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Cowboys final 2023 7-round mock draft prediction: Dallas goes offense in first round

One last try at predicting the Dallas Cowboys 2023 NFL Draft picks.

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Utah v UCLA Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Can you believe the big event of the offseason is almost here? This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we will learn which NFL hopefuls will be joining the Dallas Cowboys, finally putting to bed all of the guesstimating and speculation. But before that happens, we will take one last shot at predicting who they will select in the 2023 NFL Draft.

For this exercise will be using Dane Brugler’s top 300 player rankings to use as a guide as to when and where each prospect could possibly be drafted. And, since predicting trades is nearly impossible, we will also assume the Cowboys stand pat in each round with all of their seven selections. Now, let’s draft!

1.26 – OL Darnell Wright, Tennessee (30 pre-draft visitor)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Bowling Green at Tennessee Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

24. Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee (6-5, 333)

With his extraordinary power and torque, Wright creates a surge in the run game with the physical hands to latch, drive and displace. While he is susceptible to inside rush moves, he reaches his landmarks and stays square as a pass blocker, relying on his length, punch and stout anchor to stalemate rushers. Overall, Wright will get himself into trouble when he sacrifices technique for his nasty demeanor, but he naturally defaults to his raw power and body control to consistently win in both the run and passing game. He is a plug-and-play right tackle, and some teams have him on their draft board as a starting guard.

Cowboys fit:

Like Zack Martin, Ron Leary, and Connor Williams before him, Darnell Wright would make the transition from offensive tackle to guard with the Cowboys. He would immediately step in Day 1 to replace Connor McGovern at left guard as a rookie. He could potentially replace Terence Steele at right tackle next year if Dallas chooses not to re-sign him to a long-term contract extension.

2.58 – RB Zach Charbonnet (30 pre-draft visitor)

UCLA Bruins defeated the Stanford Cardinal 38-13 during a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

61. Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA (6-0, 214)

Charbonnet reads the field and his blockers exceptionally well and consistently picks up positive yardage with his ability to absorb contact. He is an average burst runner and can be tracked down from behind, but while he won’t hit many home runs, he will pile up the doubles (22.6 percent of his carries resulted in a 10-plus-yard gain in 2022). Overall, Charbonnet is not a dynamic start-stop athlete to quickly change rush lanes or escape trouble, but he has extraordinary vision with reliable pass-catching and blocking skills and impeccable football character. He projects as a low-end NFL starter.

Cowboys fit:

With the exception of maybe Bijan Robinson, there might not be another running back in the entire 2023 draft class who would complement Tony Pollard better than former UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet. He is a legit three-down back with RB1 upside who can pick up the tough yards in short-yardage situations and give also Pollard a breather from time to time, which would allow him to remain the home run hitter he is anytime he touches the ball.

3.90 – WR Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss (30 pre-draft visitor)

Mississippi State v Ole Miss Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

86. Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss (6-1, 220)

A smooth, physical presence with strong hands, Mingo is a balanced athlete in his releases, routes and at the catch point. He is a long-strider who needs a beat to build up his speed and must fine-tune areas of his game, including his efficiency at the top of the stem. Overall, Mingo has only average deception and separation quickness, but with his size, pacing and competitive ball skills, he has the body control and upside that has the attention of NFL teams. He has starting potential in the right situation.

Cowboys fit:

In CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup, the Cowboys have one of the better WR trios in the entire league. Behind them, the depth is pretty much unproven and nonexistent. The addition of Jonathan Mingo could fix all that. He is a big, physical WR with deceptive speed to challenge defenses vertically. Early on could take over Noah Brown’s role as the WR4 as a big slot receiver as well as contribute on special teams.

4.129 – LB DeMarvion Overshown, Texas (30 pre-draft visitor)

Louisiana Monroe v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

121. DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas (6-2, 229)

Overshown has the frame of a lean, oversized safety and creates plays with his sideline-to-sideline range and attacking mentality. A see-ball, get-ball type of player, he diagnoses well and keeps his eyes locked on the ball carrier, but not the climbing blocker ahead of him and will struggle to sift through traffic. Overall, Overshown must continue developing his strength and awareness within the flow of the play, but he has above-average speed to be an energetic run-and-hit pursuit player with upside in coverage. He projects as core NFL special teamer and subpackage rush/drop linebacker.

Cowboys fit:

With both Luke Gifford’s and Anthony Barr’s departures via free agency, the LB depth behind Leighton Vander Esch and Damone Clark is severely lacking. Former Longhorns LB DeMarvion Overshown is an ascending player who is still learning to play the position after transitioning from safety who could be the solution to Dallas’ depth concerns. His size, length, and sideline to sideline range could get him on the field early and often as a rookie.

5.169 – DT Jaquelin Roy, LSU (30 pre-draft visitor)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 15 LSU at Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

181. Jaquelin Roy, DT, LSU (6-3, 305)

Roy is a complicated evaluation – he flashes promise because of his power, but his movement skills are average, and it will take time for him to adjust to pro blockers. He is a draft-and-develop tackle who can work his way into an NFL rotation as a rookie.

Cowboys fit:

The Cowboys re-signed Jonathan Hankins, but lost Carlos Watkins via free agency and have yet to replace him. Former LSU DT Jaquelin Roy is an intriguing option to do just that. He is yet a sum of all his parts, but has all of the desired traits to develop into a starting caliber 1-tech in a 4-3 defensive scheme with better coaching and further development. He’s a moldable piece of clay Dan Quinn would probably love to get is hands on.

6.212 – TE Brayden Willis, Oklahoma (30 pre-draft visitor)

UTEP v Oklahoma Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

220. Brayden Willis, TE, Oklahoma (6-3, 241)

Willis won’t be a full-field receiving threat in the pros, but he has a healthy appetite as a blocker and will appeal to NFL teams that value alignment versatility. He projects as a wide-ranging H-back (backfield, inline or slot) and regular contributor on special teams.

Cowboys fit:

Both Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot showed a lot of promise as rookies last year with the Cowboys and should be even better in Year 2. Ferguson particularly showed enough to step in for Dalton Schultz and Hendershot could have the edge right now to be the primary backup. While Brayden Willis may not be an upgrade over either, he has a lot of versatility as an in-line/move TE or H-back as well as being a fixture on special teams.

7.244 – CB Mekhi Garner, LSU (private workout)

LSU Tigers v Georgia Bulldogs Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

270. Mekhi Garner, CB, LSU (6-2, 212)

Garner is a big, physical corner built to match up with size at the next level, although NFL speed will shine a light on his lagging transitions and marginal recovery speed. His best chance at finding an NFL home will be as a zone corner.

Cowboys fit:

In Trevon Diggs, Stephon Gilmore, DaRon Bland, and Jourdan Lewis, the Cowboys are four strong at cornerback heading into the 2023 season. The depth behind them (Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright) are unproven and could stand to be upgraded. Mekhi Garner is an intriguing CB prospect who fits what Dan Quinn prefers on the perimeter as far as size and length is concerned. He would add much-needed depth to the position.

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