Cowboys: 3 bold predictions for the 2023 draft, including a trade

The Dallas Cowboys’ needs are pretty well-defined ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. They have already brought in Pro Bowlers at both wide receiver and cornerback in the form of Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore, but some of the roster deficiencies that held the team back last season still persist.

The good news is that because Dallas was so active on the trade market, the front office can now address those needs in the draft without neglecting any one position too severely. The Cowboys know where they can improve. The unknowns are which college players are best-suited to make those improvements and where they will be available. With that said, look for America’s Team to follow these trends once the time comes to select the next crop of rookies who will wear the star.

3. Cowboys’ first three selections yield a WR, a DT, and an OL

Breaking down the Cowboys’ biggest positional needs ahead of the draft is fairly simple. Last year’s roster featured one of the least-open wide receiver corps in football, an interior defensive line that struggled to stop powerful runners up the middle, and an injured, aging offensive line. Any one of those issues could be considered Dallas’ most glaring weakness ahead of the 2023 season. We won’t know which issue the front office feels is most important to address until after the draft, but there is a good chance that Dallas’ first three selections include a pass-catcher, a lineman, and an interior defender. There is no telling what order they could be selected in though.

One caveat: that pass-catcher could be a tight end rather than a wide receiver. This year’s draft is chock full of tight ends ready to produce at the next level, and Dallas’ slot near the bottom of the first round puts them in a prime spot to snag one of the top-rated players in the class at the position. Dalton Kincaid, Michael Mayer or Darnell Washington could all be in play at 26 for the Cowboys if the front office believes a tight end is the best weapon available to improve the passing game. If not, Dallas could draft one of their other top needs in the early rounds and target another tight end on day two.

2. The Bijan Robinson debate proves inconsequential

Taking running backs early on in the draft is a hotly debated topic these days. The frequent success of running backs drafted later on, like Dameon Pearce and Isiah Pacheco, help make the case that a first round pick is wasted on a running back. It might be true in most cases, but not in the case of Texas Longhorns standout Bijan Robinson. Robinson is one of the best running back prospects to come out of the college game in years. In fact he’s so good that some wonder whether or not the Cowboys should be interested in taking him with their first round pick in 2023.

The truth is that although the Cowboys should definitely be interested in Robinson at 26, they won’t have a chance to pick him. Robinson likely won’t make it out of the top 20, leaving the Cowboys far out of contention to land the top running back in this year’s class. The only course of action Jerry Jones will have to snag Robinson would be to trade up, which is an unwise gamble for any running back.

Whichever side of the first-round running debate you fall on, take the Cowboys out of the conversation. Robinson won’t be there at 26, and there are no other running backs in the draft this year that come close to being worthy of that pick.

1. Cowboys trades down out of the first round

The Cowboys are in an awkward position at 26. They likely won’t be in contention for Jaxon Smith-Njigba or the other top tier wide receivers in this year’s draft. On the other hand, the 26th pick might be too early to take some of the offensive lineman that will be available. An elite college defensive tackle like Calijah Kancey would be a good pick at 26, but there’s still a chance that he isn’t available when it’s Dallas time to pick. Not to mention that taking interior defensive lineman is a tough sell in the first round anyway.

The Cowboys have an opportunity to trade back and maximize their draft. There very well may be a player still on the board at 26 that can help Dallas win a Super Bowl. If there isn’t one, expect the Cowboys to be active on the trade market.

The post Cowboys: 3 bold predictions for the 2023 draft, including a trade appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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