How does ESPN’s latest mock draft address Cowboys’ most pressing needs?

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 26: Offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum #65 of the Iowa Hawkeyes prepares to snap the ball against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first half at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2021 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 26: Offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum #65 of the Iowa Hawkeyes prepares to snap the ball against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first half at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2021 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

Mock draft season is in full effect. Writers from all over the NFL world are giving their opinions as to who they think every team should take. The opinions seem to be mixed about the Dallas Cowboys for a variety of reasons. For starters, the team has several positional needs, so it’s a bit less obvious what type of player the organization needs to take in each round. Secondly, because they currently have the 24th overall pick, there are so many variables up in the air for the team. Unexpected players can be picked, trades can happen, and much more.

In a recent 7-round mock draft from ESPN’s Jordan Reid (subscription required), Dallas is taking a bit of a different approach to their positional needs. While the opinions vary, there are four players who seem to be highly associated with the Cowboys these days: OT Kenyon Green, G Zion Johnson, WR Chris Olave, and WR Treylon Burks. Oddly, Reid’s mock has none of those names going to the Cowboys.

In this mock, both Johnson and Olave were already off the board by the time the 24th overall pick came around. Instead of taking Green, Reid had the Cowboys taking Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. Linderbaum is an excellent prospect who is often off the board in mock drafts before the Cowboys even get to him. However, given issues at guard, you’d think the Cowboys would take Green in this instance, especially since Linderbaum wasn’t an official visit.

Dallas could certainly use help at center, but would this pick make the most sense? Let’s take a look at all nine of the picks from Reid to give you an idea of what could potentially happen at the end of the month.

ESPN’s latest full 7-round mock draft has the Cowboys selecting Tyler Linderbaum in the first and addressing many positional needs

The nine picks from Reid are actually very well-rounded. The analyst addresses offensive and defensive needs and even adds a much-needed kicker. Let’s take a look at the prospects.

  • Round 1, Pick 24 – Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
    • Linderbaum has the potential to be a rookie who has a breakout year in the NFL. He’s often been considered the best center in the draft class. He has impressive explosion and athleticism and has impressive speed for a player at almost 300 pounds. It’s rare to see this guy give up ground.
  • Round 2, Pick 56 – Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
    • In 2021, this wide receiver had seven games with over 100 yards. He even put together his best games against SEC opponents. Tolbert ranked 6th in the country in receiving yards and tied for 23rd in catches proving that he can be up there with the best of them.
  • Round 3, Pick 88 – DeAngelo Malone, DE, Western Kentucky
    • This is a name we have not seen yet on mocks for the Cowboys. Adding pass rushing help after losing Randy Gregory certainly wouldn’t hurt. Malone was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and also tied for ninth place in all of college football in TFL with 17.5.
  • Round 4, Pick 129 – Markquese Bell, S, Florida A&M
    • It’s always nice to see a name from an HBCU. Bell had an incredibly impressive combine, ranking 5th in vertical jump and 8th in broad jump among all safeties present.  It’s unlikely he’d start over Jayron Kearse or Malik Hooker, but could be a long-term developmetn.
  • Round 5, Pick 155 – Cade Otton, TE, Washington
    • Dallas needs tight end depth and a player they can develop, especially given Dalton Schultz has yet to sign an extension to take him off the franchise tag. Washington is known for tight end talent and Otton was a four-year starter.
  • Round 5, Pick 167 – Terrel Bernard, LB, Baylor
    • Reid has the Cowboys addressing another positional need here. The Cowboys clearly want Micah Parsons to continue to move around, so adding linebacker depth would help him continue to do so. Bernard was the leader of one of the best defensive units in CFB.
  • Round 5, Pick 176 – Jayden Peevy, DL, Texas A&M
    • Dallas got excellent defensive line help from prospect Osa Odighizuwa last year, and hopefully Peevy could provide more depth in case of injury concerns this year. Peevy is another player of interest from the Aggies who started all 11 games in 2021.
  • Round 5, Pick 178 – Luke Goedeke, OT, Central Michigan
    • It’s hard to imagine the Cowboys waiting to address offensive tackles or guards until the end of the fifth round. Goedeke, like teammate Bernhard Raimann, is another tight end turned tackle who brings extra athleticism to the position and could end up playing guard as well.
  • Round 5, Pick 193 – Cameron Dicker, K, Texas
    • If you’re against drafting a kicker, it’s time to wake up. With Zuerlein gone and recently signed Chris Naggar having little pro experience, a talented kicker is a need. Dicker helped Texas win several games with his lengthy kicks and also filled in at punter at times.

Overall, this mock certainly addresses several positional needs. There are a lot of newer names here that are certainly intriguing.

Next. 5 Biggest Needs for Cowboys in NFL Draft. dark