Dallas Cowboys 7-Round 2022 Mock Draft: Dan 2.0

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Penn State’s Brandon Smith
Penn State’s Brandon Smith /

Round Three – Brandon Smith – Linebacker – Penn State

The Dallas Cowboys are more than likely going to let Leighton Vander Esch walk this offseason and linebacker is rather thin outside of Micah Parsons (who some believe will be primarily an edge next season if both Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory).

Enter Parsons’ former teammate in Brandon Smith.

Smith can play both inside and outside linebacker and would allow the Cowboys to move both him and Parsons around like chess pieces. Smith is another linebacker with about a 4.4 40 time and he can play in nickel coverages and near the box against the run.

While he can play inside he is more of an outside linebacker for now, but his ability to cover in zone even though he needs some work on where he falls into his zone. His biggest traits flash when asked to play the run, shoot gaps, and not get caught in too much traffic. He is a steady tackler and has a nose to find the ball and attack it.

Smith will need work on overall coverage but his athleticism and speed currently make up for some of his deficiencies. Right now, Smith needs to play in space as I don’t know if he is fully ready to deconstruct blocks with consistency but he has the tools with some work. The key for Smith will be to work in more responsibilities over time, but with the right refinement could easily be a three-down linebacker.