The Dallas Cowboys may have a lot of concerns this offseason, but finding good players in the draft is not one of them. It’s a known fact that Vice President of Player Personnel, Will McClay, is one of the best in the business at finding elite talent for the Cowboys year in and year out.
It’s one of the primary reasons why the Cowboys are favored to win their division every year and consistently field some of the best players at the skill position. In the last two drafts, the Cowboys have hit the jackpot with wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and fellow defensive stars Trevon Diggs and Micha Parsons.
In fact, all three heralded players became day one starters, received their first Pro Bowl bids last season, and are clearly the cornerstones for this team on each side of the ball. Each player has expectations to be even better this upcoming season and to take on bigger responsibilities.
Can the Dallas Cowboys strike gold again in the draft and find another starter for the third consecutive year?
Despite all of the off-season shenanigans and disappointment from Dallas’ front office, the fanbase knows the upcoming draft is where this organization makes up for its craziness and draft great players like the aforementioned trio. There are several talented players Dallas can take with its 24th pick, and others with they can draft in the second round that have potential to start.
In no particular order, let’s take a look at a few prospects that have the ability to be day one starters and then some.
Whether Dallas drafts a defensive player or an offensive player, let’s hope it’s a day one starter that can give this fanbase something to cheer about and something to look forward too next season!
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Since Dallas scored big in the last two drafts with Diggs and Parsons, I can see them taking the 2021 Butkus Award winner with their 24th pick of the first round. Dean is beyond athletic and a game-changing linebacker that utilizes his agility and quickness to blitz, cover running backs easily, great tackler in the running game, and born with natural instincts.
If you need any proof, just watch how Dean used his quickness and instincts to dominate Alabama linemen to the spot in the National Championship game and any other linemen in the Southeast Conference. Surrounded by future NFL first rounders, Dean stood out even more leading the team in TFL (tackles for loss).
Simply put, Dean has everything Dallas’ defense needs and want in a WILL or OLB: high football IQ and instinctive, great tackler, awesome run defender, good in pass coverage, a three-down player, and a natural born leader. Pairing him with Parsons, Jabril Cox, and Leighton Vander Esch a lethal combination- even if Dean starts off as a backup. But he won’t be a backup for long.
Honorable mention: Devin Lloyd is another player Dallas could select because of tremendous skillset and capabilities. 22 tackles for losses, four interceptions (two for touchdowns), 110 tackles, six pass breakups, eight sacks, and two-time Butkus Award finalist. Also, Lloyd can play different linebacking positions, good pass rusher and is 6’3 and runs a 4.66 40-yard dash.
Dallas can’t go wrong with either one of these two dynamic studs.
Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
With the La’el Collins now in Cincinnati, the thinking is Terrance Steele will be his replacement. Dallas loves the idea of Steele replacing Collins, which is the primary reason they moved on from their starting right tackle. But not so fast.
If Dallas wants to improve its offensive line and reclaim it as the best in the league, then don’t blink if Dallas selects All American guard Kenyon Green out of Texas A&M. Green is listed as a guard but has the versatility because started/played at four different positions: seven at left guard, two at right guard, one at left tackle, and two at right tackle. My Gawd!
I’m not saying Green will replace Steele because Green can play different positions, but his uniqueness can’t be overlooked for an offensive line that is slowly aging and needs to open up running lanes and to protect Dak Prescott. Some mock drafts have Green going to the Jaguars in the second round, but Dallas would be wise to take a long look at Green because of his talent level and versatility.
Green is blessed with foot quickness that helps in the running game, good in pass protection, dominant in run blocking, and his versatility seals the deal. Even if Green doesn’t start this season, he will definitely be a starter in year two and definitely gives the offensive line some much needed depth.
There is other players Dallas can take in the first round like Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave (if they trade up), interior offensive lineman Zion Johnson, Tyler Linderbaum (center), and Trevor Penning (offensive tackle). Dallas cannot go wrong with anyone of those players because they truly address two important positions.
Whether Dallas drafts a defensive playmaker or an offensive lineman in the trenches, let’s hope it’s a day one starter that can give this fanbase something to cheer about and something to look forward too next season! BOOM!