Dallas Cowboys Pick 99
Alim McNeill, DT
I think it goes without saying the Dallas Cowboys are in desperate need of upgrading their interior defensive line this offseason. They are arguably the worst in the NFL this year and their pressure rate and run-stopping struggles prove it.
As discussed early in this mock draft, we’re operating under the assumption Dallas adds a veteran starting DT to lock down a starting role. Rookies rarely develop into legit players in Year 1. That’s especially true this year since no player looks like they’re worth a first round pick in this unimpressive class.
The depth of DT isn’t quite as bad and if Dallas hits the position between Round 2 and Round 4, they could find a decent prospect to groom for the future. Enter Alim McNeill from NC State.
McNeill is a big (320lbs.), quick, fluid, and hardworking prospect who can play 2-gap and nose tackle or play as a penetrating 1-gap at 1-tech. According to Bruce Feldman’s football freaks list, McNeill is one of the most physically impressive prospects seen: he benches 445 and squats 640 all while running a sub 5 second 40 and vertical leaping 32 inches.
There’s a good chance someone like McNeill rotates early as a rookie and given the dire state of affairs in Dallas, he could start sooner rather than later. He’s a versatile piece inside who can play both odd and even fronts. He will start his career as a 2-down player but has the natural explosion to develop into more.