Perfect Plan for the Cowboys 2022 NFL Draft: Strengthen the defensive and offensive line, add another weapon for Dak Prescott

When the 2022 NFL regular season kicks off, you’ll see Amari Cooper, La’el Collins and Randy Gregory gearing up for teams other than the Dallas Cowboys – three headline exits that create additional voids in a roster that could barely pay more. Headlines coming in from outside the field also create problems on the cast sheet, i.e. the opening Murder investigation involving former second-round pick Kelvin Josephone that the NFL’s front office is also monitoring, and it’s safe to say the Cowboys have a lot of work ahead of them to ensure the 2022 NFL draft is one of the best — possibly of all time.

The good news is that they have no shortage of opportunities to do just that, as they’ll hit Las Vegas next week with a total of nine picks, assuming owner Jerry Jones doesn’t make a trade deal sometime before or during the event. All things considered, with needs in a lot more positions than originally anticipated for 2021, what would a perfect draft for the Cowboys in April look like?

Glad you asked.

Round 1:

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia (24th overall)

Scare him. Run away from it. Jordan Davis arrives in the opposing backfield the same way.

Davis has a chance to be one of the best indoor defensive linemen in all of NFL-level football, and that’s not being hyperbolic. A human his size simply shouldn’t be capable of the athleticism he possesses, and those who believe he’s simply an elite are basically saying they haven’t seen him play. Along with Nakobe Dean, Davis led a Bulldog defense that was unequivocally the best in the country in 2021, on its way to winning the school’s first national championship in over 40 years. The loss of Gregory only deepens the need to strengthen the defensive line as a whole (combined with the Cowboys’ ongoing need to locate a revolutionary 1-tech), and nothing looks better than Davis lining up between Lawrence and Neville Gallimore. A talent and physique specimen like Davis doesn’t show up often, so if the football gods keep him available to you at number 24, snap your fingers and make opposing QBs and RBs melt away.

2nd round:

George Pickens, WR, Georgia (56th overall)

It’s always a great meal when you can order more than one Lamb.

With the aforementioned change to send Cooper out of town, and despite Gallup’s re-signing, there’s now a glaring need in the WR position. That’s because not only is there a chance Gallup will miss a game or two to start next season – currently recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury – but the Cowboys also rolled the dice and lost Cedrick Wilson to the Dolphins in free agency. This leaves them with a very real need for a wideout, and Pickens is… different… in the best possible way. Comparisons to Lamb are well-founded given the skill set that exists in both wide receivers, and securing Pickens to reignite a triumvirate in Dallas would have Dak Prescott grinning from ear to ear. Pickens was able to mature (his only blow to start his UGA career) and return from injury and, as seen in his late-season/playoff heroics, he is a special type of player who can smoke routes and/or take over top off the opposing defense; and its capture radius is reminiscent of Lamb and Gallup – combined.

Round 3:

Cade Otton, TE, Washington (88th overall)

With two bulldogs on the way, let’s try to catch a husky.

Having secured Dalton Schultz with a franchise tag won’t stop the Cowboys from considering a tight end an early pick, nor should it, and especially given Blake Jarwin’s release after hip surgery that could keep him off a football field to the entire next season. Re-signing Jeremy Sprinkle doesn’t move the needle a millimeter and there are still question marks over what Sean McKeon might or might not be, but Otton can enter the depth chart in Dallas and make an immediate impact – as a pass receiver and, more importantly, a successful blocker. The latter is something that Schultz has already done consistently well, but as he turned into a playmaking TE1, it underwent a powerful regression. A set of Otton (which also blocks better than Sprinkle) and Schultz looks like the perfect Rx for an offense that can also boast Lamb, Gallup, and Pickens (if that simulation materializes in real life), and that’s a receiving body that would keep even the best defensive coordinator awake at night in a cold sweat. And if a long-term deal with Schultz cannot be reached, Otton will become the replacement in 2023.

Round 4:

Lecitus Smith, G, Virginia Tech (129th overall)

It took a while to get here, but it’s time for the offensive line.

Admittedly, I wish I had talked about the position sooner, but I’m also not going to force the issue and put myself in a position of losing talent like the ones I’ve selected above. It is paramount for the Cowboys to rebuild their offensive line, however, having bid farewell to starting left guard Connor Williams, trading La’el Collins to the Cincinnati Bengals and again being faced with the reality of not knowing how many games Tyron Smith will miss at left tackle. in 2022 (enter Josh Ball?). The good news is that things still went downhill in the fourth round of this mock draft, with Smith (someone who was projected as high as a third-round pick) still sitting at his desk. Not anymore, because the Hokie lands directly on the seat vacated by Williams and has the long-term potential to be a massive upgrade. His best work also comes in the zone run scheme – a favorite of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore – and he’s a tone-setter who likes violence at the point of attack, has explosive contact and can eliminate bull runs. In other words, say less.

5th round:

Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska (155th overall)

Want more power and torque from your engine? Add a camera.

Jurgens could combine with Lecitus Smith to quickly repair the inside of the Cowboys’ offensive line, stepping in to give Dallas an option outside of Tyler Biadasz’s inconsistencies at center (to also compete with Matt Farniok). Jurgens is beefy (hence the nickname “Beef Jurgy”), but with excellent quick twitch to his build, and when I mentioned torque, he meant it. The force he can generate from the ground to combustion in his hands is frightening, but if you think that makes him nothing more than a big body in the middle, think again. He moves with fantastic fluidity in the open to help with zone blocking or whenever he spots a threat to his RB or QB in space. Add in his bloodthirsty, retro demeanor that harkens back to the days when shoulder pads were the size of trailers and shirts were often autographed in the opposing team’s blood, and yes, Jurgens as a fifth-round player could be an absolute steal.

Dominique Robinson, EDGE, Miami (OH) (167th overall)

Don’t let the little program fool you, as many scouts and analysts do.

Robinson has the potential to be very good at the NFL level, to say the least. The addition of Davis in the first round bought some time before coming back to tackle the edge, as did the re-signing of Dorance Armstrong and the signing of Dante Fowler, requested by Dan Quinn. Robinson, often projected as a fourth-round pick by the majority, is very hard to pass up with the 167th overall pick. The value of such a motor and high-effort perspective like this is just too delicious, and especially for what it can be used for initially. I don’t expect Robinson to be a world champion in 2022 (although that would certainly be nice), but rather an edge runner who still needs a year or so to polish like a third-down speed accelerator – i.e. mostly rotational – who will get a chance to develop with Quinn in what could be direct competition for a starting role as early as 2023. At worst, the edge depth is updated, but at best, the Cowboys find they have a lot more. than they traded with Robinson in the near future.

Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana (176th overall)

Micah, square.

While McFadden doesn’t enter the draft with as much pomp and circumstance as Parsons did a year ago, make no mistake, because there’s also plenty of dynamite in his crates. McFadden is animalistic in the way he approaches the game (does it look familiar?), routinely playing as a man on fire. This can sometimes result in excessive chasing, but more often it results in him cutting the opposing ball carrier in two. A great candidate to spell Parsons on MIKE (middle linebacker) in certain sets when Quinn wants to use Parsons’ versatility, there would be plenty of chances to field Micah Squared at the same time. Leighton Vander Esch’s re-signing was a good move for insurance reasons, but the fact that he’s on a one-year deal along with Jabril Cox working to return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury means the Cowboys don’t just need the LB , but also truly terrible. McFadden, and with a compensating pick no less, it’s just a smart draft deal – if he’s still available – a top tier MIKE that can upgrade the pitiful running defense.

Yusuf Corker, S, Kentucky (178th overall)

If things go well for Kelvin Joseph in a Cowboys uniform, he’d love a meeting with Corker.

That’s because Joseph, the currently in trouble, former Cowboys second-round pick (2021) is very familiar with Corker, as they spent time together doing plays for the University of Kentucky. You’ve got to love the move to keep Malik Hooker and Jayron Kearse, but Kearse will continue to play a hybrid role and Donovan Wilson is entering a contract season that follows an injury scarred one. That means it’s time to start planning for more talent over there, and it remains to be seen what Israel Mukuamu (2021) will become. Mukuamu has spent a lot of time on the team’s inactive roster as a rookie and as such has a tough climb to win over Quinn, which could very well happen, but reuniting Corker with Joseph – operating under the assumption that Joseph will begin taking on the CB2 role. by Anthony Brown alongside Trevon Diggs – eliminates a learning curve between [that] CB and the safety position. That could get a more immediate impact for Corker, a quicker level for Joseph, and the former offers great insurance against Wilson (whether through injury or free agency in 2023) as a cashier who loves nothing more than brutalizing midfielders. .

Round 6:

Jeffrey Gunter, EDGE (193rd overall)

Honestly, I was shocked that Gunter was available here.

I then got up off the floor and played his card faster than Tyreek Hill did in Kansas City, because when you see a skill set like what Gunter has, and you have a chance to steal it with a sixth pick. round to add an exclamation point to your draft — you do that. It addresses the need for EDGE well when you consider that Robinson is also in this simulation, and yes, there’s a little more polishing that needs to happen for Gunter before he can open games, but his toolbox runs out. Comparisons to Chubb and Davenport aren’t made lightly (he’s also forced nine fumbles in his last three seasons), but he’s at his best to stop the race (are you already feeling a theme here?). If the Cowboys can build a defensive front that both intimidates opposing quarterbacks and effectively strangles the running offense, they will be even better than in a record 2021 season. leads to an exit from the playoffs, or not getting there in the first place.

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