Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys, draft these hidden gems

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Jaylen Samuels
RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Jaylen Samuels /

For several years, the Dallas Cowboys have been building their team through the draft, and they can continue to do that by drafting these hidden gems.

Since the Dallas Cowboys are now allergic to signing impactful free agents, their belief system is to build a successful team through the draft.

As much as I agree with building a team through the draft, the key is to draft the right players who can be contributors sooner rather than later. The franchise can only hope players reach their full potential in or around their third year.

The Cowboys did the unimaginable last offseason when it allowed most of their veteran secondary to walk into free agency. Then the Cowboys took it a step further when it drafted four rookies to man the secondary.

The Cowboys drafted Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods, and  Marquez White in the 2017 draft. Awuzie, Jourdan, and Woods played in several games as rookies and showed flashes of their playmaking abilities.

They’re going to be really good, just watch.

Although White was on the Cowboys’ practice squad, the coaching staff sees him competing for a starting cornerback position. They have high hopes for him. That’s a good thing moving forward because this team needs as many playmakers as possible in their defensive backfield.

Since most of those rookies will be major contributors next season, let’s look at a few hidden gems in this year’s draft that could be impactful for the Cowboys next season. Ironically, these players are from a non-football powerhouse school, but they’ve produced plenty of football players who are starring for several NFL teams.

In fact, one of their teammates, Bradley Chubb, will more than likely be the first overall pick in April’s draft.

Jaylen Samuels, RB/TE NC State (projected rounds 3-4)

Samuels is the most versatile player in the draft. He can play running back, fullback, slot receiver, and tight end for the NC State Wolfpack.

Whenever the Wolfpack needed a big play, they called upon the versatility of Samuels to score a touchdown, either running the ball or catching it on a wheel route into the end zone.

Standing only 5’11 and weighing 223 pounds, the dynamic runner will be a mismatch for opposing defenses. For starters, Samuels is a threat catching the ball out of the backfield. He caught 76 receptions for 597 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Further, he rushed for 403 yards on 77 carries, averaged 5.2 yards a carry, and rushed for 12 touchdowns. If you’re counting his touchdowns, that’s a total of 16 touchdowns with almost 1,000 yards of receiving and rushing yards.

Samuels would be one hell of a third down back because of his ability to run the ball on short yardage and lining up in the slot. This will cause nightmares for opposing defensive coordinators.

Scouts have Samuels going in rounds 3-4. If he’s there for Dallas in the third round, they should select him. Samuels can flat out play. Think of a bigger and more athletic Darren Sproles.

If the Dallas Cowboys wants to be a dominant offense once again, selecting Samuels will only boost their offensive power. So go get him!

To put this into perspective, New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, was at NC State’s pro day scouting these players and a few others, like Nyheim Hines (RB), Kentavius Street (DT), Justin Jones (DT), and Tony Adams (G). That’s because he knows these players are worth drafting.

B.J. Hill, DT, NC State (projected round 2)

B.J. Hill is another hidden gem that is flying under the radar, and its because his teammate, Chubb, received all of the well-deserved publicity.

Regardless, Hill is a beast to be reckoned with and is a day one starter. The massive defensive tackle is 6’3, 311lbs, is very athletic for his size, runs a 4.99-second 40-yard dash, benched pressed 225 pounds 35 times, ran a 7.28-second 3-cone, and recorded a 4.53-second short shuttle at the NFL combine.

Simply put, Hill is a miniature grizzly bear that will terrorize the living hell out of running backs and quarterbacks. His quick burst of speed, his ability to take on and beat double-teams, and make tackles at the line of scrimmage and downfield make Hill a can’t miss draft prospect.

Imagine Hill paired up with Demarcus Lawrence, David Irvin, Taco Charlton, and Maliek Collins. At best, Hill can challenge for a starting sport, and at worse, he can be heavily rotated in the defensive line. Hill has first-round talent but is expected to go in the second round.

Will Richardson, OT, NC State (projected round 5)

Standing 6’6, weighing in at 306 pounds, Richardson ran a 5.26-second 40-yard dash, has a 31.5-inch vertical leap, and recorded a 9-foot broad jump at the NFL combine.

This talented offensive lineman didn’t allow a sack and only let up on five pressures in his last collegiate season. Richardson utilizes his foot quickness against speed, handles pass rushers up the pocket with ease, and his overall athletic prowess helps him tremendously when he’s been beaten.

Richardson can play right tackle but has the skill set to play guard. After watching the Dallas Cowboys struggle with its offensive line last year, Richardson would be a great asset to Dallas’ All-Pro offensive line.

More from Dallas Cowboys

The only problem with Richardson is his off the field behavior. Richardson was suspended for a DWI and for a marijuana-type offense while at NC State. Nevertheless, he’s still worth drafting or at least looking at because of his athleticism and overall talent.

Besides, owner and General Manager, Jerry Jones, loves players with a checkered past (that’s if they’re good). And Richardson is good.

To put this into perspective, New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, was at NC State’s pro day scouting these players and a few others, like Nyheim Hines (RB), Kentavius Street (DT), Justin Jones (DT), and Tony Adams (G). That’s because he knows these players are worth drafting.

I doubt if Belichick makes a trade with the Cleveland Browns for their first and fourth overall picks to select the dynamic Bradley Chubb.

Next: Will the Cowboys move La'el Collins?

But the Belichick was there scouting the aforementioned players to give Tom Brady more offensive weapons, get Brady more protection, find defensive help, and make it back to his ninth Super Bowl.

So please keep that in mind Jerry and Stephen Jones when looking for these hidden gems.