Cowboys MOCK DRAFT 2022Dallas Cowboys fans, I promise, I’ll remain positive. In what was another disappointing campaign in which optimism overflowed through the walls of Dallas’ facility heading into the wild-card round, Jerry Jones’ beloved ‘Boys have once again found themselves owners of a division title, but without a playoff win. A roster budding with headlining talent on both sides of the ball, they simply have failed to get over the postseason hump, leaving questions once again at the top of exactly what direction the Cowboys will head as they prepare for yet another Super Bowl-less spring. A franchise with overwhelming expectations each and every summer, changes look to be in abundance in the front office, but we’ll get to that at another time. For now, all the Cowboys can do is look ahead, and have a chance to build upon a roster that, at times, looked to be one of the more dominant in all of football. From the additions of Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, Zack Martin, and Tyron Smith over the last decade, the NFL draft has consistently proved fruitful for Jones as he looks to annually add pop to his roster. While 2022 preseason storylines will surely see Dallas reign supreme among its divisional counterparts and sit among the league’s top Super Bowl contenders in outlandish preseason rankings, we like to stick to reality here. The fact remains that there are many holes to fill if the Cowboys ever hope to rid their playoff demons and return, eventually, to the top of the NFL totem pole. Using our Mock Draft Machine, I looked at which prospects the Cowboys could target this April when the annual NFL draft rolls around. Here is my seven-round mock, including scheme fit, on each prospect:
Round 1 (No. 24 overall): Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn StateThe do-it-all team executive in Jones goes back to his State College well with Brisker, an extremely athletic, uber-versatile safety to work behind former Penn State standout, 2021 first-rounder, and Defensive Rookie of the Year award runaway, Parsons. A former JUCO transfer, Brisker is a fluid defender who makes his presence felt working downhill with pop that can be felt in his film. He has room to grow as a ball-hawking ceiling defender, but with the correct allotment of snaps, his ceiling is unlimited. One of the best pure athletes in the entire class, Brisker would be able to fly around the apex of the Cowboys’ secondary.
Round 2 (No. 56 overall): Logan Hall, EDGE, HoustonExcellent value here with Hall who would fill an immediate need out at EDGE. To have a talent like him slip to the back end of the second round would be a home run for Dallas. A riser within league circles, Hall’s best football is years down the road, but his ability to work inside at 3-tech or slide outside to 5-tech with a constantly hot motor presents an enticing prospect to plug and play.
Round 3 (No. 88 overall): JoJo Domann, LB, NebraskaDomann is one of my favorite prospects in the entire class. With Leighton Vander Esch and linebacker-safety hybrid Keanu Neal both set to enter free agency, by inserting Domann as the potential green-dot adjacent to Parsons, you’re cooking with kerosene. A prospect with a heavy amount of snaps in the passing game who consistently showed the ability to cover tight ends and running backs with fluidity in space, Domann is a day-one impact player who could see himself progress into the modern-day version of Sean Lee for the Cowboys defense. He has the chance to play for a decade or more.
Round 4 (No. 125 overall): Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise StateSimilar to the route Dallas took when they selected Michael Gallup out of Colorado State back in 2018, Jones goes back to the Mountain West here to grab a spread offense extraordinaire in the form of Shakir. If the Cowboys allow Gallup and Cedrick Wilson to walk, the former Boise State standout could immediately earn snaps as WR3. The target hog within the high-flying Broncos’ aerial attack, Shakir’s skill set would slide in nicely as another impact perimeter threat for Dak Prescott to use at his disposal.
Round 5 (No. 165 overall): Brian Robinson Jr., RB, AlabamaThe contract is an issue in and of itself, but Ezekiel Elliott is just not getting the job done anymore, folks. It’s a ‘what have you done for me lately’ league, and for Elliott, it’s been minimal. While he’s currently on the books until 2027 (!) Jones has to address the position here with Tony Pollard representing the only back who’s shown the ability to produce when given the opportunity. While you could say the former Memphis product’s move atop the depth chart has been long overdue, I can’t envision a scenario with Elliott entering Week 1 next September holstering a 20+ carry per game workload as the lead back. Enter Robinson Jr., a burly, 230-pound back with similar between the tackles juice that Elliott showed out of Ohio State, and the Cowboys could manifest a three-headed backfield with some success. A difficult athlete to bring down in space who worked his way up to RB1 within Nick Saban’s offense, Robinson has all the tools to compete for a substantial role in the Cowboys’ ground game.
Round 5 (No. 174 overall): Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa StateDalton Schultz SHOULD be re-signed as he enjoyed a breakout 2021 season, but if Dallas opts to expend assets elsewhere to maneuver out of its $13.5M cap hole, Kolar could be a must-add here on day three. In a perfect world, however, you could deploy both Schultz and Kolar in 12-personnel to create mismatches all over the field. With traits in the passing game at 6-foot-6 that scouts drool over and experience as a run blocker after multiple seasons leading the way for Breece Hall, Kolar would also present a premier red-zone threat that would keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night.
Round 6 (No. 201 overall): Thomas Booker, IDL, StanfordAs versatile as they come along the defensive front, Booker is a scheme-versatile prospect who touts the necessary strength and athleticism to push the pocket from the outside, only to then jump to the inside as a 3-tech defensive tackle and anchor against a double team. While he has a ways to go and is by no means a refined talent, he touts the ideal measurables and makeup that Dallas pins along their front four. With Dorance Armstrong (44% of snaps), Carlos Watkins (38.1%), and Randy Gregory (37.9%), each set to enter the open market, depth is needed along the defensive front.
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