Cowboys Take Risky Tyron Smith Replacement in Mel Kiper's Latest Mock Draft

The Cowboys need a left tackle, but this selection would be a real gamble.

Mar 3, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyler Guyton (OL31) during the 2024
Mar 3, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyler Guyton (OL31) during the 2024 / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With so little cap space (and apparently a matching level of desire) to make a splash in free agency, it's clear that the Dallas Cowboys think they can fill all the holes they need to in the NFL Draft.

Admittedly this isn't a roster with a ton of holes, and that makes it pretty easy to narrow down where they'll be looking at No. 24 overall with their first-round pick: offensive line.

ESPN's Mel Kiper dropped his latest mock draft this morning, and he agrees with that sentiment. However, the lineman he has Dallas taking would be a real gamble.

Cowboys News: Mel Kiper Projects Tyler Guyton in Latest Mock Draft

Mel Kiper projects the Dallas Cowboys to select Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton at No. 24 overall. Guyton would be a clear replacement for Tyron Smith at left tackle.

Kiper justifies the pick by leaning heavily into Guyton's upside. And it's easy to fall in love with his ceiling: he's 6-foot-7 with a prototypical left tackle frame with terrific physical tools and plus athleticism.

But that doesn't mean this wouldn't be a huge gamble.

Guyton only started 14 games in college. He also played almost exclusively at the right tackle spot (1,011 snaps, compared to just 70 at left tackle per Pro Football Focus).

PFF also never graded him out especially well, sitting at 66.2 in 2022 and 63.7 in 2023. He did, however, grade out much better as a pass blocker than a run bocker, so perhaps that forecasts a successful shift to the left side.

But these factors combine to make Guyton a bit of a boom-or-bust prospect. In a sense that's great: Dallas could very well get a guy who turns out to be the best tackle in the draft despite selecting in the back half of the first round.

But the other side of the coin is that if Guyton is slow to pick up the nuances of playing left tackle at the NFL level the position will be a massive hole in the Cowboys' offense during his rookie season.

Only time will tell if the Cowboys do roll the dice with a gamble like Guyton, but when one of the most highly-regarded draft experts in the business projects it you're safe to assume that the move is at least on the table for Dallas.

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