We’re only in February but already the different mock drafts are starting to homogenize. The Dallas Cowboys are honing in on their early picks and strategically attacking their needs list in most mock draft scenarios. There’s some deviation from one mock to another, but they all largely focus on the same things.
The reality is Dallas Cowboys fans, the 2021 NFL Draft is setting up to be the most unpredictable draft since the dawn of the internet. With seasons reduced (some even canceled), players opting out, and the NFL Combine effectively cancelled, it’s never been harder to evaluate players and prognosticate their potential. Less interaction between scouts means less groupthink and more varying evaluations.
In this Dallas Cowboys 7-Round mock draft, they go a surprising direction
So while mock drafts are starting to find common ground and the disparity between each is getting less and less by the day, the same can’t be said for NFL front offices around the league. Players are going to go much earlier and much later than you and I are prepared for and it’s going to shock people when the 2021 NFL Draft kicks off on April 29th.
The Dallas Cowboys also stand to shock some people. The consensus is they will either be picking a CB or OT with their top pick (roughly 80% of mocks), but they may go a different direction entirely and I’m not talking about quarterback.
As always, we use draft resources like The Draft Network, Senior Bowl Week film and its data, and some good old fashioned game tape for assessments. We factor the Dallas Cowboys current situation and predicted course of action to make. Let’s start!
Round 1, Pick 10
EDGE Kwity Paye
The Dallas Cowboys value edge rushers immensely. It’s a position they like to target and it’s a position that rarely produces diamonds after the first two rounds. Dallas’ current situation at DE is thin. DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory remain cornerstones (and are probably the most talented players on the defense) but the depth is thin behind them.
With Aldon Smith
probably leaving and Tyron Crawford out to pasture, Dorance Armstrong Jr and Bradley Anae are the primary depth. That’s concerning. Also consider Gregory’s snap count…
Last season, Gregory only played 251 snaps. Sure, he only played 10 games but that still just comes out to 25 snaps per game. In the four NFL seasons he’s played in, he’s never once played even 50% of the snaps. So while great things are expected of the oft-suspended pass-rusher, great things shouldn’t be expected.
Kwity Paye is a player who could easily be picked before the Dallas Cowboys even go on the clock. The 6-foot-4 edge rusher from Michigan has that quick-twitch explosiveness teams covet on the edge. The raw prospect has an extremely high ceiling and has only scratched the surface of his potential.
He’s a high effort and extremely motivated player who is about the furthest thing from Taco Charlton and you can get. At 277 lbs. Paye is big enough to kick inside in NASCAR packages when Gregory mans the edge.
Even with Tank and Gregory locked in as edge starters, Paye can easily get starter level snaps as a rookie. It’s a high potential pick at a high value position. Don’t’ be shocked if the Dallas Cowboys look to DE early in the draft.