Every year in the NFL Draft things happen that make some analysts scratch their heads while leaving the other dropping “wow” emojis on social media. It's the nature of one of the more unpredictable elements of the NFL. For as much time as we here at InsideTheStar.com, draft analysts, and other NFL publications put into the draft, only so much of it can be predicted.
Of course, that's much of the fun. The unpredictability is what has us watching a lot of the three-day event, especially in “times like these.”
Though it's looking likely that Joe Burrow will go with the first overall pick and Chase Young will follow, after that, it's anyone's guess as to what will happen. The deeper into the draft you get the more unpredictable it becomes.
Now that it's draft day and we finally get to find out what the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the league are going to do, I thought it would be fun to take a stab at some bold predictions for the Dallas Cowboys and the draft and at the end of the piece, I got some friends from around the way to give you their bold predictions as well.
Remember, these aren't necessarily predictions as to what will happen, but more like a shot in the dark
A Top Quarterback Falls to 17
You look around the NFL and there aren't a ton of teams that have a dire need for a quarterback. Obviously the Cinncinatti Bengals will take Joe Burrow and it looks like the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Chargers are in the market. However, the Dolphins and Chargers could opt to go with in-house options like Josh Rosen and Tyrod Taylor to fill in this season and perform a “Tank for Trevor” maneuver in 2020.
Because of injuries, Tua Tagavailoa could drop. Because of the desire from teams to choose other positions like offensive tackle, Justin Herbert could drop. Unexpected falls happen every year in the NFL Draft. The most likely scenario is Jordan Love falls to number 17 where a team at the bottom of round one finds an opportunity to trade up to draft him, thus setting the stage for…
The Dallas Cowboys Trade Back
Maybe it's not that bold of a prediction, but I get the feeling the Dallas Cowboys want to acquire more picks and they'll do so even if a player they like is there for them at pick 17.
It's probable that C.J. Henderson and the top wide receivers are gone at that point. Even if LSU edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson is available when the Dallas Cowboys go on the clock, if they find themselves in a position to move back and pick up an extra second or third, I don't see how they pass on that.
The Dallas Cowboys have several needs that should be addressed in the first three rounds of the draft and while edge rusher is on the list, Chaisson isn't that far ahead of the pack that they can't consider moving back from him. He may be a great player, but with only 6.5 sacks last year, he doesn't bring a ton of production to the NFL level. Expecting him to get better production at the next level requires a lot of faith in the tools.
There are a lot of good players in this draft, especially at the back end of the first round. Even in a trade back, the Cowboys will have an opportunity to find a player that can step in and help them right away. After the trade back the Dallas Cowboys will select…
A Versatile Linebacker Prospect
Where K'Lavon Chaisson doesn't have the production numbers in his final year in college, Wisconsin Linebacker Zack Baun does. His 12.5 sacks were ninth in the NCAA and just four behind projected second overall pick Chase Young of Ohio State.
Wisconsin has had tremendous success producing elite pass rushers in J.J. Watt and T.J. Watt. Baun has the opportunity to be the next one. He's a player that could line up on the weakside edge and as an inside linebacker as well.
Taking an edge prospect and continuing to ignore safety only lasts another round and the Dallas Cowboys take…
Arguably the Best Safety in the Draft
There isn't a safety in this draft that plays as decisive, tackles as consistently, and makes plays on the football better than Minnesota Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. If you're familiar with my work or follow me on Twitter, you know that I've had a man-crush on the son of former Minnesota Vikings great Antoine Winfield.
Injuries and size will push Winfield Jr. down the draft board but he does everything very well and has enough athleticism and intelligence to make up for his height. Winfield Jr. could immediately step in and start for the Dallas Cowboys from day one and gives them a bonafide playmaker to roam the middle of the field while also not sacrificing anything in run support.
Having selected their edge rusher and their safety, the Dallas Cowboys will have to spend the rest of the draft addressing cornerback, interior defensive line, and the offense. With the group of players they have heading to free agency in 2021, the Cowboys will be forced to…
Double-Dip at Cornerback
This has the feeling of 2017 all over again. Then the Dallas Cowboys were looking at overhauling their secondary and had lost Brandon Carr in free agency to the Baltimore Ravens and Morris Claiborne to the New York Jets. They then went on to draft Chidobe Awuzie in the second round and Jourdan Lewis in the third.
Both Awuzie and Lewis will be free agents next offseason and after losing Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins this Spring, the Cowboys have to look forward at the departures of two potential starting cornerbacks.
The loss of Jones, but also the potential losses of Lewis and Awuzie have cornerback at the top of the list for the Dallas Cowboys. Even if they select one in the first or second round, they'll likely need to address it again in the third or fourth round as well.
In the future, other positions along with cornerback will need to be addressed. In the NFL, teams don't just look at their roster construction on a year to year basis but evaluate where they'll be in the future and make decisions in the present to prepare for the future.
With all the work the Cowboys need to do on defense, they…
Won't Draft an Offensive Player Until the Fifth Round
Unless one of the top wide receivers falls to number 17, the Cowboys won't be tempted to make an addition to the offensive side of the ball until late. Sure, they have a need at slot wide receiver, but with Tony Pollard, Blake Jarwin, and Amari Cooper, they have players that can help them in the slot. Devin Smith and Noah Brown can help the Cowboys on the outside.
Now, hopefully, one of the top three wide receivers or a player like Jalen Reagor falls to them at 51 and the Cowboys are able to add one of the dynamic players in the draft. However, if they aren't able to do so, they'll continue to pour assets into the defense.
The Dallas Cowboys had one of the best offenses in the NFL in 2019 and will be returning just about everyone from last year's group. They have internal options to fill holes at center and slot receiver, but could also re-employ Dez Bryant to help them with their wide receiver depth.
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Again, the NFL Draft can go a million different directions by the time it kicks off later this evening and these bold predictions are unlikely to occur. The thing is though because anything can happen, it's important to address all the possibilities.
And because bold predictions are fun, I asked some people from the Dallas Cowboys and Draft community to provide some bold predictions of their own.
Enjoy these and enjoy the draft. This time tomorrow, the Dallas Cowboys will have a new member of the team.
The Cowboys will select edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson due to the fact I feel CJ Henderson won't be there. The Cowboys need more pass rushers and Chaisson has the best speed/bend combo from the edge in this draft. Added with DeMarcus Lawrence, and a combination of Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith, Chaisson would instantly make the Cowboys pass rush more formidable.
Matthew Lenix – InsideTheStar.comInsideTheStar.com
I'll say (after Joe Burrow) the first offensive position drafted isn't a wide receiver.
RJ Ochoa – Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys will draft two wide receivers in the 2020 draft.
Kevin Turner – About Them Cowboys Podcast, The Ben and Skin Show
Safety Xavier Mckinney of Alabama miraculously falls in their lap at 17. (The Cowboys) then trade him & their fourth round pick to the Jets for Jamal Adams. Boom!
Chris Arnold – 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas
Ezra Cleveland will go in the top 16.
Jonah Tuls – The Draft Network
Not sure if it's super bold, but Ashtyn Davis to Miami at 26 (overall).
Carter Donnick – The Draft Network
The Cowboys best contributor from the 2020 draft class comes outside the first round When the Cowboys walk away from the 2020 draft, they will likely feel very good about their first-round selection. In Dallas, you have to go all the way back to the 2015 draft to find a Cowboys first-round pick who was the most important contributor from his class. Since they hit on Byron Jones that year, the Cowboys struck mid-round gold in later seasons, with Dak Prescott, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods and Michael Gallup all turning out to be more important pieces than the player taken at the top of each respective draft class. This isn't a coincidence, or the result of the Cowboys being particularly bad at identifying talent in the early rounds. It's a feature of the uncertain numbers game that is the NFL draft.
Daniel Houston – CowboysStats.com
There is a day two cornerback who will not only go in the first round, but will go higher than most of the names we discuss as late first cornerbacks.
Landon McCool – Locked On Cowboys Podcast
The Dallas Cowboys will walk away with either K'Lavon Chaisson or AJ Terrell on Thursday, and they won't take a safety in rounds one or two.
Dalton Miller – Blue Chip Scouting
The Cowboys will take a receiver with the 17th pick.
Kyle Youmans – DallasCowboys.com, The Draft Show, and Talkin' Cowboys
As much as we need a Cornerback or other addition to the Defense, I just have a feeling we end up taking a Wide Receiver at 17 (overall)!
Kat Pressly – Host Cowboys Brawl Podcast and Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader
I think Derrick Brown will be available at (pick) 17.
Patrick Conn – The Longhorns Wire
Cowboys go with a safety in the first round. They haven't taken a true safety with their first-round pick since Roy Williams in 2002, and coach Mike McCarthy's only safety that he left alone at the position was Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Look for Dallas to take Xavier McKinney and address the back end with a blue-chip pick.
Mark Lane – The Texans Wire and WFAA.com
Jordan Love goes before Tua. (The Cowboys) take a quarterback before they take a receiver.
Bobby Belt – The Boys and Girl Podcast and NFL Network
Only two offensive players will be selected in the top 10.
One of, if not both wide receiver and safety will be ignored until day three. It's a deep wide receiver class and the Cowboys might be able to get a Bowden, Duvernay, Proche in Round 4. So they pass on a huge position of need at slot wide receiver.
Meanwhile, safety could be a pick in round two or three, but if the Cowboys address EDGE in round one, they might double-dip at cornerback on day two (just like 2017). If it's cornerback in round one, I think safety becomes more likely. But my dark fear bold prediction is they pass on Antoine Winfield if he falls in Round 2. Just like Juan Thornhill.
Tom Downey – Dallas Cowboys Report and Chat Sports