With just three regular-season games remaining in the 2020 NFL season the focus for teams around the league is going to start shifting towards the 2021 NFL Draft in April. This big event can make or break a franchise and its one the Dallas Cowboys will rely heavily upon to upgrade their roster.
I don't know about you, but I think I might enjoy the draft season a little bit more than I do the actual regular-season. I truly love evaluating each years NFL hopefuls, especially how they fit in with the Dallas Cowboys. That's why I decided to share with you some of my way-too-early “pet cats”.
Each prospect listed below is someone I'd absolutely love to see end up with in Dallas after the completion of the 2021 NFL Draft. Based on need and fit I tried to select players the Cowboys could realistically target, so the list varies too early to late-run prospects and even potential undrafted free agents.
Let's get started… Shall we!?
QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Desmond Ridder is the QB nobody's talking about, but probably should be. Dual-threat ability, great athleticism, prototypical size (6'4″, 215), and a strong arm makes him an intriguing prospect. I wouldn't be surprised if he works himself into the conversation with Kyle Trask and Mac Jones in the second-tier group of QBs in the 2021 draft class. If the Dallas Cowboys are looking for someone similar to Dak Prescott, the soon to be former Cincinnati QB possesses a similar skill set.
RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
Physical is what comes to mind when I think of Trey Sermon. He reminds me a little bit of DeMarco Murray with his upright running style and the way he likes to be the aggressor as both a runner and pass protector. The Oklahoma transfer hasn't played much at Ohio State, but he's still a three-down back with starting potential in the NFL. He is good enough to be a mid-round selection, however, it's also possible his transfer and late 2019 knee injury could cause him to go undrafted.
WR Dazz Newsome, North Carolina
The Dallas Cowboys already have a really good WR trio in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb, but could use some more depth behind them. Dazz Newsome could absolutely be that guy. He is a dynamic threat out of the slot on all three levels of the field and is a dangerous punt and kick returner as well. In any other draft I'd say he's a Top 100 selection, but the depth of the WR class will likely push him into Day 3.
TE Shaun Beyer, Iowa
The Dallas Cowboys have two capable starters at TE in Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz, but that shouldn't keep them from trying to upgrade the depth at the position. Shaun Beyer is such a player. He was stuck behind TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant before they entered the NFL and even afterwards was rarely used. The former WR turned TE has mostly done the dirty work as a blocker, but has shown flashes of being a receiving threat. I believe he is tapped full of potential.
OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
If the Dallas Cowboys want to kill two birds with one stone then targeting Alijah Vera-Tucker in the 2021 NFL Draft would be a no-brainer. As a top prospect at both LG and LT, Vera-Tucker could be a versatile chess piece the Cowboys lacked in 2019. He is a plug-and-play starter at both positions from Day 1. That kind of versatility could be invaluable, especially considering Tyron Smith's questionable long-term health and status with the Cowboys moving forward.
EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
At 6'5″, 257 pounds Jayson Oweh is exactly the kind of DE prospect the Dallas Cowboys should target in the 2021 NFL Draft. He's still a little bit raw, but he's an athletic freak with all the tools to become a starter in the NFL. Behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory he would be allowed time to develop until he's ready to take on a larger role and in the meantime would be an excellent rotational piece as a situational pass rusher.
DT Tedarrell Slaton, Florida
The talent level of the DT class in the 2021 NFL Draft is pretty weak in my opinion, but there are a few prospects who could help upgrade the Dallas Cowboys defensive front. Tedarrell Slaton is one such player. At 6'5″ and around 350 pounds, Slaton is exactly the kind of big bodied, space eating DT the Cowboys need to anchor their DL. He doesn't offer much as a pass rusher, but he's an immovable force as a run defender. That's exactly what the Cowboys porous run defense needs.
LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
Chazz Surratt is one of my favorite linebackers in the entire 2021 draft class. I think he's one of the most instinctive and physically gifted LBs this year, despite being relatively new to the position after switching from quarterback. He has outstanding physical traits as far as size and mobility are concerned and could probably challenge Jaylon Smith or Leighton Vander Esch for a starting job as a rookie. His ceiling is as high as any LB prospect coming out this year.
CB Josh Jobe, Alabama
Josh Jobe earned a starting job in 2020 after playing a backup role behind Trevon Diggs and Patrick Surtain II the past few seasons. He's been heavily targeted by opposing QBs trying to avoid throwing to Surtain's side of the field and more than rose to the challenge. The 6'1″, 190 pound physical CB leads the team in passes defensed and has arguably been their MVP on the defensive side of the ball. He is also an outstanding special teams player and plays on nearly every unit.
S Andre Cisco, Syracuse
Andre Cisco is a highly productive centerfield type safety prospect the Dallas Cowboys could absolutely use on the backend of their defense. He led the ACC in interceptions in 2018 and 2019 and might have done it again in 2020 if an ACL injury didn't cut his season short. He's expected to be 100% for the NFL Combine and could very well be the first safety selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. I think he'd be a plug-and-play starter from Day 1 with the Cowboys.