The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine is officially in the books. While the results of the big event may tip the scales one way or another for certain prospects, the overall outcome is generally insignificant as far as on-field drills are concerned. What is intriguing coming out of Indianapolis though, is who the Dallas Cowboys showed an interest in whether formally or informally.
Meeting with certain prospects in any capacity provides a slight clue as to which players or positions they could be targeting in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. We can use this information,, along with the current roster needs ahead of free agency, to get a better understanding as to how the offseason may play out. With that in mind, we will take a shot in the dark and predicting who the Cowboys may select in the draft come April.
* Player rankings for the mock draft come from a combination of Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Network rankings.
1.26 – RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama: With a skill set all about acceleration and having a different gear than defenders, Gibbs finished with a 4.36-second 40-yard dash. The speed he showed on film held true as he improved on his first initial run of 4.40. Gibbs was Bama’s most dangerous player for quarterback Bryce Young last season, leading the team in rushing yards (926) and catches (44). A versatile prospect who can be used in a variety of ways, Gibbs has plenty of dynamic ability to be an instant game-changer early on as a rookie. As a fast-paced runner, he has the extra gear to go from 0 to 60 in an instant. Gibbs will generate explosive plays as a rookie wherever he lands.
One of the main goals for the Cowboys this offseason is to become more explosive offensively, hence Gibbs’ selection here. He is Tony Pollard 2.0 as far as size, build, and skill set is concerned, but faster. After franchise tagging No. 20, Gibbs’ addition may seem unnecessary, but his game-changing ability as both a runner and receiver helps change the entire dynamic of the Cowboys offense. Dallas would have the most versatile, explosive backfield if these two were paired together.
*Jahmyr Gibbs had formal meeting with the Cowboys at the Combine
2.58 – CB Julius Brents, Kansas State
Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents continues to rise. He followed up a strong Senior Bowl performance with a standout showing in Indy. At 6-2, he jumped 41.5 inches in the vertical and 11-foot-6 in the broad jump. And he has plenty of fluidity to complement that explosion. He was seen as a late-Day 2 selection early in the pre-draft process, but he’s now in contention to be a top-50 pick. Teams that run predominantly zone coverage will have a lot of interest in Brents because of his awareness when reading passing concepts, but he’s most comfortable when his back is to the sideline in coverage.
If Dan Quinn was to build a cornerback in a lab, the result wouldn’t be too dissimilar from Julius Brents. Both he and Joey Porter Jr. are nearly identical as far as size and length is concerned, however, Porter is the slightly faster of the two. Despite that, Brents would be a great fit in Quinn’s scheme opposite Trevon Diggs. The Brents/Diggs duo on the outside with DaRon Bland in the slot would be a formidable trio for Dallas’ secondary.
*Julius Brents had informal meeting with Cowboys at the combine
3.90 – LB DeMarvion Overshown, Texas
DeMarvion Overshown is a fifth-year senior linebacker who was originally recruited to the University of Texas as a physical safety. After minimal snaps at safety early in his career, Overshown made the transition from playing safety to playing the linebacker position, making him a versatile three-level defender. Overshown should be one of the more physically impressive draft prospects pound-for-pound in this year’s class. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Overshown has the size, speed, and athleticism that gave him the potential to be an impactful defensive player at the next level and the versatility to align in multiple positions on the field.
With Leighton Vander Esch, Anthony Barr, and Luke Gifford all potentially leaving via free agency, the Cowboys LB corps looks as if it will be severely depleted, making it a top priority this offseason. The safety turned linebacker out of Texas could go a long ways in addressing this issue. He is a versatile LB prospect who Dan Quinn can utilize in a variety of different ways. Pairing him with second-year LB Damone Clark would give Dallas a young, athletic duo to build around.
*DeMarvion Overshown had a formal meeting with the Cowboys at the Combine.
4.129 – WR Marvin Mims Jr., Oklahoma
Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma: Mims ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds while also recording a 39.5-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-9 broad jump. That explosiveness is seen throughout his tape, as he is one of the most dangerous downfield targets in this entire draft class (20.1 yards per reception last season). Mims didn’t attack the short to intermediate areas during his final season with the Sooners, but he showed comfort there in Indy during the on-field drills. He exhibited strong hands and quick transitions in his routes. Mims is likely to be a popular late-Day 2 target for teams looking to accumulate more explosive playmakers.
Much like Jahmyr Gibbs’ selection earlier, Marvin Mims would provide yet another much-needed explosive element to add to the Cowboys offense. Although he was mostly utilized as a vertical threat in the Sooners offense, he has the skill set to be a dynamic weapon on all three levels of the field in the passing game. Dallas struck gold the last time they drafted a WR out of Oklahoma (CeeDee Lamb) and could do so once again with Marvin Mims.
*Marvin Mims met with the Cowboys at the Combine
5.163 – OL Nick Saldiveri, Old Dominion
Three-year starter with good overall size/length and the potential to play multiple spots along the offensive line. Saldiveri is naturally athletic and should fit best as a zone blocker or pulling guard who can get out into space and find work. Hand skill and placement are consistent issues on tape and could prevent him from neutralizing NFL opposition at a functional level. If he proves he can snap the ball and makes a move to center, that should improve his draft stock and give him a better chance as a pro.
Only two things are for sure about the Cowboys offensive line right now, Zack Martin is the starting right guard and Tyler Biadasz is the starting center. Where they choose to play Tyron Smith (if he’s not cut) and Tyler Smith, and when they choose to play Terence Steele, is up in the air as of right now, but the need to replace Connor McGovern and add more interior OL depth remains. Saldiveri’s versatility to play multiple positions could be the solution for all issues.
5.170 – TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan
Versatile combination tight end capable of performing a variety of tasks in one-, two- or three-tight end sets. Schoonmaker steps foot on the field ready for action as a run blocker and does a nice job of competing in the entry and sustain phases of the block. He will need to add more muscle and play strength but already has a feel for creating run-lane angles with his footwork. He has the athletic talent to run a slightly expanded route tree, but he needs to do a better job of competing aggressively for catch space and meeting throws with extended hands. He could see action early but might need a year or so before he works himself into a full-time TE2 role.
Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot are expected to play larger roles entering Year 2 with the Cowboys after showing quite a bit a promise as rookies, but bringing more competition and depth would be wise considering how deep the TE draft class is this year. Schoonmaker is an intriguing option who did most of the dirty work during his time with the Wolverines. He could compete for the TE1 job early on, but at the very least add much-needed depth.
*Luke Schoonmaker had a formal meeting with the Cowboys at the Combine.
5.176 – DT Keondre Coburn, Texas
A stout but athletic nose tackle with nimble feet, Coburn can sit down and muddy run lanes or create difficulties for pin-and-pull blocking schemes with his interior agility. While he’s not a three-down lineman, he does have the bull rush and activity level to cause issues as a rusher. He’s more than capable of pressing and separating from blocks as a two-gapping plugger but requires more consistent technique to improve his consistency in that area. Coburn’s blend of girth, power and agility should be coveted by teams looking for starting help inside.
The Cowboys could be losing both of their best to run defenders (Jonathan Hankins, Carlos Watkins) to free agency this offseason. That would be a huge loss to Dallas’ run defense, however, adding Coburn to the mix could keep that from happening. He is an immovable force in the middle of the defensive line and would help free up everyone around him to make plays.
*Keondre Coburn met with the Cowboys at the Combine.
6.212 – CB Myles Brooks, Louisiana Tech
A perimeter man corner with good size and instincts, Brooks will need to prove he can continue his on-ball production against better competition. He will need to tighten up his technique, but he has the feet and feel to play press. Also, he does a nice job of competing against the route and fighting for positioning when the ball goes up. He has plus ball skills and innate timing to make plays on the throw but might need to prove his top-end speed in testing. He will have occasional issues with downfield penalties and is a below-average run defender, but he has the talent to work his way onto an NFL roster.
The 6’1”, 201-pound CB from Louisiana Tech by way of Stephen F Austin is an intriguing developmental prospect with starting potential. Dallas has hit on some hidden gems in the sixth-round here recently (Anthony Brown, Donovan Wilson, Israel Mukuamu) in the secondary and Brooks could be the next. He’d have to earn a roster spot by way of special teams initially, but could work his way into the CB rotation at some point as a rookie.
*Myles Brooks had an informal meeting with the Cowboys at the Combine.
7.246 – QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
Five-year starter with below-average size, above-average mobility and a recent history of improvement at the position. Thompson-Robinson played in a favorable scheme for quarterbacks, but he also improved as a field-reader over time. While he can extend plays and create opportunities for himself outside of the pocket, he’s at his best when he’s throwing on time and utilizing possession throws as his base. He has lapses in vision and judgment against zone and when pressured, so he must cut down on ill-advised throws. Thompson-Robinson has the potential to find a home as a QB3 with a QB2 ceiling.
With Will Greir as the only QB on the roster outside of Dak Prescott, and with Cooper Rush potentially leaving via free agency, Dallas could be in the market for another signal-caller at some point in the 2023 NFL Draft. DTR is an intriguing developmental prospect who they’ve shown an interest in already. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if they took a late-round flyer on him after running and eye-opening a 4.56 40-yard dash at the Combine.
*Dorian Thompson-Robinson met with the Cowboys at the Combine.