2. Alim McNeill, DT (North Carolina State)
The Dallas Cowboys gave up the second-most rushing yards per game in the NFL last season with 158.8. The team was often simply outmatched in the trenches and it became apparent relatively early in the season that they could use an upgrade in the interior of their defensive line.
With the team likely switching to a 4-3 defense under recently acquired defensive coordinator Dan Quinn the team will now likely need to increase the number of defensive tackles it puts on the field. Fortunately, Dallas has made a handful of moves in free agency to address the need for more depth at the position by bringing in defensive linemen Brent Urban and Carlos Watkins. However, the organization is still in desperate need of upgrading the quality of play at the position.
In this scenario, the Cowboys take a swing at fulfilling that need by selecting North Carolina State defensive tackle Alim McNeill. The six-foot-two, 320-pound defensive lineman had 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, and an interception while playing eleven games last year.
The young defender had his best statistical season back in 2019 when he accrued an impressive 5.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss during his sophomore year for the Wolfpack.
McNeill could join second-year defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill to add to the teams’ talented, young group of players at the position.
The Dallas Cowboys address one of their biggest needs here with the selection of Alim McNeill and build upon the work they began in the offseason trying to address their weakness along the defensive line. McNeill would be a solid addition to the Cowboys defense and the team would be lucky to get him the second round.