Jerry Jones may still make the “big” NFL draft splash he’s reportedly eyeing — but not the splash many fans prefer.
Depending on how the board plays out, the Dallas Cowboys conceivably could move from their No. 17 overall pick. NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah believes a trade-back is an ideal contingency if the top targets, namely Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson and LSU defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson, are no longer available.
In this scenario, Dallas likely drops into the 20s, netting additional Day 2 capital, while still securing a blue-chip prospect at an area of need.
“At 17 and 51, if I had to go D-end and corner, I would probably lean toward going with the corner first at that point and time,” Jeremiah said on a conference call with reporters Thursday, via the Dallas Morning News. “I would take C.J. Henderson if he was there. I do not think he will be there. So, for me personally, I would go with [cornerback] Jaylon Johnson. But that could be a trade-back scenario. At 17, you’re not going to feel great about the corner or edge rusher that you get. I think you can trade back and get who you want. If you couldn’t get out and had to make a pick, I would take Jaylon Johnson from Utah at 17. And then I would come back in the second round and look at the edge rushers that would be there at that point and time. I know some people don’t view this guy as an edge rusher, but I like [Auburn’s] Marlon Davidson as a bigger end who can also rush inside. He would be under consideration for me. And if you just wanted to get a fastball that could really, really rush in sub-situations, I think [Michigan’s] Josh Uche is tremendous. It’s a little bit different body type, but I think he’s going to get eight to 10 sacks a year at the next level. I think he is really good. That’s one of those ones you just try and make it fit, even though it doesn’t have a perfect scheme fit.”
With exactly one week remaining until the draft, the Cowboys are busy conducting virtual interviews with projected first-round selections, including LSU CB Kristian Fulton and Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, as well as the aforementioned Chaisson and Henderson. They’ve also been linked to numerous defensive prospects like Wisconsin pass-rusher Zack Baun, TCU CB Jeff Gladney, Alabama safety Xavier McKinney and LSU S Grant Delpit.
Dallas evidently is prioritizing help on this side of the ball despite fortifying the defense via free agency, bringing aboard linemen Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, DE/OLB Aldon Smith, and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. This, after the club lost starting CB Byron Jones, DL Maliek Collins and Robert Quinn, and S Jeff Heath during the league’s signing period.
The Cowboys own seven total selections for the upcoming draft, which is scheduled to take place — remotely — from April 23-25.
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