23 days left until the 2021 NFL Draft and the direction of how many teams will choose to use their draft picks are becoming a bit more clear. The Dallas Cowboys have all but been locked into taking a defensive prospect with the 10th overall pick .
After the play of their defense last year, and the changing of guard at defensive coordinator, it would be only be appropiate that the Cowboys choose to prioritize the defensive side of the ball. However, seeing as how many quarterbacks are projected to go within the first nine picks of the draft, Dallas may see a few “generational” offensive talents fall to them at 10.
Though it may not be ideal to continue stockpiling offensive weapons, but if the chance to snag one of the best prospects in the draft arises is it smart to say no?
Here are three names that may be worth considering at 10:
Kyle Pitts, TE
- Height: 6’5 | Weight: 245 pounds | 40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds
- Class: Junior | School: Florida
- Prospect Ranking: 2nd (according to NFL.com Daniel Jeremiah)
“Overall, Pitts is a unique talent with the ability to take over a game. He is the definition of a mismatch player.” – Jeremiah
There could be as many as five quarterbacks taken in the top ten picks of the draft. Even with the recent trade seemingly taking Carolina out of the quarterback drafting market, another team could trade up into that spot specifically to take a quarterback.
You also have a couple of left tackles in the mix who always demand attention at the top of the draft. Throw in a few prized wide receivers and it’s not impossible to concoct a situation where Pitts falls to number 10.
Pitts is an athletic freak who is a mismatch waiting to happen. He could be a generational type talent that one day has everyone asking why any team passed on him in the draft. There are plenty of evaluators that have him as the second-best talent in the draft behind Trevor Lawrence. Everything would point to “best player available” at pick number 10. He could also soften the blow of possibly losing Michael Gallup in free agency next year, they could even try a trade.
Rashawn Slater, OT
- Height: 6’4 | Weight: 304 pounds | Bench press: 33 reps
- Class: Senior | School: Northwestern
- Prospect Ranking: 9th (according to NFL.com Daniel Jeremiah)
“Overall, Slater might lack ideal length, but it doesn’t hinder him and I believe he can excel at left tackle. If a team chooses to play him inside, he should quickly develop into a Pro Bowl guard.” – Jeremiah
We know the various injuries Tyron Smith has dealth with over the past few seasons and it’s almost a certainity the 10-year veteran will miss at least a game season-to-season. Smith is slated to count $17 million against the cap in the final two years of his deal in 2022 and 2023.
Though still young at the end of that deal, 33, the possibility of Smith retiring at the end of the previous season briefly circulated around the media as the amount of injuries he contiues to battle through piles up.
Even if Smith stays relatively healthy, the Cowboys have experimented with moving college tackles to guard – Collins, Zack Martin, Connor Williams.
Penei Sewell, OT
- Height: 6’4 | Weight: 331 pounds | Bench Press: 30 reps
- Class: Junior | School: Oregon
- Prospect Ranking: 3rd (according to Pro Football Network)
“Generational player. And I would say the same about him as a human being,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said on Friday to NFL Network’s Taylor Bisciotti, who was on assignment in Eugene, Oregon. “The leadership, the power which he plays with, his football IQ … His ability just to see things, his instincts is something that, again, can change an entire franchise.” – Jeremiah
Sewell was responsible for just one sack over his final two seasons of play at Oregon (2018 and ’19), spanning 1,376 snaps. As one of the most ballyhooed prospects in the 2021 class, the 20-year-old is widely projected to be a top-10 pick.
Sewell also enters the NFL one-year younger then current tackle Tyron Smith did, 21, in 2011. Not many mock draft have Sewell falling to pick 10, but with a log jam of quarterbacks and receivers being projected to go before 10 there is a slim possibility it could happen.
In fact, Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network said “I was told bluntly, ‘The Cowboys will take Sewell if their cornerback is not available.’”
The Cincinnati Bengals have consistently been linked to Sewell – rightfully so – but from there lies the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos all in front of Dallas.