NFL Draft week is finally here and the rumors are getting crazier by the day. In fact, Kentucky QB Will Levis seemingly has a real shot of being the No. 1 overall pick after his odds exploded overnight from +5000 to +400. That doesn't impact the Dallas Cowboys, but it could foreshadow the madness that could ensue.
The Cowboys don't pick until No. 26 overall, where they're expected to target the best player available with a focus at tight end, running back and the defensive line, whether it be an interior linemen or the top remaining edge rusher.
There's a contentious debate taking place on Cowboys Twitter about how smart it would be to draft a tight end (or RB) in the first round. Recent draft history has proven teams can find value at those positions beyond the first 32 picks and both positions offer incredible depth this year.
What most fans can agree on, though, is that Dallas shouldn't give any thought to moving up in the first round. Unless a Jalen Carter, Jaxon Smith-Njigba or another prospect of that ilk is attainable, Dallas should either stand pat at pick 26 or trade down.
If you asked former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum, though, he'd advocate for the Cowboys to trade up for one of the top two tight ends.
Former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum thinks Cowboys should trade up for a tight end
“I think this team desperately needs a tight end to replace Dalton Schultz. I think the guys behind him [second-year risers Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot] are okay, but they’re really projections," Tannenbaum told Cowboys Wire.
“They would love [Michael] Mayer or [Dalton] Kincaid. "I don’t know if either one of them would make it that far. I think the Giants and the Cowboys could be competing for Mayer, depending on how things play out, despite [Darren] Waller being there for the Giants. I think trading up a little bit makes sense if you can get one of those two guys.”
It's pretty obvious the Cowboys would love one of Mayer or Kincaid. In Mayer's case, the most prominent draft experts in the business -- including Mel Kiper and Dane Brugler -- projected Mayer to Dallas in their final mocks.
But trading up in Round 1 for a tight end? Jerry Jones loves nothing more than flashy moves, but surely Will McClay or someone else in Dallas' braintrust is in the owner's ear educating him on the sheer idiocy of such a move.
Both Mayer and Kincaid are awesome players, but that doesn't mean the Cowboys should trade up for one of them. Any first round trade would likely cost the No. 58 overall pick or the No. 90 overall selection, so they'd essentially be trading two picks for a TE in a draft where they only have seven picks to begin with.
Does that sound like smart business? If Dallas wanted to trade up in the middle rounds, be our guest. We wouldn't advocate for it, but the cost wouldn't be nearly as demanding. Even still, players like Darnell Washington, Luke Schoonmaker, Tucker Kraft, and Sam LaPorta will all be available in Round 2 and beyond.
While neither prospect is as polished or readymade as Mayer and Kincaid, Washington arguably has the greatest ceiling, and Schoonmaker, Kraft and LaPorta all project to be starting-caliber or serviceable pro tight ends.
We understand where Tannenbaum is coming from, but he's lost the plot by suggesting the Cowboys trade up for Mayer or Kincaid. No team should ever show that kind of desperation for a non-premium position.