After a depressing 2020 season, the Dallas Cowboys are now looking ahead to next year. The first critical step is free agency. When writing up a Dallas Cowboys mock draft, defensive back is the number one concern, and defense, in general, has to be a priority. Let’s jump right into it.
Cowboys Mock Draft
1.10 | Caleb Farley | CB | Virginia Tech
Caleb Farley is one of the top available defensive players, but there are concerns regarding his lack of experience at cornerback. He made the switch from quarterback to wide receiver upon entering college and then in 2018 switched to corner. He had an excellent 2019 season, aside from a few games missed due to injury, then, before the 2020 season, he decided to opt-out due to COVID-19 concerns.
No one is questioning his talent and Dallas would not be able to pass on him if he was available with this selection. Adding an extremely talented young corner to the roster after taking Trevon Diggs, last year. Farley has a really good chance to develop into a shutdown corner because of his rare combination of speed and physicality. Just a solid selection for the Cowboys mock draft.
2.44 | James Hudson | OT | Cincinnati
Next, we head into the second round of the Cowboys mock draft with the 44th pick. I have Dallas selecting offensive tackle James Hudson from the University of Cincinnati. I know what you’re thinking Cowboys fans, the offensive line is fine… newsflash, no they aren’t. They have had a problem over the last few years with this position group staying healthy. With a lot of injuries to multiple players, the old adage comes into play: the best ability…is availability. Last season Tyron Smith only played in two weeks of the season after suffering a neck injury, which can be a career-ending injury if not managed correctly.
In the past five seasons, Smith has missed at least three games in each. With him injured the majority of the time, it’s difficult to protect your franchise quarterback. Plus, the team is weighing out the option of keeping Smith or letting him go. If they let him walk, the team will save about $10 million against the projected salary cap.
With the potential draft selection of Hudson, you have the successor for Smith. He has the necessary physical tools to become a dominant player. Also, with this pick, in the Cowboys mock draft, Dallas is building quality depth into their offensive line.
4.75 | Payton Turner | Edge | Houston
The corner is not the only important need for the Cowboys. Edge rushers are too. In the free-agent market, Dallas has been connected to a lot of players. However, drafting one is better because the team doesn’t have enough money in the salary cap.
Luckily entering the fourth round of the Cowboys mock draft, they get a solid prospect in Payton Turner. He has been very productive during his college career. During his collegiate career, he had a total of five sacks, 3.5 during the 2019 season. He utilizes his size and lateral quickness to create a solid arsenal of pass-rushing moves. Peyton can also get to the inside and help out against the run. This makes him a versatile chess piece for new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
There are also plenty of physical attributes to like with Turner, who utilizes his size and lateral quickness to put together a solid arsenal of pass-rushing moves. Turner also has the skills to kick inside and help out against the run, making him a versatile chess piece for Dan Quinn’s scheme.
Pairing a guy like Turner with a veteran free agent signing would be a more cost-effective way for Dallas to add some more pass rush options to the in-house candidates like DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. It also would be a thrill for a Texas native like Turner to be able to suit up for the Cowboys.
4.144 | Marvin Wilson | DT | Florida State
I believe Dallas will stick with the defensive side of the ball in this Cowboys mock draft. For this selection, the Cowboys select defensive tackle Marvin Wilson from Florida State. This position had many issues during the 2020 season. Last season, Dallas struggled when it came to stopping the run.
It was the second-worst run defense in the league. In the middle of the field, there was a lack of talent, thus making this a huge priority for the team. Dallas fills a major need with a nice prospect in the fourth round of the Cowboys mock draft.
5.177 | Shane Buechele | QB | SMU
If the Cowboys don’t sign Dak Prescott to a long-term deal and they don’t keep Andy Dalton stays as the backup, look for Dallas to draft the SMU quarterback Shane Buechele. Buechele is a local product that has a powerful arm and knows how to lead a team to victory. He has the potential to be a steal this year, which is why I have him going in the fifth round in the Cowboys mock draft.
6.222 | K.J. Britt | LB | Auburn
Heading into the 2021 season, it is uncertain if linebacker Sean Lee will retire and if linebacker Leighton Vander Esch can stay healthy. If neither are on the field at the start of the season, look for Dallas to draft linebacker K.J. Britt out of Auburn. Britt showed toughness as he accumulated 60 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. During his four years in college, his team went to the college football playoff. A late-round linebacker with plenty of experience makes sense for this pick in the Cowboys mock draft.
7.234 | Ben Cleveland | OG | Georgia
With the final selection in the Cowboys mock draft, I predict the front office selects Ben Cleveland, an offensive tackle from Georgia.
Building quality offensive line depth is critical for Dallas, so taking a flyer on Cleveland in the last round makes a ton of sense. One thing that is noticeable about Cleveland is his massive 6-foot-8, 354-pound frame, which is tough to duplicate in the NFL.
This pick could allow the Cowboys to draft Cleveland as a backup to develop him into a future starter. Those kinds of gambles make more sense when you find a prospect with the impressive frame that Cleveland brings to the table.
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