The twists and turns of the virtual NFL Draft are a week away. Let’s take a deeper look at what the Dallas Cowboys may find at pick No. 17.
As with every Dallas Cowboys draft there will be plenty of unknowns and surprises. However gathering published information from the team and NFL experts, one is able to get a firmer grasp on the likelihoods. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
14 PLAYERS EXPECTED OFF BOARD
There are 14 players the vast majority of mock drafts agree will be selected before Dallas picks at 17. A shocking overdraft of a lower rated player would help the cause. Though Dallas should at maximum only have to sweat out two picks before them. Below are the 14 locks in order by position and last name, not draft rank.
Joe Burrow – QB
Justin Herbert – QB
Tua Tagovailoa – QB
Jerry Jeudy – WR
CeeDee Lamb – WR
Henry Ruggs III – WR
Tristan Wirfs – OT
Mekhi Becton – OT
Andrew Thomas – OT
Chase Young – DE
Derrick Brown – DT
Javon Kinlaw – DT
Isaiah Simmons – LB
Jeff Okudah – CB
Of the listed positions above, the Cowboys have a reasonable need at receiver, defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, and corner. If any, and I mean any, of the players above at those positions fall to 17, he will be the selection.
The above names at those need positions are elite and instant producers. You simply don’t pass when that gift falls in your lap. Especially when the new head coach stated he seeks the very best players and the staff will create the fit.
PICKING NATURALLY AT 17
With 14 players gone, Dallas needs three players they desire enough to stay put and select from their natural position. This requires said player to be worthy of the pick’s value and too risky to trade away from in hopes they last longer.
According to all of the team’s reasonable needs, there are four players who seemingly fit this designation. Unlike the previous list, this one is ranked by draft value.
C.J. Henderson – CB
Grant Delpit – S
Xavier McKinney – S
K’Lavon Chaisson – DE
Assuming none of the locks have fallen, Henderson is easily the right pick here if available. Both McKinney and Delpit are highly talented safeties. Delpit’s size (6’3, 213) and physicality to play closer to the line and still cover tight ends is a great fit.
Dallas would love to secure a right end pass rusher to replace Robert Quinn. I just don’t believe the value is right. Chaisson will have growing pains and likely won’t provide the instant impact some assume. Been there, done that, no thanks.
If the 14 locks and Henderson are off the board, my preference is trading out of the pick to create more value. It’s hard to predict if the new regime would agree.
TRADING BACK HAS VALUE
Trading back even a handful of picks could net an extra third rounder and still land an instant contributor. They could use that extra third rounder as trade bait to move up in the second round and grab a second instant contributor.
Below is a list of qualifying players the Cowboys may value.
Cesar Ruiz – C
Kristian Fulton – CB
Jeff Gladney – CB
A.J. Terrell – CB
Trevon Diggs – CB
Zack Baun – LB/Edge
Kenneth Murray – LB
Fortunately for Dallas, this draft is rather deep at positions of reasonable need. With defense the main needs driver, a trade back would likely go that direction.
However, leaving Ruiz off the list as the new replacement for Travis Frederick would be foolish. He’s a beast at center and would make sense if accompanied by an extra draft pick.