Dallas Cowboys 2020 NFL Draft Preview

The Dallas Cowboys finished the 2019 season with a record of 8-8 and missed the playoffs by one game. In a season that had it’s ups and downs, Dallas could find relief in this year’s draft. Dallas has holes they need to fill and they can do just that in the 2020 NFL Draft. Below is a Dallas Cowboys 2020 NFL Draft Preview and some players on whom the team can focus.

Dallas Cowboys 2020 NFL Draft Preview

Tight End

Jason Witten cannot play forever, much to the chagrin of Cowboys fans everywhere. The future Hall of Famer came back after a one year absence with ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Witten recorded 63 receptions for 529 yards and four touchdowns this past season. Dallas would be smart to draft his successor to shore up the position. These three players could be impact players right away and also learn a lot from Witten.

Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt

Jared Pinkney will most likely be a very good tight end in the NFL. Standing at 6’4 and weighing 260 pounds, he became one of the most dangerous tight ends in college football in 2018. His 2018 season saw him grab 50 catches for 774 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2019, he was held back by a very weak passing attack and only logged 20 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns. He is projected to be drafted in the first three rounds and could be a good pickup for the Cowboys.

Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri

Albert Okwuegbunam is another curious case at the position. His 2017 season saw him haul in 11 touchdowns, a bulk of which came in the red zone. In 2018, he hauled in 43 catches for 446 yards and six touchdowns, before missing the last four games of the year due to a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, after Drew Lock left the program for the pros, Okwuegbunam saw his numbers drop. With Kelly Bryant now under center, he caught only 26 passes for 306 yards and six touchdowns. Although his numbers took a hit, Okwuegbunam still has a huge frame at 6’5, 260. He is projected to be drafted in the second or third round in this year’s draft.

Colby Parkinson, Stanford

Colby Parkinson hails from Stanford, a university with strong NFL results at the tight end position. The most notable alumni is Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. Parkinson is a large human being, and is listed at 6’7 and 245 pounds. He also was consistent, even with the loss of his quarterback this season. But his 2018 season stands out, as he hauled in 29 catches for 485 yards and seven touchdowns.

Wide Receiver

The Cowboys passing attack had a very successful season in 2019. Dak Prescott threw for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns, and had two wide receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup had over 1,000 receiving yards. But both Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin will become free agents this off-season, so Dallas will have to replace their production. Dallas could look in the early rounds for a receiver or they could also look to the middle rounds for a project. The receivers listed below are some they could target this year.

Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Jerry Jeudy is the next great Bama receiver in the Nick Saban era. Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Calvin Ridley have all made big splashes in the NFL. With that being said, Jeudy will go in the first round, and Dallas may have to trade up if they want him. He would be perfect alongside Cooper and Gallup. His 2019 season was great, including 77 catches for over 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. This kind of pick could give Dallas an immediate boost, along with a great slot threat.

Jalen Reagor, TCU

Jalen Reagor is a Tavon Austin prototype, but better. Reagor is only 5’11 but he has blazing speed and was also an accomplished punt returner. He had 43 catches for 611 yards, but also made huge plays on punt returns for the Horned Frogs. A lot of scouts even compare him to DeSean Jackson, a wide receiver/return man who has game changing speed. With this kind of pick, Dallas could instantly upgrade the receiving corps, and their special teams all in one pick.

K.J. Hill, Ohio State

Another good slot receive in this year’s draft is K.J. Hill out of Ohio State. He had 57 catches for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns for an Ohio State team that made the College Football Playoff. Hill is also a guy who could return punts and kicks for Dallas, as well as give them a sure-handed receiver out of the slot. Hill is projected to be drafted in the second or third round, so he could very well be a nice pick in the second round for Dallas.

Safety

It is obvious that the Cowboys weakness on defense is at the safety position. To be more exact, the problem is Jeff Heath. Heath is a serviceable safety, but he is not a true starter in this league. He is, at best, a relief option or package guy, and with that being said, Dallas could target a safety with their first pick in this year’s draft.

Grant Delpit, LSU

Grant Delpit is possibly the best safety in college football, and he’s also a national champion. In 2019, he had 59 tackles, three interceptions, one sack and seven defensed passes. He is very good in coverage and is also a very good tackler. He could play alongside Xavier Woods and really shore up the defensive backfield for the Cowboys. As a guy who is projected to be drafted in the first two rounds, he could serve Dallas very well with his skill set.

Xavier McKinney, Alabama

Xavier McKinney had 95 tackles, three picks, three sacks and five defensed passes in 2019. He projects out to be drafted in the first two rounds in this yearss draft and could also serve the Cowboys defense well. McKinney is 6’2 and 200 pounds, so he has a lean frame but has good speed to stay with receivers in coverage. He also is a sure tackler in the open field.

Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne

Kyle Dugger may go to a small school in North Carolina, but he has impressed scouts enough to be ranked third in draft projections. His 2019 season saw 36 tackles, two interceptions, both of which were pick sixes, and seven defensed passes. His vitals are also great for an NFL caliber player, standing at 6’2, 220 pounds.

Cornerback

The Cowboys could also select a corner in this draft as well. Lock down corner Byron Jones hits free agency this summer and it’s possible he may not return to Dallas. If Jones were to return to Dallas, they would have to pony up some big dollars to keep him around.

Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

Jeff Okudah was the consensus best corner in college football. Okudah was a lock down guy for Ohio State all season long and is projected to be drafted in the top 16 picks in the draft. In 2019, he had 39 tackles, three interceptions and nine passes defensed. He did a great job covering Tee Higgins in the CFP game against Clemson and was largely tasked with covering every team’s number one guy in 2019. He has great length and athleticism to make plays and could be the guy who replaces Byron Jones.

C.J. Henderson, Florida

C.J. Henderson is another guy who could help out the Cowboys. In 2019, he had 33 tackles and 11 passes defensed. Standing at 6’1 and 186 pounds, he is a tall, lean player, who is great in coverage. His positives include coverage and preventing separation, but his big negative is that he’s not a good tackler. He injured his leg in Week 2, which caused him to miss three games, and after returning, he played a lot of soft coverage and wasn’t really the same. He would be a player who would probably have to fall in the draft for Dallas to select him.

Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Trevon Diggs is a converted wide receiver and is pretty raw for a NFL corner, but could definitely be worth Dallas using a draft pick on this year. In 2019, he had four interceptions and eight passes defensed. Scouts say that his positives include his combination of speed, size and coverage, but some of his negatives include not getting his head around in time and biting on double moves. He is worth the third-round pick if he is still on the board at the time.

The Dallas Cowboys will be looking to add to their team to improve on their 8-8 record in 2019. These players could all possibly make this team better and get them over the hump.

All Stats gathered fromĀ https://walterfootball.com/draft2020CB.php

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/linker/

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