NFL writers and draft experts are doing their best to manifest the Dallas Cowboys drafting Bijan Robinson. Having to wait until the No. 26 overall to pick, it feels like a long shot (at best) the former Longhorn falls that far.
It's still hard to pinpoint what the Cowboys are planning with the selection, but if Robinson is on the board Jerry Jones and company won't take more than five seconds to submit the pick to Roger Goodell.
Unfortunately, Dallas is at the mercy of the 25 teams slated ahead of them.
The best way to gauge who might be available in the first round for the Cowboys is to keep up with mock drafts from experts. We've been tracking mocks to the best of our ability for the last month, and here's one final roundup before the show gets underway Thursday night.
Final Cowboys NFL mock draft roundup:
Peter Schrager, NFL Network: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
Schrager has Robinson going 10th overall to the Eagles, so the Cowboys pivot to the explosive Gibbs, whom many teams have rated higher than Robinson. That isn't all that surprising given how much teams covet speed at the RB position, and Gibbs has plenty of it as evidenced by his 4.39 40-yard dash.
Some fans will scoff at drafting a running back in the first round, but Gibbs' home run speed, ravaging change of direction, elite route running and soft hands would be worth the price of admission.
Mel Kiper/Todd McShay, ESPN: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Another pick that would draw mixed reviews, Johnston has myriad skeptics heading into the 2023 draft. His route running and contested catch rate have room for improvement, but he's an explosive athlete who would bring needed size (6-foot-3) to an offense that currently doesn't have a receiver taller than 6-foot-2.
Dane Brugler, The Athletic: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Mayer is unequivocally the most popular pick for the Cowboys in mock drafts. He's considered the most well-rounded tight end in the class and would give Dak Prescott a big target on third down. He might not move the needle the way a Darnell Washington or other physical specimens would, but if Dallas wants to play it safe and draft a surefire TE1 who can double as a people-mover in the run game, Mayer is the guy.
Charles McDonald, Yahoo Sports: Mazi Smith, DL Michigan
Speaking of physical specimens, look no further than Mazi Smith. A breakout 2022 season in Ann Arbor paired with an electric Combine and pro day has seen Smith catapult up draft boards. There's a debate to be had whether Dallas should trade down and nab Smith a few picks later, but nobody should bat an eyelash if they snag him with the 26th pick. Defensive tackle is a huge need and Smith's upside might be too enticing to pass up. Chances are other teams feel the same way.