1. Luke Schoonmaker, TE
When the Cowboys decided not to retain Dalton Schultz, they were putting a lot of faith in Jake Ferguson — who has been playing very well in camp as well as the first preseason game. They also believed they could land a potential starter in the 2023 NFL Draft, which was full of talent.
With players such as Dalton Kincaid, Michael Mayer, and Sam LaPorta being mentioned as potential targets in Round 1, the Cowboys ended up going with nose tackle Mazi Smith. Buffalo had moved in front of them to take Kincaid but it appears Dallas had their eyes on Smith the entire time.
LaPorta was then gone by the second pick in Round 2 and Mayer followed at pick 35. Once Dallas was finally on the clock again at No. 58, Luke Musgrave was also out and their selection wound up being Luke Schoonmaker.
While we don't know if any of those players were ahead of Schoonmaker on the draft board, this felt like another instance where the front office reached for a player due to positional need.
That's not to say Schoonmaker is a bad player but there were reasons to avoid the pick — primarily his age. Early in the season, the rookie will turn 25 and history has shown players over 23 don't typically develop much more once in the league. And Schoonmaker didn't exactly light it up for Michigan.
So far in camp, he's been an afterthought. An injury kept him off the field early but when he's been out there, he's been overshadowed by Ferguson and undrafted free agent John Stephens, Jr. There's time for him to turn it around but it's not the best start for the rookie.