. Los Angeles Chargers: Starling Thomas V, CB - UAB
159. Baltimore Ravens: Jaxson Kirkland, iOL - Washington
160. Minnesota Vikings: Henry To’oTo’o, LB - Alabama
161. Atlanta Falcons (from JAX): Yasir Abdullah, EDGE - Louisville
162. New York Giants: Jartavius Martin, CB - Illinois
163. Dallas Cowboys: Rakim Jarrett, WR - Maryland
Rakim Jarrett was an elite high school prospect who shunned the blue blood programs to stay close to home at Maryland. There, he consistently showed off his elite athleticism as a receiver, primarily playing out of the slot. Maryland schemed up quick throws for him with frequency, and his speed resulted in plenty of yards after the catch.
That limits Jarrett’s projection to the next level, but does set him up for a seamless transition to Mike McCarthy’s offense, which thrives on hitting receivers in stride shortly after the ball is snapped. Jarrett could end up looking like a steal if he can build chemistry early on with Dak Prescott.
164. Indianapolis Colts (from BUF): Jacob Slade, iDL - Michigan State
165. Cincinnati Bengals: Juice Scruggs, iOL - Penn State
166. San Francisco 49ers: Jalen Redmond, iDL - Oklahoma
167. New Orleans Saints (from PHI): Dontayvion Wicks, WR - Virginia
168. Kansas City Chiefs: Ventrell Miller, LB - Florida
169. Arizona Cardinals: Stetson Bennett, QB - Georgia
170. Dallas Cowboys: Atonio Mafi, iOL - UCLA
Tyler Smith will eventually be the starter at left tackle in Dallas, but he might be destined for left guard in 2023. Either way, the Cowboys know they’ll eventually need someone at left guard with Connor McGovern’s impending free agency.
In my scouting report of Atonio Mafi, I dubbed him Tyler Smith Jr., and for good reason. Like Smith, Mafi is a mauler at 6’4” and 339 pounds. He’s an extremely physical run blocker - Pro Football Focus gave him a run blocking grade of 88.3, highest of any guard in the nation - but needs development in pass protection. In Dallas, Mafi can provide depth early on while being groomed for the left guard job, where he played at UCLA. In the long run, a duo of Smith and Mafi would give the Cowboys an imposing left side of the offensive line.
171. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Lacy, EDGE - Oklahoma State
172. Los Angeles Rams: Charlie Jones WR - Purdue
173. San Francisco 49ers: Chamarri Conner, S - Virginia Tech
174. Las Vegas Raiders: Luke Schoonmaker, TE - Michigan
175. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Connor Galvin, OT - Baylor
176. Dallas Cowboys: Jonah Tavai, iDL - San Diego State
Like Fehoko, Jonah Tavai is a massively underrated prospect in this draft. For starters, he wasn’t even invited to the combine, dealing a major blow to his draft stock. But Tavai did nothing but produce in college, despite spending much of his time as a nose tackle.
Tavai finished this year second among all Group of 5 interior defensive linemen in both tackles and run stops. He also led all interior defensive linemen - regardless of conference - in pressures. Tavai is a big-bodied run stopper who also offers pass rush upside, making him a steal this late in the draft.
177. Minnesota Vikings: Isaiah Land, EDGE - Florida A&M
178. Miami Dolphins (from CHI): Emil Ekiyor, Jr., iOL - Alabama
179. New York Jets (from HOU): Fabien Lovett, iDL - Florida State
180. Carolina Panthers (from AZ): Jonathan Mingo, WR - Ole Miss
181. Green Bay Packers (from TB): Mekhi Garner, CB - LSU
182. Los Angeles Rams: Thomas Incoom, EDGE - Central Michigan
183. Detroit Lions (from DEN): Carter Warren, OT - Pitt
184. New England Patriots (from LV): Will Mallory, TE - Miami
185. Jacksonville Jaguars (from NYJ): Dylan Horton, EDGE - TCU
186. Tennessee Titans (from ATL): Ronnie Bell, WR - Michigan
187. New England Patriots (from CAR): Gervarrius Owens, S - Houston
188. Houston Texans (from NO): Luke Haggard, OT - Indiana
189. Los Angeles Rams (from TEN): Ochaun Mathis, EDGE - Nebraska
190. Cleveland Browns: Braeden Daniels, OT - Utah
191. Los Angeles Rams (from GB): Kenny McIntosh, RB - Georgia
192. New England Patriots: Nick Broeker, iOL - Ole Miss
193. Washington Commanders: Brenton Cox, Jr., EDGE - Florida
194. Detroit Lions: Cameron Latu, TE - Alabama
195. Denver Broncos (from PIT): Ryan Hayes, OT - Michigan
196. Green Bay Packers (from TB): Ali Gaye, EDGE - LSU
197. Kansas City Chiefs (from MIA): Chris Rodriguez, Jr., RB - Kentucky
198. Seattle Seahawks: Asim Richards, OT - North Carolina
199. Baltimore Ravens: Xazavian Valladay, RB - Arizona State
200. Los Angeles Chargers: Ricky Stromberg, iOL - Arkansas
201. Houston Texans (from MIN): Cameron Brown, CB - Ohio State
202. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jake Bobo, WR - UCLA
203. Houston Texans (from NYG): Aubrey Miller, LB Jackson State
204. Las Vegas Raiders (from DAL): DJ Johnson, EDGE - Oregon
205. Buffalo Bills: Mohamed Ibrahim, RB - Minnesota
206. Cincinnati Bengals: Mohamoud Diabate, LB - Utah
207. Houston Texans (from SF): BJ Thompson, EDGE - Stephen F Austin
208. Jacksonville Jaguars (from PHI): Trevor Reid, OT - Louisville
209. New York Giants (from KC): Keytaon Thompson, WR - Virginia
210. New England Patriots: DeMarcco Hellams, S - Alabama
211. Los Angeles Rams: Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR - West Virginia
212. Dallas Cowboys: Clayton Tune, QB - Houston
Mike McCarthy loves taking late fliers on developmental quarterbacks in the hopes of dealing them a few years later after some impressive preseason performances. He tried it with Ben DiNucci, who is currently balling out in the XFL, and he could try it again with Clayton Tune.
From a statistical standpoint, Tune is right up there with Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. Obviously, the quality of competition is vastly different, but Tune was a very productive quarterback in Houston’s Air Raid offense. He possesses the kind of intangibles that should afford him a lengthy career in the NFL, even if it’s in a backup capacity. That’s all the Cowboys are looking for right now.
213. Kansas City Chiefs (from AZ): Dee Winters, LB - TCU
214. Las Vegas Raiders: Puka Nacua, BYU
215. Washington Commanders: Darrell Luter, Jr., CB - South Alabama
216. San Francisco 49ers: Caleb Chandler, iOL - Louisville
217. Kansas City Chiefs: DJ Dale, iDL - Alabama
218. New York Giants: Jadakis Bonds, WR - Hampton
219. Arizona Cardinals (from KC):Cameron Young, iDL - Mississippi State
220. Indianapolis Colts (from CHI): Elijah Higgins, WR - Stanford
221. Philadelphia Eagles (from HOU): Warren McClendon, OT - Georgia
222. Las Vegas Raiders (from AZ): Jarren Hall, QB - BYU
223. Chicago Bears (from IND): Justin Shorter, WR - Florida
224. San Francisco 49ers (from DEN): Nick Hampton, EDGE - Appalachian State
225. Los Angeles Rams: SirVocea Dennis, S - Pitt
226. Atlanta Falcons (from LV): Drake Thomas, LB - NC State
227. Kansas City Chiefs (from ATL): McClendon Curtis, OT - Chattanooga
228. Jacksonville Jaguars (from CAR): Derius Davis, WR - TCU
229. New Orleans Saints: Habakkuk Baldonado, EDGE - Pitt
230. Tennessee Titans: Demario Douglas, WR - Liberty
231. Cleveland Browns: Alex Austin, CB - Oregon State
232. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from NYJ): Nic Jones, CB - Ball State
233. Las Vegas Raiders (from NE): Daniel Scott, S - California
234. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from GB): Brandon Hill, S - Pitt
235. Washington Commanders: Carlton Martial, LB - Troy
236. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brenton Strange, TE - Penn State
237. Green Bay Packers (from DET): Tavion Thomas, RB - Utah
238. Indianapolis Colts (from TB): TJ Bass, OT - Oregon
239. Houston Texans (from SEA): Devonnsha Maxwell, iDL - Chattanooga
240. Miami Dolphins: Marshon Ford, TE - Louisville
241. Los Angeles Chargers: Kahlef Hailassie, CB - Western Kentucky
242. New York Giants (from BAL): Tyson Bagent, QB - Shepherd
243. Pittsburgh Steelers (from MIN): Brayden Willis, TE - Oklahoma
244. Green Bay Packers (from JAX): Ryan Greenhagen, LB - Fordham
245. New York Giants: Wanya Morris, OT - Oklahoma
246. Dallas Cowboys: Jay Ward, CB - LSU
The Cowboys have a lot of uncertainty in their secondary right now, with the potential to move on from Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Donovan Wilson, and C.J. Goodwin while also having serious questions about the long-term viability of both Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright.
That’s why it makes sense to take someone like Jay Ward, who did a little bit of everything at LSU. He’s got good size and tested well at the combine, which helped boost his profile as a versatile chess piece for the Tigers and a respected leader of the defense. Where he fits in Dallas can be determined later, but his skillset is exactly the kind of thing Dan Quinn looks for this late in the draft.
247. Atlanta Falcons (from BUF): Richard Gouriage, OT - Florida
248. Cincinnati Bengals: Jalen Wayne, WR - South Alabama
249. San Francisco 49ers: Nesta Jade Silvera, iDL - Arizona State
250. Philadelphia Eagles: Cameron Mitchell, CB - Northwestern
251. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyreque Jones, S - Boise State
252. Los Angeles Rams: Jaiden Woodberry, S - Boston College
253. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carrington Valentine, CB - Kentucky
254. New York Giants: Dante Stills, iDL - West Virginia
255. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Forsyth, iOL - Oregon
256. Green Bay Packers: Tre Tucker, WR - Cincinnati
257. Arizona Cardinals (from KC): Jadon Haselwood, WR - Arkansas
258. New England Patriots: Dallas Daniels, WR - Jackson State
259. Green Bay Packers: MJ Anderson, EDGE - Iowa State
260. New Orleans Saints: Robert Beal, Jr., EDGE - Georgia