The Dallas Cowboys 2020 draft class is a lesson in value

Dallas Cowboys war room (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys war room (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NFL Draft concluded on Saturday. If you are not excited by the Dallas Cowboys seven selections, there may be no hope for you.

The Dallas Cowboys added several new pieces to their roster during the 2020 NFL draft last weekend. The draft started with an unexpected player, CeeDee Lamb, falling to the 17th pick.

Players falling to the Cowboys became the theme of the draft. Dallas made only one trade moving up 22 spots from their 168th pick to grab Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz costing America’s team their 2021 5th round pick.

Second-round pick Trevon Diggs, picked at 51, was rated 31st on the Pro Football Focus (PFF) draft board mock simulator and 49th on Daniel Jeremiah’s (DJ) top 150 prospects. Third-round pick Neville Gallimore, picked at 82, was 51st on the PFF board and 65th on DJ’s top 150.

Fourth-round picks Reggie Robinson, picked at 123, and Tyler Biadasz, picked at 146, were the only “reaches” on the night – with PFF and DJ mixed on value versus reach. Robinson had a 211th rating from PFF but 84th from DJ and Biadasz was 87th on PFF but not ranked on DJ’s top 150.

Fifth-round pick Bradlee Anae, picked at 179, was rated 130th on PFF’s board and 75th on DJ’s top 150. Anae was the largest steal on Jeremiah’s board picked 104 spots after his ranking.

Seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci, picked at 231, is a quarterback project. It will be surprising if he makes the roster in 2020.

PFF gave the Cowboys an A+ for their seven-player haul joining the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, and Cleveland Browns with the drafts highest grade. Of course, immediate draft grades are almost comical when you look back at the draft in three years time – case in point. the Cowboys immediate 2017 draft grade.

Dallas had the second-highest value on DJ’s top 150 board behind the Baltimore Ravens. Anae (+104), Robinson (+39), Gallimore (+17), Lamb (+8), Diggs (+2), and Biadasz (-4) netted the Cowboys 166 value points or in Jeremiah’s estimation, the equivalent of five first, second or third-round draft picks.

When you look at the trades made in the draft, the Dallas Cowboys were strategic with their one trade – targeting a Wisconsin center to replace the recently retired Travis Frederick who played college ball at Wisconsin. Five teams, Arizona, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee did not make a single draft-day trade.

The cost to move up 22 spots was 10 points on the Jimmy Johnson (JJ) draft pick trade chart. It is about 1.1 AV points on the draft pick chart I created using the 2011 through 2016 drafts.

By trading their 2021 fifth-round pick, Dallas sent 11 JJ points and 4.5 AV points to Philadelphia to pick Biadasz. The fifth-round pick theoretically has 25 JJ points and 6.2 AV but it is discounted by one round since it is a future pick. With Dallas likely to get four compensatory picks in 2021, the trade cost is minimized.

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We won’t know what the Dallas Cowboys have with their 2020 draft class for a while. The hype certainly is enticing but let’s not forget that the chances of a rookie, besides first-round pick CeeDee Lamb, making a big impact this season are pretty low.