Entering the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys’ priorities should be pretty clear. Upgrading their offensive line, defensive line, wide receivers, and linebackers seem to be the top four items on the draft checklist heading into late April.
For my money, the most important hole to fill early on in the 2018 NFL Draft is their left guard spot. The additions of Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming boost the depth of the team’s offensive line, but neither should be serious candidates to start all 16 games.
The Cowboys need to address the interior of their offensive line, and finally find that Ronald Leary replacement years later. Others, however, will argue that drafting a defensive playmaker will be of greater importance to the Cowboys going forward, especially if that player can contribute to the front seven.
But, what if the Cowboys could do both? And what if they could do both in the first round?
The Cowboys have 10 picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, and could potentially use these picks for ammunition to move back into the first round after selecting 19th overall. By doing so, the Cowboys could find both a defensive impact player and a starting left guard at the top of the draft.
Let’s play a little hypothetical game.
The Cowboys select Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea 19th overall. They immediately upgrade the interior of their defensive line, and find a 1-technique better than any the Cowboys have employed in quite some time.
A few picks go by and UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez is still sitting on the board. Based on team needs and how mock drafts have been going, my guess is that you’d need to jump in front of the Atlanta Falcons at 26th overall in order to get the guard of your choice.
Selecting 25th overall are the Tennessee Titans, and based on the draft pick value, their selection is worth 720 points. The Cowboys’ second round pick is worth 400 points, getting them more than halfway there. They could then package some of their later picks together to match the value, or possibly throw in both 50 and 81 to sweeten the deal for the Titans.
This would, in theory, allow them to take both Vita Vea and Will Hernandez in the first round. And it would also, in theory, allow them to compete for a Super Bowl by adding these talented players.
This is just one hypothetical scenario, but the way these mock drafts are tending, it is very possible.