Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: 2022 Nightmare Scenario

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft Nightmare Scenario

Round 3, Pick 88

LB Leo Chenal


Leo Chenal is exactly the kind of prospect Stephen Jones fawns over. He’s a 6-foot-2, 250lb. tough guy. He’s a ferocious hitter, vocal leader, and human highlight reel. He fits all of Will McClay’s analytical thresholds and has the film to back it up.

So what’s the problem?

For as good as Leo Chenal would look on this Dallas Cowboys defense next to Micah Parsons, there is overlap and deficiencies to worry about.

First, the overlap: Leo is Pro Football Focus’ 37th ranked prospect because of his ability to stop the run. His 91 run stop grade was less than one point behind Micah Parsons’ college rating. Leo racked up big tackle numbers in Wisconsin’s stout defense last year and many of those came with him pressuring up the middle.

A bad thing? No, but since that’s the same thing Parsons offers there are diminishing returns to this redundancy.

Second, the weakness: Chenal’s weakness is undeniably his coverage ability. In today’s NFL when almost every team is more productive through the air than on the ground, coverage is a must. Kyle Crabbs at TDN says his ideal role is an early-down player and he had limited mobility, limited fluidity, and poor anticipation in coverage. Huge “yikes.”

The Dallas Cowboys need linebacker help but they primarily out of 4-2-5 defense and can’t afford to add a part-time player with such a premium pick.

The final point to make is the positional value of a typical off ball linebacker. Unless Leo can play the edge part-time of become an asset in coverage, he doesn’t add a ton of value. And by pure WAR (wins above replacement) standards, LB is one of the cheapest and easiest positions to replace in the NFL so there’s no need investing a high pick or big money there unless they offer something special (like outside pass rush or elite coverage).

I love Leo and think he’s a steal in the third round, but this pick neglects the pass defense which seems to be getting zero attention.