FRISCO – Eventually, as we get nearer the NFL Draft, we bet the Dallas Cowboys offer more tea leaves, drop more Easter eggs and just plain spring more leaks that reveal what their strategy and who their targets might be.
But as our Cowboys-wise friend David Helman at FOX Sports points out … so far, it’s “anything goes.” And so Helman draws up a trio of scenarios for Dallas’ first three picks … with our comments to follow …
Helman lays out a “Scenario 1: Speed, Speed, Speed” that sees him mock to the Cowboys: Round 1, Pick 26 used on Zay Flowers, the Boston College receiver; Round 2, Pick 58 used on Tyrique Stevenson, the Miami corner; and Round 3, Pick 90 used on Chandler Zavala, the North Carolina State guard.
What we like: He did make Dallas’ 30 Visits list (a tea leaf to be read), and this connection is a positive sign for the Cowboys’ willingness to “pick a player, not a position.” Dallas doesn’t “need” a receiver – but it does need top-quality players, and Flowers is projected to be a top-20-type guy.
What we don’t like: While some think he might be the best wideout in this draft, he’s smallish at 5-10, 170. Not ideal. And not befitting the Cowboys mold.
Helman’s Scenario 2: Where’s The Beef?” brings to the Cowboys: Round 1, Pick 26 used on Michael Mayer, the Notre Dame tight end; Round 2, Pick 58 used on Keeanu Benton, the Wisconsin defensive tackle; and Round 3, Pick 90 used on Anthony Johnson Jr., the Iowa State defensive back.
What we like: Mayer is Gronk. Mayer is Witten. Something like that.
What we don’t like: Back to that “Cowboys mold”: Benton is a run-stopper, and philosophically (right or wrong), Dallas doesn’t usually use big-time capital to do that job.
Helman’s Scenario 3: “Forcing The Issue” sees him “fixing the offense, just like that,” as he puts it. And indeed, he goes Round 1, Pick 26 used on guard Steve Avila of TCU; Round 2, Pick 58 used on Zach Charbonnet, the UCLA running back; and Round 3, Pick 90 used on Luke Schoonmaker, the Michigan tight end.
What we like: Again, as Helman writes, “Just like that, we’ve fixed the offense.” On paper, Avila starts and all three guys are rotational contributors as rookies and history will say, “Hit, hit, hit.”
What we don’t like: Back to that Our buddy “Rabblerousr” on Twitter responds to a tweet about a similar mock …
Gross. Three top-100 picks spent on lower-impact positions… https://t.co/RRRnxuUVsg
— rabblerousr (@rabblerousr) April 4, 2023
“Gross,” he writes. “Three top-100 picks spent on lower-impact positions.”
A salient point. Can Avila, Charbonnet and Schoonmaker play? Let’s assume they can. But in a sport in which “We can’t have 53 All-Stars,” are there some positions where “something’s gotta give” … and aren’t three of those quite possibly guard, running back and tight end?
We will still argue that Dallas’ “30 Visits” offer great hints as to what might occur in this NFL Draft … while at the same time agreeing with Helman about all the different directions that remain in play.