The time for speculation is nearly over as the first round of the NFL Draft kicks off tonight when Roger Goodell takes the podium and announces the Jacksonville Jaguars are officially on the clock.
In the words of the great Bruce Buffer of the UFC, “IIIIIIIIIIIT's TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!!!!!”
For months, we've debated where the Dallas Cowboys should go with the 10th overall pick. If the draft falls in such a way that they've got several players on both sides of the ball to choose from, should they go with the best player available at a position of need or should they just go with the best player available. It's Kyle Pitts, Rashawn Slater, and Jaylen Waddle vs Patrick Surtain, Jaycee Horn, and Micah Parsons.
At some point this evening, we'll get an answer to the first-round question that has invaded our thoughts for the past four months. And regardless of where they go with the 10th overall pick, the assumption has been that this draft class, similar to the 2017 class will feature a heavy dose of defensive talent.
Speaking to Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney of CBS Sports, Dak Prescott expects the same thing.
As infatuated as Jerry Jones and I are with Kyle Pitts, the Cowboys still have a ton of talent on the offensive side of the football as Prescott laid out. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb continue to make up one of the best wide receiver groups in the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott, looking to improve upon a solid 2020 is still one of the 10 best running backs in the league. Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz are solid tight ends with a ton of upside. If the offensive line is healthier than they were in 2020, there's no reason the Dallas Cowboys offense shouldn't be humming in 2021.
The Dallas Cowboys have 10 picks and it is a deep defensive draft. There's a possibility they could find a defensive starter or at least a future starter in each of the first four rounds if that's the way the draft falls. But even if these guys outside of the first two rounds aren't starters at the NFL level, the Cowboys need depth at every level of the defense. They need a starter at cornerback and guys that could potentially develop into starters along the defensive line, at safety, and at linebacker.
Most of the 10 picks the Dallas Cowboys have at this point will be spent on the defensive side of the football and it wouldn't surprise me if the Cowboys make a trade or two for an established veteran player to add to their defense.
The Cowboys need their defense to take a substantial step forward in Dan Quinn's first year. They worked in free agency to add players that can contribute right away, but they need to hit a few home runs in this draft on the defensive side of the football whether it's in the first round or later. The Cowboys' loaded offensive group needs a little help from the defensive side of the ball and the 2021 NFL Draft provides the next opportunity to give that help.