With the 169th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected offensive tackle Asim Richards from North Carolina. We thought they would attack the offensive line earlier in the draft, but they finally made a pick along the line.
Richards is thick-hipped with good lower-body power fueling above average drive-blocking potential. He clears space when he’s centered into opponents, but he lacks the body control and hand consistency to do so on a regular basis. Pass protection concerns will be diminished with a move inside, but there will still be work needed when it comes to getting his feet in position to slow interior rushers. Richards’ drive blocking and potential position versatility give him a shot at a backup role with upside.
Richards is a physical run blocker with a nasty streak. He flashes strong hands in the run game. Once he has latched, there are nice reps of him driving defenders vertically or washing them down the line of scrimmage laterally. This showed up on occasion versus Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy. Richards has active hands that he fits and reestablishes if he begins to lose grip. I love the way he competes and the desire to displace defenders. He neutralizes linebackers at the second level by climbing off double teams in the run game.
In pass protection, Richards uses his arm length to keep defenders at a distance. When his punches are thrown with optimal timing, he can make it difficult for smaller defenders to get into his frame. There is decent variety with his pass sets. Richards will short-set and take the air out of pass rushers.
- Round 1, pick 26 - DT Mazi Smith (Michigan)
- Round 2, pick 58 - TE Luke Schoonmaker (Michigan)
- Round 3, pick 90 - LB DeMarvion Overshown (Texas)
- Round 4, pick 129 - OT Asim Richards (North Carolina)
- Round 5, pick 169
- Round 6, pick 212
- Round 7, pick 244
Cowboys Day 3 needs:
OG/OL: The Cowboys lost Connor McGovern, last year’s starter, and have yet to really replace him in the lineup. Tyler Smith could be the guy if they wanted, but they might prefer him at tackle, especially given Tyron Smith’s injury history, and Terence Steele’s injury recovery.
RB: Dallas begins life without Ezekiel Elliott (unless they re-sign him). With Tony Pollard as RB1, the Cowboys could use a complement, especially with Pollard on a one-year deal.
WR: The team brought in Brandin Cooks giving them a solid top three, but depth is an issue. It hurt them last year, they will want to reinforce the position for 2023.
CB: You can never have enough, and Stephon Gilmore may be only here for a year. They need to make a move to fortify depth and look to the future.