When the Dallas Cowboys selected wide receiver CeeDee Lamb at pick 17 in the 2020 NFL draft, it was viewed as a tremendous draft pick. It was exciting for fans not only because he had an electric college career, but also because it didn’t seem possible he could fall to their selection. In fact, he was not even one of the team’s “Top 30” draft visits leading up to that draft, likely because the team didn’t view it likely he would fall.
It seems as though a prospect falls much farther than they should each season in the draft for various reasons. While it may not be likely, if one of these four 2023 draft prospects fell to pick 26, Jerry Jones himself should run up to the podium to turn his draft card in.
Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
If it wasn’t obvious by the famous Dallas Cowboys logo tattooed on his bicep, Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba grew up a fan of the organization. The 6’1”, 200-pound wideout grew up in Dallas, following the team throughout his youth.
Smith-Njigba is being discussed as arguably the best wide receiver in this draft class for good reason. In 2021 he led the Buckeyes with 95 receptions, 1,606 receiving yards, and nine receiving touchdowns. This was on a Ohio State team that featured a wide receiver room of current New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson, New Orleans Saints WR Chris Olave, and current Buckeye WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
Smith-Njigba missed most of the 2022 college season due to injury. Despite this, he remains one of the best playmakers in the 2023 draft class. Smith-Njigba should not fall to 26, however, some question his ability to create separation in the NFL due to his lack of explosive athleticism and straight-line speed. Despite this, if he somehow is on the board at pick 26, the team would be very lucky to draft him.
Texas RB Bijan Robinson
Probably the most talked about prospect around the Dallas Cowboys heading into the NFL draft is Texas RB Bijan Robinson. Robinson had a stellar 2022 season with the Longhorns. He accumulated 258 carries, 1,580 rushing yards, and 18 rushing touchdowns. He is considered by many scouts as the best RB prospect since Saquon Barkley in the 2018 draft.
Despite his through-the-roof talent and potential, Robinson’s draft projection seems to be widely unknown. While people around the NFL seem to agree he is a top-talent, executives around the NFL seem to be increasingly hesitant to spend high-resources on a position that is easily replaceable and struggles with durability.
Despite these concerns, if the Cowboys can land an every-down back with the potential of Robinson’s at pick 26, it would be great value for the team. Head coach Mike McCarthy has been emphasizing his focus on the running game this upcoming season, and no one could impact that as much as the star RB from Texas.
.@keyshawn thinks the Cowboys should draft RB Bijan Robinson to replace Ezekiel Elliott pic.twitter.com/xRaHqhKrHu— First Take (@FirstTake) April 21, 2023
Boston College WR Zay Flowers
Wide receiver Zay Flowers out of Boston College is a very intriguing prospect. He had a great season in 2022 with 78 receptions, 1,077 receiving yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns. Flowers is extremely physical as a runner after the catch, and provides a lot of potential excitement every time he touches the football.
One reason why Flowers could potentially fall to the Cowboys pick at 26 is because his size. At just 5’10”, 172 pounds, he is not the biggest or most physically imposing option at his position in this draft class. He also is not the clear-cut best receiver in this draft. Smith-Njigba, USC WR Jordan Addison, and TCU WR Quentin Johnston are all being discussed among scouts as the potential best candidate.
Flowers runs with a physicality with the football that has not been seen at the wide receiver position in Dallas since former Cowboys great Dez Bryant. Flowers provides a skillset that can be used all over the field on offense. He is a young prospect who can learn and develop behind Cowboys wide receivers Brandin Cooks, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup.
Zay Flowers= ⚡in a bottle pic.twitter.com/u6Om6xFRvb— Jeremy (@PopesFFH) April 17, 2023
Clemson DT Bryan Bresee
A player with high upside who seems to be sliding down draft boards is Clemson DT Bryan Bresee. Bresee is a 6’5”, 300-pound lineman who has an elite combination of strength and athleticism at the position. He has a big impact against the run, and offers a pass-rushing skill set that is rare for the average defensive tackle.
Bresee was once viewed as a potential top-five pick in this draft, but after a 2022 season at Clemson that featured just 15 total tackles and 3.5 sacks from Bresee, his stock has slowly slipped to what appears like a mid-to-late first-round pick.
While Bresee had a less than impressive campaign in 2022, he still has the size and skillset that once had him viewed as a potential top-five pick in the draft. Bresee also plays a position that the Cowboys would be wise to address at some point in the draft. Having a player who can push the interior of an offensive line the way Bresee can would only provide more opportunities for edge rusher Micah Parsons and DE DeMarcus Lawrence to get after the opposing quarterback.
All four of these prospects have enough talent to where they could be picked before pick 26. With that being said, the draft continues to be one of the most unpredictable and intriguing sporting events of the year. With so many different minded people making these decisions, there seems to be a few prospects who always fall further than they should. There are always prospects who make front offices regret passing on them. If any of these four players miraculously are still on the board when the Cowboys are up to make their selection, the front office would be the ones to regret not selecting one of them.
Clemson DT @bryan_bresee will be one to watch at this year’s Draft!— NFL (@NFL) April 5, 2023
⁰Will he go in the 1st Round?
: 2023 #NFLDraft -- Starts Thursday, April 27 on NFLN/ESPN/ABC
: Stream on NFL+ pic.twitter.com/ykFs88MDNX