Cowboys 2021 Draft Prospect: Davis Mills the hidden QB gem

Davis Mills, Stanford Cardinal (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Davis Mills, Stanford Cardinal (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

For a third straight offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have yet to agree to a long-term contract with starting quarterback Dak Prescott. The potential benefits and drawbacks of breaking the bank on Prescott still provoke contentious debate.

Given the team’s history of awful misses at the position, few feel Dallas has the foresight and savvy to adequately fill the monster hole Prescott would leave. As difficult of a task as it seems, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

If Prescott does not have a long-term deal in place by the draft, future replacement options must be secured. While trading up is the more accepted, safe option, there is a hidden gem in this quarterback class that deserves a hard look from the front office.

DAVIS MILLS – 6-foot-4, 225 (STANFORD)

Career Stats: 13 games, 287-438 (65.5%), 3,468 yards, 18 TD, 8 INT

Davis Mills was a 5-star recruit and the highest-rated pro-style quarterback in his class. He was highly productive in limited time at Stanford, yet is flying under the 2021 draft radar as he hasn’t started a full season or very many games.

As a Junior in 2019, he replaced injured starter, K.J. Costello, for eight games of the season. Overall his superior production ultimately swiped the job away. Costello had been the starter the past two seasons and he transferred to Mississippi State for 2020 after losing out to Mills.

2020 was another limited season for Mills as Stanford only played five games due to the pandemic. In another smaller sample size, Mills continued to display professional-caliber pocket presence, accuracy, advanced ball placement, and plus arm strength.

In a weapon-rich passing offense like Dallas, I project Mills as the third-highest ceiling pocket passer in the draft behind Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. Unlike those two household names, Mills can be secured in Day Two of the draft.

Mills played 11 games in which he attempted over 25 passes. Five games resulted in a 70 percent or greater completion rate. Eight times he threw over 60 percent completions. His career completion rate of 66 percent demonstrates solid accuracy.

Unlike celebrated 2021 quarterback prospects, Mills didn’t have a dominating weapon to rely on, as no receiver gained over 672 yards in either season. While not a designed scrambler, Mills pocket presence and craftiness is sneaky mobile. He slides away from pressure well and quickly scampers for yards when presented.

Limited starts should warrant a year of pro seasoning behind a veteran. Sitting behind Prescott if on his final franchise season is one option. If Dak is traded, re-signing a known product like Andy Dalton to groom Mills would be a worthy consideration.

Related Story. 4 free agents who could make the Cowboys a playoff team. light

Replacing Dak Prescott in Dallas is not a popular task to take on, but maybe the reality. The draft investment needed to trade up for a top prospect like Wilson would cost other areas of the team. However, spending a Day Two pick on Mills to groom behind a free agent veteran for a season would be a legitimate avenue to explore.