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Cowboys draft 2023: The possibilities around selecting guard Steve Avila

Steve Avila has been connected to the Cowboys, so let’s see what it might take to pick him.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 01 Oklahoma at TCU Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As we enter the final week leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, the picture is murky for the Dallas Cowboys. There is an active debate about the priorities for their first pick at 26, as well as on day two of the draft. With no glaring needs thanks to some key moves in the offseason, things are more wide open than in recent memory. A vigorous debate is going on about what position they should go for. Tight end and running back are among the most divisive, but wide receiver, offensive line, cornerback, EDGE rusher, and linebacker also get thrown in as possibilities. Further, there is an important distinction to be made about the question of need. There are definitely needs for the team, there just aren’t any that are glaring.

This season, there are very few names that keep getting linked to the Cowboys. But one does keep surfacing. That is TCU offensive guard Steve Avila. He would answer one of the most important questions for the team this year, left guard. Unfortunately he looks like a real reach at 26. Many think he should be Dallas’ target for their second round pick at 58, but that might be very dicey. Draft boards have him at a variety of spots. For instance, CBS Sports has him as their 36th best player overall, while Drafttek has him at 53. A site called NFL Mock Draft Database uses 141 different sites to come up with a consensus board, and their average has Avila at 51.

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That would put the Cowboys in a bit of a bind if they really want Avila. And there is a good argument that they do. He’s a local prospect. The team is very familiar with him. That is no guarantee the interest actually exists, but it is logical given the lack of a definitive answer at LG and the high overall regard for Avila.

He would clearly be seen as a reach in the first round. However, that is based strictly on outside boards. No one knows what Dallas’ real board will look like. It is still being finalized, so even the team isn’t sure at this point. But they may have a very different evaluation than what are, in truth, speculative attempts to rank prospects. It is not impossible they have Avila as a first-round talent, and 26 may seem to them like a good value to get him. He would very likely be there for them.

Conversely, they may have him lower than the average. That would argue for them to go another direction in the first and stand pat at 58 to see if Avila falls to them. That risks having someone else take him off the board, but that’s just how the draft works.

Still, the most likely case is that the Cowboys are more or less in line with the consensus, and have Avila as a mid-second-round talent. That would mean he is just in the wrong part of the draft for them to get - as things now stand.

If he really is a player of significant interest for the team, this makes trading an avenue that could be attractive to get a plug and play left guard. There are some possible trade partners, such as the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons, that may see players they want to get at 26 by trading their second- and third-rounders to Dallas. That would have the Cowboys picking in the early 40s, which would make getting Avila much more likely. It also would net an additional third-round pick for them, which could help strengthen the roster somewhere else.

This is bolstered by the argument that 26 is more like an early second-round pick. Most years, there aren’t 26 legitimate first-round talents available, and this year certainly appears to fit that mold. Moving out does not really cost them in terms of who they might miss.

That is a logical argument, but again, is made in total ignorance of what the team’s board will be, or what their actual view of players is. While it triggers immediate. and rather heated, discussions, some analysts think the team is really looking at tight ends at 26. Or there could be a true first-round talent at another position they would not be willing to pass up. As long as that is not another offensive lineman, such as Broderick Jones of Georgia or Florida’s O’Cyrus Torrence, they would still be left with a strong likelihood that Avila would get snatched before they went on the clock in the second.

However, they could still make a move up in that round. If, say, they just needed to move up four spots, they could offer the Los Angeles Chargers 58 and 129, which would be very close to a wash, depending on which draft value chart is used. It would be a last minute move, as they would have to see if Avila slips a little. Any bigger move could get cost prohibitive, but not all teams look at the value of picks the same.

Avila is certainly going to be a name for Dallas fans to watch during the first two rounds. It might make for some interesting developments.

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