The Dallas Cowboys will land a (backup) quarterback (prospect) in the 2021 NFL draft, according to a new simulation.
In Draft Tek’s consensus seven-round mock draft, dated April 8, Dallas uses its compensatory fifth-round selection (No. 179 overall) on former Texas and SMU quarterback Shane Buechele.
The outlet forecasts an extremely defensive-heavy haul for the Cowboys, trading its first-round pick (No. 10) to the Patriots in exchange for a bevy of capital: Nos. 15, 46 and 139.
At 15, the Cowboys nab South Carolina cornerback JayCee Horn, followed by Oregon safety Jevon Holland and Washington edge rusher Joe Tryon at 44 and 46, respectively.
“This trade-down scenario could very well be a glimpse of the future for the Cowboys,” writes DraftTek senior analyst Austin Smith. “The bottom line is that the trio of Will McClay, Stephen and Jerry Jones will need to decide which they value more with their first pick in this draft. Teams typically consider value, need, and scheme fit when making a selection and at ten, their top-ranked player is not likely to fill a significant need. Yes, Dallas may choose to stay true to their board and take the best player.
“We’ve heard Jerry Jones may have his eyes set on Kyle Pitts, and a player like Rashawn Slater would be tough to pass on as well. Still, this team NEEDS an impact corner next season to play across from Trevon Diggs, and it’s debatable whether or not Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn should go that high. With the move back, they should still be able to grab one and gain the extra second round pick. That pick could net them another top-50 prospect or be used to package with the 44 selection to get someone they have circled on their board.”
As for the remainder of the mock, the Cowboys are estimated to import Texas A&M defensive lineman Bobby Brown III (No. 75), Pittsburgh S Paris Ford (No. 99), Miami of Ohio offensive tackle Tommy Doyle (No. 115), North Texas wide receiver Jaelon Darden (No. 138), Georgia center Trey Hill (No. 139), and Duke tight end Noah Gray (No. 192).
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The Arlington native began his collegiate career with the Longhorns, spending three seasons and posting 4,636 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 16 interceptions across 23 games from 2016-18.
Buechele transferred to SMU in 2019 and added 7,024 yards, 57 TDs and 16 INTs to his resume — along with first-team All-AAC honors in his inaugural year on campus. He was also named a team captain.
The 6-foot, 210-pound signal-caller is likened to a developmental talent at the next level, with his NFL ceiling likely that of a long-term clipboard-holder. Below is his official scouting profile, courtesy of The Draft Network.
After three seasons at Texas, Shane Buechele transferred to SMU where he settled into a starting role for 2018 and 2019. He quickly became a productive passer for the Mustangs, showing wonderful command of the offense and earning captainship in his first year. Buechele is a good rhythm passer with sound accuracy, good touch, and effective movement skills within the pocket. With that said, he lacks size, arm strength, dynamic athleticism, and he has an elongated throwing motion. He isn’t much of a threat to win outside of structure and he does not fare well when he’s forced to speed up his process. While Buechele doesn’t have the desired physical traits to be viewed as a potential starter, he does have developmental appeal as a backup quarterback in a West Coast offense. He has baseline ability to keep an offense on schedule if things are right around him.
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Fit in Dallas
If acquired, Buechele, 23, would compete for an end spot on the Cowboys’ 53-man roster, battling Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci for the right to back up Dak Prescott.
Gilbert is considered the tentative favorite, and Dallas has not ruled out signing a more experienced QB via free agency. Buechele’s short-term future could revolve around the practice squad.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL