It won’t be long until mock drafts will be replaced by the real draft. The 2023 NFL Draft is closing in and the direction the Dallas Cowboys will go in the first round with the 26th pick is up for much debate. After an offseason where the Cowboys actually brought in a few starters (Stephon Gilmore, Brandin Cooks), their roster sets them up for a variety of choices in the first round. Obviously what they do in the first round will affect what they do in subsequent rounds.
Today we have another ESPN mock, this one with Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay alternating picks, and going three rounds deep. Let’s see what happened.
26. Dallas Cowboys
McShay’s pick: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Yeah, you said it, Mel. This feels a little early for Johnston, but I played myself here a little bit by taking Michael Mayer — who would have been a perfect fit in Dallas — off the board two picks ago. Regardless, there’s no denying that the Cowboys need pass-catchers, and Johnston could be the true No. 2 behind CeeDee Lamb. Johnston has a big catch radius and can make plays downfield.
This pick wouldn’t be very unexpected for the Cowboys. We know they have met with Johnston, and he plays a position that was problematic for them last year, and the position is considered one of the most important in the modern NFL. Johnston has so many positive traits with his size, athleticism and production in college. He does have one red flag, and that’s his propensity for drops.
For those who are in the anti-first-round tight end camp, this mock draft is not the bringer of hope that it might seem. As noted, the only reason McShay didn’t go tight end was because both Dalton Kincaid (15th) and Michael Mayer (24th) had already been drafted. Otherwise, this would have been another mock with the Cowboys taking tight end.
58. Dallas Cowboys
McShay’s pick: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
A tight end this good, this late? It makes me feel better about the Cowboys missing out at the position in Round 1. LaPorta could give Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense an immediate answer to losing Dalton Schultz in free agency.
Here is one of the reasons some Cowboys fans/observers feel the Cowboys should pass on tight end in the first round. Tight end seems to be a deep class this year, offering potential prospects in the second and third round. McShay gives the Cowboys a tight end here in the second round that has fallen to them creating good value.
90. Dallas Cowboys
McShay’s pick: Kendre Miller, RB, TCU
Dallas moved on from Ezekiel Elliott, so it is a prime candidate to add a running back on Day 2 to pair with Tony Pollard in the backfield. And Miller has some impressive agility; his tape is filled with elusive jump cuts.
In the third round, the Cowboys go offense once again, this time shoring up the running back position. This is an offense-heavy draft, but that is where the Cowboys need more help on their roster.
One area they didn’t address in the first three rounds is interior offensive line, specifically a candidate at guard.
How satisfied with this draft would you be?