Mel Kiper Jr. has Cowboys taking potential Tyron Smith replacement in new Mock Draft

Will Jerry Jones and Co. go with an OT in the first round?
Ole Miss v Georgia
Ole Miss v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

With the NFL Combine here, it's time for Jerry Jones, Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys to take their research for the 2024 NFL Draft into overdrive. Who will the Cowboys end up selecting with the No. 24 overall pick? We can't wait to find out.

There are major needs for this team on both sides of the ball, as fans are hoping to forget about the Wild Card Round loss to the Packers as soon as possible. With Tyron Smith potentially on his way out in free agency, could a new offensive tackle be on the way in late April? That's what Mel Kiper Jr. thinks will happen, as he has Dallas rocking with Amarius Mims in his latest mock draft.

Amarius Mims to the Cowboys in the 2024 NFL Draft would make a ton of sense

"Mims has even fewer college starts than (Tyler)Guyton, as he was limited to just eight over the past three seasons because of injuries and draft picks in front of him on the Bulldogs' depth chart. But when he did play, he made defenders look silly. Mims, 6-7 and 340, allowed zero sacks and just five total pressures across 372 career pass blocks. Will NFL teams be scared off by his limited experience, or will they draft him high based on his size and potential? I lean toward the latter, because he was that good when he got on the field."

Mel Kiper Jr.

In his piece, Kiper said the Cowboys could draft Mims to take over at left tackle for Smith. However, he also left the door open for Dallas to potentially grab him regardless if Smith leaves or not, with Mims pushing Terence Steele, who struggled mightily this season, at right tackle as an option too.

Mims' versatility makes him an attractive target for several teams. From our chair, though, using a first-rounder on an OT would make much more sense if Smith leaves in free agency and the Cowboys use that money to invest elsewhere.

Dallas is still expected to work a new deal with Dak Prescott, while CeeDee Lamb is in need of an extension too. Lamb is no question about to be paid like one of the top wideouts on the planet. Don't forget Micah Parsons is waiting for his payday as well.

With all of that said, Dallas has the opportunity to select a true playmaker late in the first round of the upcoming draft. The offensive line is never a sexy position to target for the fanbase, but Mims' talent is undeniable and he'd fill a major hole if Smith suits up for a different team in '24. The Georgia product will be someone to keep an eye on leading up to draft night, no doubt.

More Cowboys news and analysis: