One of the big offseason events has come and gone, the 2021 Senior Bowl, and it will likely shake up this year's prospect rankings one way or another. The Senior Bowl could very well be the last time a lot of these scouts get a good look at some these prospects due to the restrictions placed on them due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That could make this event all the more important.
With that in mind, I thought we'd have a little fun today and use The Draft Network's mock draft machine to attempt to see who the Dallas Cowboys could end up with in the 2021 NFL Draft. It's still way too early to predict with any kind of accuracy who the Cowboys could be targeting in each of the seven rounds, however, that doesn't make it any less fun to speculate.
For this particular seven-round mock draft I accepted a trade with the Chicago Bears. The Dallas Cowboys sent the Bears the 10th overall pick in exchange for the Bears first (Pick 20) and second-round (Pick 52) picks in addition to swapping third-rounders. Below are the players I decided to draft to hopefully upgrade the Cowboys roster for not only the upcoming season but for the future as well.
Let's take a look… Shall we!?
Round 1, Pick 20 (From Chicago)
CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Jaycee Horn would've been the player I'd have targeted originally with the Dallas Cowboys 10th overall pick since the rest of my top targets were off the board had I not accepted the Chicago Bears trade offer. So to get him at 20 and pick up an extra second-round pick is a blessing. He is exactly the kind of tall, lengthy CB Dan Quinn prefers and his physicality is something the Cowboys secondary is sorely lacking. I love the intangibles an attitude he would bring to Dallas' defense.
Round 2, Pick 42
OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
I was really hoping Trevon Moehrig would still be on the board here, but the Jaguars drafted him at the top of the second round with the 33rd overall pick. That's okay though because I believe the Dallas Cowboys need to start preparing for life without Tyron Smith sooner rather than later, hence my selection of Liam Eichenberg. Eichenberg is a good insurance policy if Smith has any problems coming back from neck surgery. He could be a capable starter or swing tackle as a rookie.
Round 2, Pick 52 (From Chicago)
LB Jabril Cox, LSU
The Dallas Cowboys may have Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch penciled in as the starters right now, but both of them are better suited playing inside linebacker. What the Cowboys really need in Dan Quinn's 4-3 scheme is a WILL LB who thrives in space. That is exactly what Jabril Cox is. He can match up with RBs, TEs, and even some slot WRs in man or zone coverage due to his range range and mobility.
Round 3, Pick 83 (From Chicago)
S Richie Grant, UCF
Upgrading the safety position is one of the Cowboys top priorities this offseason. They need one, possibly two, capable starters depending on how they feel about Donovan Wilson. Richie Grant has the talent to be such a player. He is a fairly interchangeable safety prospect who played a variety roles during his time at UCF, but he is at his best as a deep single-high safety. That is exactly what Dan Quinn needs in his heavy Cover 1-3 scheme, someone with great ball skills and range.
Round 3, Pick 99
DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State
I was really hoping to draft a defensive tackle earlier in this, however, this is about where the Dallas Cowboy start to target the DT position anyway, which makes the Marvin Wilson selection all the more plausible. Wilson has a ton of potential, but has yet to develop like many believed. He has natural athleticism and power, but was highly inconsistent during his time at Florida State. Despite that though he is a good fit as a descriptive/penetrating 4-3 DT in Dan Quinn's scheme.
Round 4, Pick 114
S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
I'm a big fan of Talanoa Hufanga and what he could bring to the Dallas Cowboys defense. He is a versatile safety who excels around the line of scrimmage, but he also has ability to play dime LB as well. I envision him playing the Kam Chancellor role as an enforcer type of box safety in Dan Quinn scheme and someone who could probably challenge Donovan Wilson for the starting job from Day 1 as a rookie. He is a violent tackler who loves the physical side of the game.
Round 4, Pick 139
CB Keith Taylor Jr., Washington
Despite drafting Jaycee Horn earlier in the first round for the Dallas Cowboys I decided to double dip at the position by adding another tall, lengthy cornerback in Keith Taylor. At 6'2″, 191 pounds, Taylor fits the mold Dan Quinn likes in his outside CBs. He played both outside and inside CB during his time at Washington and that kind of versatility could prove to be invaluable. He is at his best in press man coverage and he proved it this past week at the Senior Bowl where he turned the heads of more than a few NFL scouts.
Round 5, Pick 177
WR Cade Johnson, South Dakota State
The Cowboys have an outstanding group of WRs but are in need of more depth at the position, especially considering both Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson become free agents after the 2021 season. Cade Johnson had a good week at the Senior Bowl and consistently created separation on his own. The 5'10”, 185 pound WR has good speed and route running ability, but it's his release off the line of scrimmage that should help him excel as a slot WR at the next level. As an added bonus he also has special teams ability as a return man as well.
Round 6, Pick 188
DT Bobby Brown III, Texas A&M
After double dipping at the CB position earlier I thought I'd do the same at DT as well. Bobby Brown, like Marvin Wilson, was a highly rated prospect coming out of high school that really hasn't lived up to expectations yet. Brown's value comes on the early downs as a stout defender against the run where he can use his natural strength and power. He doesn't offer much as a pass rusher and his motor can run a little hot and cold at times, but it would be a good rotational DT in the middle of the Cowboys defensive line. He has the potential to be more with further development.
Round 6, Pick 222
TE Luke Farrell, Ohio State
The Dallas Cowboys have two capable starters in Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz, but neither are as accomplished as a blocker as Luke Farrell is. Farrell did all of the dirty work during his time at Ohio State and could do the same with the Cowboys. It's an underrated role, but that doesn't mean it's not an important one. I believe adding him to the mix at TE would greatly benefit Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys run game. Not only that, he could take over as the TE2 when Schultz becomes a free agent after the 2021 season.
Round 7, Pick 234
EDGE Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina
With the final of the Dallas Cowboys 2021 draft picks I decided to add some depth to the DE position. Tarron Jackson has a great foundation to build upon and with a little more time to fine-tune his technique and pass rush moves he could develop into a really good rotational DE. He may need a year or two to develop, but in the meantime he could be a core special teams player and provide some much-needed depth at the DE position in the meantime. He's raw, but well worth a late round pick to try to develop.