Grading the Cowboys 24th overall pick: Tulsa OT Tyler Smith
Welp, we all knew the Dallas Cowboys were going to be interested in an offensive lineman. Unfortunately, two of the top offensive guards in Kenyon Green and Zion Johnson were gone before the Cowboys were due to pick. So, that left them with Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith.
To put it nicely, this pick was a surprise. Smith was seen as a second or third-round player on many big boards, including being ranked 42nd overall on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board. Yet, the Cowboys decided to select him at 24. Smith is a big, powerful, nasty offensive tackle that is expected to start at left guard for the Cowboys.
Grading the Cowboys’ 24th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft: Tulsa OT Tyler Smith
There is clearly a need for run-blocking for the Cowboys and Smith should immediately improve the offensive line in that facet. But, he is still sloppy in some aspects of his game. For example, he committed far too many penalties last season. In 12 games, he had 16 penalties and 12 of those were holding calls.
We were hoping to decrease the number of penalties from our left guard position with the departure of Connor Williams. But, that may not be the case unless the Cowboys’ coaching staff can fix Smith’s technique during the off-season. This was your typical traits over production pick. Smith did not have the best production at Tulsa, but his 6-5, 324-pound frame projects very well.
Dallas had Smith as the16th ranked player on their board, which was probably a lot higher than most teams and seems pretty surprising given the Tulsa product barely spoke to Dallas before the draft. However, selecting the best player on their board has been good for the Cowboys over the past few years, and hopefully, that continues this year.
Another interesting fact about Smith is that he is only 21 years old, making him one of the youngest players in the draft class. He is also from Fort Worth, Texas, which is right around the corner from where he will now be playing his home games.
America’s team needed to get younger and more versatile on the offensive line, so adding Smith makes sense for those reasons. Now, it will be on Dallas to fix his technique and turn him into a great player.
Overall, I would have rather seen the Cowboys take Tyler Linderbaum, Devin Lloyd, or Nakobe Dean with the 24th pick. I think all three of those players could have helped the team more this season than Smith. The Cowboys should be in win-now mode and this pick just doesn’t seem to reflect that mentality. Plus, it’s pretty rare for Dallas to select a guy who wasn’t one of their pre-draft visits. Smith himself even admitted that he was shocked to be selected by Jerry Jones and Co.
Now that the Cowboys addressed the offensive line, they should be focused on wide receivers and defensive players on day two.