DRAFT GRADE: Cowboys win big in 2020 NFL Draft

Sports

The Cowboys gambled. The Cowboys won.

DALLAS PICKS

Round 1, Pick 17: Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb

Round 2, Pick 51: Alabama CB Trevon Diggs

Round 3, Pick 82: Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore

Round 4, Pick 123: Tulsa CB Reggie Robinson II

Round 4, Pick 146: Wisconsin C Tyler Biadasz

Round 5, Pick 179: Utah DE Bradley Anae

Round 7, Pick 231: James Madison QB Ben DiNucci

OVERALL DRAFT GRADE: A-

Despite missing out on a much needed safety and tight end, the Dallas Cowboys couldn’t be more thrilled with the 2020 NLF Draft. In fact, Cowboys Executive Vice President of Player Personnel Stephen Jones went so far as to say this draft “will be hard to beat.”

He is not wrong.

For starters, the Cowboys walked away from the first round with an absolute play maker in Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb, a talent most Cowboys officials had going off the board in the top ten. It was a gamble given the team’s desperate need for defensive support, but one that paid off BIG TIME in the long run.

Defensive needs would be addressed with high value, high potential picks in the later rounds, beginning with Alabama CB and second-round pick Trevon Diggs. The Dallas cornerback ranks would receive even more support in round four with Tulsa CB Reggie Robinson II, a pick most experts praised the Cowboys for making due to Robinson’s upside.

The Cowboys welcomed reinforcements to the front seven with Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore and Utah DE Bradley Anae. Gallimore will provide youth to an aging interior featuring veteran defensive tackles Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy. Meanwhile, Anae could be the steal of the draft. The PAC-12 leader in sacks just a year ago, Anae was a force off the right edge, totaling 24 sacks in just two years. His value dropped due to a slow 40-time, but his technique and strength are pro ready, qualities that will be welcomed happily by the “Hot Boyz.”

Finally, the Cowboys attended to former Wisconsin and Dallas Center Travis Frederick’s retirement by signing another badger center. Tyler Biadasz lacked consistency, but still managed to take home the Dave Rimington award, given to the nation’s top collegiate center. He is a smart, versatile offensive lineman with a ceiling worth believing that he could fill the big shoes left behind by Frederick.

The boys managed to draft the “best available” option over a safe defensive pick in the first round, yet still managed to fill important holes on the defensive end. Rarely does a gamble like this pay off, but the Cowboys made it happen. No draft is perfect, but this definitely comes close. So sure, the Cowboys missed out on a tight end and a safety, but when Lamb is dancing in the endzone and Anae is celebrating his third sack of the game, Cowboys fans won’t mind the moves their team made in the 2020 draft.

INDIVIDUAL PICK GRADES

Round 1:

Pick 17: Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb | Dallas Cowboys

Grade: B (With a potential for more): This is a shock for more than one reason. For starters, how does a talent like CeeDee Lamb drop to the 17th pick? His explosiveness at Oklahoma speaks for itself. Jerry Jones simply couldn’t resist. Now the Cowboys offense features Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and a three-headed monster in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Lamb. Exciting stuff to say the least, but who replaces Byron Jones, Robert Quinn and Jeff Heath in a defense that struggled to pressure the quarterback and force turnovers. The fate of this pick rests in what pieces fall to the Cowboys in the later rounds, assuming the Jones Family doesn’t find a way back into the first round.

Update A-: Jerry Jones and company filled their needs and MORE on the defensive end. The gamble with Lamb paid off, and now the Cowboys are left with promising young defensive prospects and an outstanding playmaker on the offensive end. The only thing keeping this from a solid A is the reality that Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper are already on the roster. So just how necessary was it?

Round 2:

Pick 51: Alabama CB Trevon Diggs | Dallas Cowboys

Grade A-: The younger brother of Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs is a Dallas Cowboy. At first glance, Trevon Diggs has the size and makeup of a big-time pass defender. At just under 6’2, the Alabama product fits the Kris Richard prototype of a defensive back. Under Nick Saban, Diggs impressed, showing both versatility and physicality. The only question mark is his consistency, but, at pick 51, Cowboy fans should be thrilled to fill a much needed position on the defense.

Round 3:

Pick 82: Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore | Dallas Cowboys

Grade B-: From a best available perspective, you can chalk Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore as a comfortable pick with decent upside. Though inconsistent, the second-team All Big 12 product showed flashes of productivity in college. It doesn’t mean much, but a 4.8 40-yard dash time is fun to note. The real value lies in the ability to have Gallimore learn behind accomplished DL veterans Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, the latter of which Gallimore has drawn comparisons too. If the third round DT can find a spot in the rotation, it’s a good addition to an interior force, but I have to imagine an EDGE rusher or Safety would have been the preferred option for Cowboy fans.

Round 4:

Pick 123: Tulsa CB Reggie Robinson II | Dallas Cowboys

Grade B+: You can never have enough corners. Reggie Robinson II could make an argument as the NCAA’s most improved cornerback last year, totaling 4 interceptions and 13 passes defended in 2019. Physically, Robinson checks all the boxes for size and speed. At just under 6’1, the Tulsa product ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. The only area for concern could be tackling, but Robinson adds depth to a much needed area for the Cowboys defense.

Pick 146: Wisconsin C Tyler Biadasz | Dallas Cowboys *via Philadelphia Eagles*

Grade A-: A deal with the Eagles? Surprising, to say the least. The Cowboys jumped back into the fourth round to fill a hole left by now retired Wisconsin Center Travis Frederick.

Naturally, the Cowboys select Wisconsin Center Tyler Biadasz to fill that role. The farm-grown Badger became the first Wisconsin Center to win the Dave Rimington Award, given to the nation’s best center. His physicality and athleticism stood out as a potential early-round selection, but inconsistencies in his game hurt his stock. Jerry Jones sure didn’t mind. At the minimum, Jones lands a physical center with the ability to play guard, as well. At best, Dallas potentially welcomes the next future all-pro lineman to the Star. Why not take the chance? You still have Joe Looney, remember?

Round 5:

Pick 179: Utah DE Bradlee Anae | Dallas Cowboys

Grade A: This may very well be the Cowboys best pick of the draft. At pick 179, Dallas snags an absolute force at an unbelievable value. In college, Utah DE Bradlee Anae had 34 career sacks, 24 of which came in the past two years alone. In a 2019 game against USC, Anae went through the 2020 18th overall pick, Austin Jackson, like a saloon door before punishing the QB.

His stock fell due to a slow 40-yard dash time at the combine, coming in at a less-than-impressive 4.93. What he lacks in speed, he makes up with physicality and strength. Not to mention, he plays best on the right side of the defensive line, which bodes well for a nice partnership with DeMarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys may have a home run at Pick 179 in an area they desperately needed. Expect the Cowboys defense to welcome the newest member of the “Hot Boyz” with open arms.

Round 7

Pick 231: James Madison QB Ben DiNucci | Dallas Cowboys

Grade B: The average Cowboy fan doensn’t know a lick about James Madison QB Ben DiNucci. I’m sure there are a few fans who don’t know a lick about James Madison (human of history or university). Regardless, any fan sees “QB” and their eyes light up.

Once upon a time (three days ago), there was talk of Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts coming into the star as a late draft pick. The eagles shattered that prediction with a head-scratching move, leaving Cowboys fans to marvel at the question mark that is Ben DiNucci. Last season, The 6’3, 210 pound DiNucci impressed with 3,441 passing yards, 29 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. In the world of Tony Romo and Tom Brady (yes, I coupled those together), late draft picks and undrafted signings at the QB position have a sense of hope to them. For now, The only thing Cowboys should hope for is DiNucci competing for a second-string spot behind a happily-signed Dak Prescott.

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