Matt Miller published his complete seven-round mock draft Sunday morning, making every pick for all 32 NFL teams. It’s a good tool to see who might be available when the Cowboys go on the clock when the 2023 NFL Draft begins in a few days time.
So, here’s a breakdown of the Dallas Cowboys seven picks made by ESPN’s NFL draft expert, including a short break down of how each selection might fit the team’s current roster.
Day 1 (Thursday, April 27)
26. Dallas Cowboys
“There is no way in hell Jerry Jones passes up a Jason Witten clone if he’s on the board.” That’s how one rival scout with over 20 years in the business described this projection. Mayer would be a safety valve in the middle of the field for Dak Prescott; he caught 180 passes for 2,099 yards and 18 touchdowns over three seasons in South Bend. Mayer is a great run-blocker but also might have the best hands of any pass-catcher in this class.
Day 1 analysis:
Michael Mayer is arguably the most complete and pro-ready tight end in the entire 2023 draft class. While both Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot showed promise as rookie’s last season, the former Notre Dame TE should be viewed as an immediate upgrade. He should be a plug-and-play starter from Day 1 as a rookie and eventually should be able to replicate Dalton Schultz’ production as a favorite target of Dak Prescott in the passing game.
Day 2 (Friday, April 28)
58. Dallas Cowboys
Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
The Cowboys could look at cornerbacks or offensive linemen here, but Smith falling down the board means this is a true “best player available” pick. He has been praised by area scouts as a talented all-around player who will be better in the pros than in college once he is freed up to rush the quarterback and not play gap-based defense. Smith’s power, quick first step and ability to play with low pads stand out when he is crashing the backfield.
90. Dallas Cowboys
Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
Could Jerry Jones resist adding a Longhorns running back, even though he missed out on Bijan Robinson in Round 1? Johnson was the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class but moved to running back at Texas due to injuries. He stayed there for four seasons, amassing 25 touchdowns while working primarily as a backup to Robinson. The 219-pound power back has the patience, vision and receiving skills of a starter and would be a fine complement to the speedy Tony Pollard.
Day 2 analysis:
On Day 2, in rounds two and three, Miller filled a couple more roster needs for the Cowboys with the selections of DT Mazi Smith and RB Roschon Johnson. Both players should see the field early and often as rookies as well as becoming the potential long-term solution at their given’s positions in the not-too-distant future.
Smith will help as a run defender with untapped potential as a pass rusher. And Johnson is a bigger, versatile back with three-down ability who should step into Ezekiel Elliott’s vacated role as Dallas’ new RB2 behind Tony Pollard. Both players have starting potential, but will likely play a rotational role in Year 1 with the Cowboys.
Day 3 (Saturday, April 29)
Day 3 analysis:
Jake Moody highlights Matt Miller selections for the Cowboys on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft. He should immediately step in as the Dallas’ placekicker as a rookie and hopefully solidify the position for years to come. With the final three selections Miller decided to go with developmental prospects with upside for the Cowboys.
Yasir Abdullah is an intriguing off-ball LB/EDGE player who could potentially add depth at both positions for the Cowboys. Earl Bostick is a TE turned LT with developmental traits and upside worth taking a flyer on. And Rakim Jarrett is a promising WR prospect who needs to fine-tune areas of his game, but has intriguing size/speed/athleticism traits to cultivate.
Overall, Miller did an excellent job addressing a lot of the Cowboys roster needs with his seven selections. Unfortunately, he did fail to address what is viewed by many as the Cowboys most glaring need entering the 2023 NFL Draft, left guard.
If that’s the case, it would mean either Chuma Edoga, a free agent addition this year, or Tyler Smith, would be Dallas’ starting LG this season. Smith may be needed to start at LT given Tyron Smith’s inability to remain healthy and Edoga would likely be better off in a backup role. All in all though, Miller’s draft haul for the Cowboys would likely please both the organization and the fan base alike.
What do you think? Would you be happy if this is how things turned out for the Dallas Cowboys?