Cowboys 7-round 2024 mock draft: Filling holes and spreading the wealth

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Round 5, Pick 174: LB Jaylan Ford

While the addition of Eric Kendricks certainly helps build back a LB unit that was victimized in 2023, more help is needed. Unfortunately, the 2024 NFL draft isn’t exactly rich in LB prospects and many of the ones who standout at the top of the board come with injury concerns or are undersized.

The Cowboys have a handful of good options at WILL but are limited in their options at MIKE. Damone Clark has the size but based on his play in 2023, is probably better at WILL or SAM. Kendricks has the ability but based on his age (32) and size (6-foot, 232-pounds) he can’t be relied on to hold up in the middle alone - Especially since Dallas doesn’t have true a 1-tech on the roster yet.

Jaylan Ford, 6-foot-2, 240-pounds, is one of the bigger prospects in the draft. He may not be a perfect MIKE prospect but he’s a strong run stopper and has no problem attacking the backfield. Given Mike Zimmer’s love for A-gap blitzing, Ford could find a place on the Cowboys as a SAM/MIKE, working in a rotation that features him on running downs.

Does this solve all of Dallas’ issues at LB?

Certainly not but with so many other needs on the roster, LB has to take a backseat in the “needs” hierarchy and getting someone like Ford in the fifth round is good value. Additionally, some good LB veterans are still on the market and more will likely break free once teams conduct their traditional post-draft roster purges. The real issue on the Cowboys is at 1-tech DT.