We are now under two weeks away from the big event of the offseason, the 2021 NFL Draft. In 10 short days we can put an end to all of the guesstimating as to how the Dallas Cowboys will utilize their draft picks, but until then we can still have some fun with all of the different mock draft simulators.
Today we are going to use Pro Football Network's simulator for this exercise. Remember this is just for fun, but also a way to see how things could possibly play out when the NFL Draft gets underway. After all, when it comes to Jerry Jones just about anything and everything can happen on Draft Day.
Let's get started with the first nine picks…
(1) Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (2) Zach Wilson, QB, BYU (3) Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (4) Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State (5) Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon (6) Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (7) Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU (8) Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama (9) Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
*TRADE* Titans send 1.22, 2.53, 3.85 to Cowboys for 1.10 (WR Jaylen Waddle)
Round 1, Pick 22 – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Jaycee Horn or move down 12 spots and add an extra two draft picks in the Top 100? As much as it pained me to do so I traded away from the top CB on the board, but in doing so I ended up with the top-ranked DT this year in Christian Barmore.
Barmore was just a one-year starter and is still a little raw, but he is a versatile DT who can play the one or three-technique in Dan Quinn's 4-3 defensive scheme. He has Pro Bowl potential and should be part of the starting rotation as a rookie with the Dallas Cowboys.
Round 2, Pick 44 – Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Matt Miller polled NFL teams recently and couldn't find one club that had a Round 1 or Round 2 grade on Ifeatu Melifonwu. While Miller is certainly a credible source, I don't believe Melifonwu isn't ranked higher than that by NFL scouts or the Dallas Cowboys for that matter.
The former Syracuse CB would be a great fit in Dan Quinn's heavy Cover 1-3 coverage scheme. He has excellent size, length, and speed and is at his best in man-to-man coverage. He would be a plug-and-play starter opposite Trevon Diggs as a rookie with the Cowboys.
Round 2, Pick 53 – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
With the extra second-round pick acquired by trading down with the Titans I decided to give Dak Prescott another electric WR in the passing game. I know the Cowboys look stocked at the position right now, but that's not the case after the 2021 season.
Kadarius Toney can be a versatile weapon for the Cowboys. He has inside/out versatility and can be used as a gadget player on jet sweeps, reverses, and end arounds as well. He also has special teams value as both a kick and punt returner.
Round 3, Picked 75 – Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
For Joe Tryon to still be on the board this late in the draft would be an absolute no-brainer for the Dallas Cowboys. I believe he has first-round talent, but as only a one-year starter and 2020 opt out he is naturally still a little raw and may need more time to develop.
With that said though, Tryon has the potential to step into a starting role in the not-too-distant future. He could step in for Randy Gregory as early as next season when he becomes a free agent. In the meantime he would provide some much-needed depth at DE for the Cowboys.
Round 3, Pick 85 – Jamar Johnson, S, Illinois
Despite already upgrading the safety position via free agency nearly all of those players are under a one-year deal. The Dallas Cowboys would be wise to try to find a long-term solution in the 2021 NFL Draft and I believe Jamar Johnson could be such a player.
Johnson was just a one-year starter, but is an instinctive, rangy player with good ball skills who could be the Cowboys long-term solution at free safety. He would provide some much-needed depth as a rookie and could possibly compete for the starting job with Damontae Kazee.
Round 3, Picked 99 – Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
Both in the long and short-term the Dallas Cowboys have to be a little bit concerned about the linebacker position. Neither Jaylon Smith or Leighton Vander Esch are living up to expectations and the depth behind them is almost nonexistent, making LB an underrated need.
Cameron McGrone was a two-year starter at Michigan and is just 20 years old. He plays with outstanding speed and range, but is still a little inexperienced and may need more time to develop. He has starting potential, but may be just a depth LB and special teams player early on.
Round 4, Pick 115 – James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
Both Tyron Smith and La'el Collins are coming back from season-ending injuries and we pretty much know what the depth looks like behind them when they're not in the lineup. The Dallas Cowboys would be wise to draft a developmental OT and James Hudson fits the bill.
Hudson is a DT turned OT and as such probably isn't ready to start right away. But his size, length, power, agility, and aggressiveness are all intriguing traits worth developing. He could become Tyron Smith's eventual replacement in a year or two.
*TRADE* Cowboys send 4.138, 5.179, 6.227 to Patriots for 4.122
Round 4, Pick 122 – Drew Dalman, OC, Stanford
There's still a chance the Dallas Cowboys could bring back Joe Looney to be the swing OG/C this season, but as of right now nothing is imminent. With that in mind I decided to package several picks together and move up for another Joe Looney type of player in Drew Dalman.
Dalman started the last two years at C for Stanford, but also has OG experience as well. He could push Tyler Biadasz for the starting gig this year, but the more likely scenario is he provides much-needed depth along the interior of the Cowboys offensive line as a rookie.
Round 6, Pick 192 – JaCoby Stevens, S/LB, LSU
The Dallas Cowboys could use more depth at both safety and linebacker, so I decided to add a player who could potentially provide both. JaCoby Stevens is a bit of a tweener. He is a LB in a S body who plays at his best in and around the line of scrimmage as either a box safety or LB. That's the kind of role I envisioned for him with the Cowboys besides being a core special-teams player.
Round 7, Pick 238 – Tedarrell Slayton, DT, Florida
After drafting Christian Barmore early to hopefully upgrade Dallas' defensive front I decided to double dip with the remaining pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting Tedarrell Slayton. He is the big bodied, space eating DT the Cowboys haven't had in the middle of their DL in forever. He has starting potential and would provide some much-needed depth at the 1-tech for the Cowboys.