While the Dallas Cowboys are our chief concern during this 2021 NFL Draft, how our division rivals fared with their picks is certainly worth discussing. Let’s review the entire NFC East’s activity last night during Day Two.
#44 – Kelvin Joseph – CB – Kentucky
#75 – Osa Odighizuwa – DT – UCLA
#84 – Chauncy Golsten – DE – Iowa
#99 – Nahshon Wright – DB – Oregon State
While the Green Bay Packers seem to be trying to do everything possible in their power to upset their franchise QB, the Cowboys are doing the exact opposite with theirs. Before the draft kicked off on Thursday, Dak Prescott visited the Tiki and Tierney show and said “I think it will be a heavy defensive draft for us. I think it’s obvious you go defense and make our team better on that side.” Well, Dak, ask and you shall receive.
For the first time ever the Cowboys have used their first five draft selections on improving their defense, and while I wouldn’t necessarily gone with the exact players they selected, it’s good to see that the focus is being placed where it needs to be.
At pick #44 I was hoping to hear Asante Samuel Jr’s name called (Or Azeez Ojulari) so I was a bit shocked when they selected Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph. It all came together for Joseph last season, as he finished with 25 total tackles and four interceptions before opting out of the last two games. He has been labeled as a guy with some off-the-field maturity concerns, but talent and upside here are apparent.
The Cowboy attacked the defensive line with their next two picks in the 3rd round, selecting UCLA DT Osa Odighizuwa with pick #75 and Iowa DE Chauncy Golsten. In 2020, they combined for 75 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 14.5 tackles for loss, showcasing their ability to get in the backfield to wreak havoc on offenses. Odighizuwa should have a decent path to playing time, but the rotation is getting deep across the defensive line so nothing is guaranteed.
The Cowboys wrapped up Day 2 by selecting Oregon State CB Nahshon Wright. I had the feeling there was a good chance that we came away with some talent from the Pacific Northwest, I just had the wrong players in mind on who that would be. Wright is the CB prototype we’ve been after, checking in at a long-and-lanky 6’4”. He wrapped up the 2020 season with 30 tackles, four passes defended, 1 interception, and 1 sack.
After finishing 2020 with the worst defense in franchise history, the Cowboys have made it clear that getting that turned back around is the number one focus, and so far their draft has backed that up. They will head into day three with six more picks left to go.
#37 – Landon Dickerson – OL – Alabama
#73 – Milton Williams – DT – Louisiana Tech
In typical Eagles fashion, they used their day 2 picks to add depth to their offensive and defensive lines, ignoring some of the other weaknesses on the roster. With pick #37 they selected Alabama OL Landon Dickerson. This pick is a boom/bust pick as the production is undeniable, but so is his injury history. The Eagles have an older offensive line that has dealt with some injuries in recent seasons, and I am never upset about stocking up your OL, but this pick still seems a bit questionable to me considering some of the other talents on the board.
In the 3rd round, they traded down three spots to add Louisiana Tech DT Milton Williams. While reactions were mixed in the Eagles draft room after the pick was made, Milton was highly productive in his final season in 2020. He was a constant force disrupting things for the offense, finishing with 45 tackles, 10 of which went for a loss, and 4.5 sacks.
New York Giants
#50 – Azeez Ojulari – Edge – Georgia
#71 – Aaron Robinson – CB – UCF
The Giants started day two by trading down and grabbing one of the most talented edge rushers in the entire draft clear down at pick 50. Ojulari was one of the two targets I was hoping the Cowboys would select with pick #44, so I hate that we are going to have to face him twice a year for the foreseeable future. He was a force for the Bulldogs in 2020, racking up 31 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 12.5 tackles for loss. He’s only 20 years old, as well, so there is likely another level or two to grow his game.
Their focus stayed on defense in round three, as they traded up with Denver to secure UCF CB Aaron Robinson, a versatile piece that can play in the slot or outside. . He had 41 tackles and 6 passes defended in 2020 and entered the draft with a round-two grade from a lot of experts, so the Giants have to be happy to get him this late.
Washington Football Team
#51 – Sam Cosmi – OT – Texas
#74 – Benjamin St. Jude – CB – Minnesota
The Washington Football Team continued to overhaul the offensive line in the 2nd round, selecting University of Texas OT Sam Cosmi. Like I mentioned before, I never think it’s a bad idea to add OL depth, and Cosmi has a good chance of entering 2021 as an opening day starter. He was as durable as they come in college, missing only one start in 35 games before opting out early after eight games in 2020/
With pick #74 they acquired the services of Benjamin St. Jude, a versatile defender out of Minnesota that will likely spend time at CB and safety when he lines up for the Football Team. St. Jude was limited to a five-game 2020 season, but was all over the field in 2019, finishing with 45 total tackles and 10 passes defended.
They finished up their draft by picking one of my personal favorites in this draft, North Carolina WR Dyami Brown. I’ve spent an extensive amount of time watching the Tar Heels, and I can confidently say that Washington is going to love what they have in Brown. He is a dynamic playmaker that is a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball. He finished 2020 with 1099 yards on 55 receptions (20.0 yards per catch!!!) and eight touchdowns. He is a burner with 4.4 speed that is going to stretch the field for whoever ends up under center for the Football team in 2021.