Dallas Cowboys: Top Three 2020 NFL Draft Needs

There is just over a week left until the most unique draft we as sports fans have ever seen. Looking to the future with a brand new head coach and staff, this draft could be pivotal to the Dallas Cowboys. If they draft correctly it could set them up for a few years to be able to really compete, not just squeak by and win the East with a 9-7 record. When it comes to Dallas there are three areas of needs that must be addressed through the draft; secondary, defensive line, and wide receiver.

Secondary

Although this off-season the Dallas Cowboys have signed Maurice Canady, Anthony Brown, and CJ Goodwin. Two out of the three of those players mentioned are on a one year deal and the third is on a three-year deal. Jerry Jones signed Anthony Brown to a three-year deal but with him missing a few games last season, they may be looking for a more stable replacement at the corner position. Especially after losing Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins. It is doubtful that the Cowboys would go through this entire draft and not try to snag their franchise corner if he falls in their lap. Here are some players to keep an eye on if you are a Cowboys.

Jeff Okudah – Ohio State

It’s clear that at 17 this is a pipe dream for the Cowboys, but it would be worth talking to a team somewhere between 7 and 13 to try and trade up to get this guy. Jeff Okudah is the very definition of a cover corner. Scouts say that he has a rare combination of size, speed, athleticism, and instincts. Last season he totaled 35 sacks with nine passes broken up and three interceptions. When it comes to coverage downfield. Okudah can recover quickly on the very few and far between times he would get beat. He is pegged as a fearless defender even when not covering a receiver, showing that he does not hesitate to close ferociously on any ball carrier that dares jump into his path. 

Jeff Okudah is projected to be capable of starting as a number one corner which the Cowboys desperately need after losing Jones. Entering the NFL draft, he is slated as a better prospect than Jalen Ramsey and Denzel Ward was, who were both top five picks. The Cowboys may get lucky due to the amount of quarterback hungry teams and deep classes at other positions. However, if they decide to jump on Jeff in round one, they better trade up as far as they can.

C.J. Henderson – Florida

Now it’s time to take a look at a possibility for the second round if they decide to go with something else in round one. This SEC corner is projected to go late first to mid-second at the furthest, the Dallas Cowboys have pick 51 in round two which falls into that projection. Similar to Okudah, C.J.s bread and butter is pass coverage. He matches up great to bigger receivers and with his speed, also able to keep up with deep threats that can hurt you late in a ballgame. He recognizes routes well and on the few cases when he has to, he can turn it into overdrive and recover.

The downside with CJ Henderson is his poor tackling. Some scouts say that it is because he is protecting a scary knee injury that happened early in 2019 that cost him a few games. It also seemed at times he was not covering the run as hard as he did in his freshman and sophomore seasons. It’s entirely possible that he was being extra careful and now that he is finally in the NFL things will change.

L’Jarius Sneed – Louisiana Tech

This is a diamond in the rough that Dallas may be able to pick up somewhere in rounds 4-6. Chances are he will be overlooked by a lot of teams because of where he went to school. But as we have seen time and time again, it’s not always the school that makes the man. This man turned a lot of heads at the combine and scouts last season.

What separates Sneed other than his killer forty-yard dash times is his ball skills. He knows how to use his body to be able to swat balls out of play, and he has quick footwork to be able to recover in quick route situations. If asked he could also come in and play cover two as well as be a return man. He is a bit of a swiss army knife when it comes to the position, the biggest criticism of him is the fact he is not a full-on finisher, he seems to be a grab and drag guy more than anything.

Defensive Line

Although they picked up Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, the Cowboys lost Maliek Collins which leaves a void that McCoy and Poe may be able to fill for a little bit, but it is time to look towards the future. When it comes to the NFC East, it is mainly pure pocket passers on each team with the exception of Carson Wentz and maybe Dwayne Haskins. There are a few players in this draft that could help the Cowboys when it comes to this position. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Javon Kinlaw – South Carolina

This mountain of a man could sure up that Dallas defensive line for years to come. Kinlaw stands at 6-5″, 315 pounds and in 2019 ended the season with 35 tackles, six sacks and two passes defended. In addition to dominating the point of attack in the SEC, he picked up right where he left off when it came to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL.

When it comes to stuffing the run or sacking the quarterback, he can beat offensive lineman in a multitude of ways. Javon can beat them with speed and athleticism or by pure butte strength to become a very big problem to the NFC East and any other Cowboys opponents. It’s important to note however that there are some teams there are some makeup and character concerns that end up playing to the Cowboys favor, meaning they may not have to move spots to acquire this man.

Ross Blacklock – TCU

The Cowboys could have their defensive tackle of the future sitting right underneath their noses. Just down the street from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington is Texas Christian University and one star for the Horned Frogs is Ross Blacklock. In 2019, Blacklock had 40 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season. He is currently projected by a lot of different team sources to be picked on day two of the graft. However, there are also some that project him to have first-round talent. A lot of teams are wondering if he is a “one year wonder” and they are concerned with some of his medical stuff. One thing everyone can agree on it seems is that Blacklock will not make it past round two, especially because he had a really good showing at the combine, running a 4.90 40 yard dash.

Benito Jones – Ole Miss

The diamond in the rough pick for this particular need is Benito Jones out of Ole Miss. Scouts have him projected to go somewhere between rounds three and five. He started the year red hot against Memphis where he recorded an interception. He finished the season with 30 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and four batted balls. At the Senior Bowl, he showed that he has some athleticism and quickness as well. It is entirely possible that putting him in-between the veterans on the Cowboys defense could help turn him into a truly standout player. In his entire college career, he never recorded less than 30 tackles which is impressive that there is that level of consistency.

Wide Receiver

In the off-season Dallas made sure to lock up Amari Cooper with a nice big contract, making Dak Prescott a very happy man (at least with his receiving corps). But unfortunately, one receiver does not make an entire off-season and they still have some major holes on that end of the ball they need to address. Outside of Cooper and the rising star Michael Gallup, there leaves a lot left to be desired when it comes to this position. Sure there is that chance they call Dez Bryant, but that’s a band-aid situation and not meant for long term solution. So who could they get?

CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma

This is a guy the Cowboys might have to trade up to get, but then again, some mock drafts have him falling all the way until pick 25, so who knows. By all accounts, CeeDee is one of if not the best wide receiver in this draft. Lamb has decent enough speed, but it is not what he is known for. He makes plays using his superior route running abilities, strength, and great hands. After the catch, he is a serious threat to many on the field. Last season he had 62 receptions for 1327 yards and 14 touchdowns. Some scouts worry about him being known to be a huge partier (similar to Ezekiel Elliot) but a good guy nonetheless. Dallas should seriously consider trading up to get this man, some believe he will not drop past the Arizona Cardinals at 8.

Brandon Auiyk – Arizona State

Quite possibly one of the most underrated players in the entire draft process and the Dallas Cowboys could snag him in the second round without lifting a finger. Brandon Auiyk was a huge force for the Sun Devils last season, even while playing with a freshman quarterback just learning the ropes in Jayden Daniels. Some things that hurt his stock is the school he went to, and the fact he checked in two inches shorter than his listed height. But his performance at the combine and tape may be his saving grace. He had 65 catches for 1,192 yards and 8 touchdowns last season. That is a massive jump from the year prior when he came in at 44 catches, 474 yards, and three touchdowns. This is a player that fights for first downs and is considered the YAK (Yards After King) of college football due to his elusiveness.

Gabriel Davis – Central Florida (UCF)

The diamond in the rough for the Cowboys could come anywhere in rounds two through four according to draft experts. This player is one of the scouts’ favorites, he created some serious buzz for himself and only added to it with an awesome performance at the combine. He is a bigger wide receiver which can cause some serious mismatches. In 2019, Davis totaled 72 receptions for 1,241 yards with 12 touchdowns. He also produced well as a sophomore (53-815-7). Last season he also showed that he has the big-play ability for those cases when the Cowboys offense feels like calling a chunk play.

The Wildcard

Let’s get realistic for a second, no one knows exactly what these GMs are going to do when it comes to the draft. It is a bit peculiar that the Cowboys franchise-tagged Dak Prescott and then all of the sudden news of negotiations seem to have dissipated despite the team’s status. It is also no secret how stubborn Jerry Jones is, this is the man who got kicked off his own team’s flagship station because he kept cursing on air. So what exactly would be the wild card move for the Dallas Cowboys? The answer is simple, and Dak only has himself to blame after turning down multiple contracts that would have made him the highest-paid QB in the NFL. Draft Jordan Love.

This QB was under the radar until somewhat recently, and Jerry Jones may be looking into ushering a new era in Dallas Cowboys football. Jordan Love has been turning heads ever since the conclusion of the season. In 2019 he completed 62 percent of his passes for 3400 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 17  interceptions. He also had 3500 yards in 2018 which shows he has done this consistently for a couple of years. He also is more athletic than Dak Prescott and frankly would come a lot cheaper, check out the video below and see for yourself.

What do you feel is a top need for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2020 NFL Draft? Leave a comment below.

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