Dallas Cowboys Round 5, Pick 179
Justin Hilliard, LB
For as good as Baron Browning’s workout was, Justin Hilliard’s was the complete opposite. Hilliard, the man who Ohio State benched Browning for on more than one occasion, put up quite the athletic stinker on his Pro Day.
It was disappointing to see a smart and hard-working player stumble so close to the finish line but his pain could be the Dallas Cowboys gain if we can steal him deep in the 5th round.
Justin Hilliard is never going to be a high impact starter – he may never be a starter. But he’s smart, disciplined, and hard-working and should have no problem rounding out depth and playing special teams at the NFL level.
After a very strong end to the 2020 season, and an equally impressive Senior Bowl week, Hilliard offers some intangibles and upside the raw measurable may be missing.
It seems odd to draft two linebackers from the same school but I really think the pair would help each other making the leap to the Pros (particularly Hilliard helping Browning) and that alone may be worth the double-dip.
The Dallas Cowboys are unsettled at the LB position. We don’t know what the future holds with Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch and we could see a complete reshuffling by this time next season. Grooming Browning and taking a shot at Hilliard here in 2020 seems like smart business this draft.