The selections of Ceedee Lamb, Trevon Diggs and Neville Gallimore brought excitement from the 2020 NFL Draft. Now, The Draft Show explains how the next step of the process brings plenty of change to a roster we thought we knew.
It's one of the toughest jobs in sports. Evaluating, selecting and implementing high-end prospects from the college level into a professional organization bring challenges every step of the way.
The evaluation and selection process are now in the rear-view mirror and the torch has been passed to the Cowboys new coaching staff to make the best use of the talent. The implementation process takes months, even years to work itself out (if it ever does). And with all the excitement carried over from last week's NFL Draft, The Draft Show spent their final episode of the season outlining how the new selections could fit in the Cowboys' 2020 plans.
Ceedee Lamb – Slot wide receiver with versatility
It's a video game and fantasy football way of thinking if the expectations are for Lamb, Dallas' 17th overall selection in the draft, is to be one of three 1,100-yard receivers this season. If that's the thinking method, you'd have to also elevate the expectations of Dak Prescott, the consistency of Amari Cooper and the growth of Michael Gallup while still finding a happy medium with your All-Pro running back getting his touches.
Even though that sounds like a negative towards Lamb's addition, it's the greatest problem to have for a coach. Offensive coordinators dream of the day they have TOO MANY weapons to please. Well wake up Kellen Moore, it's no longer just a dream. Inserting Lamb into an already stacked offense should shift the emphasis of his rookie season numbers to instead observe how he makes those around him better.
Cooper and Gallup will most likely slide outside for the majority of the snaps, while Lamb fits perfectly into the slot. He'll quickly gain the trust of Prescott thanks to his wide catch radius and sure hands that will continuously draw coverage from opposing defenses. This opens up the field immensely for each of the other two receivers when everyone is healthy and could even do the same for Ezekiel Elliott and Blake Jarwin when needed. While it may be an unfair way of thinking like I mentioned earlier, it is definitely not out of the question that each of the 'big three' receivers could reel in 75 catches and get near 1,100-yards.
Trevon Diggs – Starting corner that adds safety depth
Yes, you read that right. Much like Lamb on the offensive side, when a team can select such an NFL-ready corner in the second round like Dallas did, it opens up a world of possibility with your defensive secondary.
Entering the draft, the front office made numerous additions to sure up an obvious weak spot on the roster with the addition of Maurice Canady and the resigning of Anthony Brown. Each of these signings were crucial in not pigeon-holing the team into selecting a corner or safety in the first round. Instead they were able to stay patient and snag a pair of corners later in the draft.
Diggs specifically is such a lengthy corner at 6-foot-2, that he fits a new mold that this defense is shifting to at the position, eluded to by the additions of Canady and Daryl Worley (each 6-foot-1). This opens up defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to see how a couple of true corners could fit at the safety spot. Chidobe Awuzie is the most likely fit for the switch, though Jourdan Lewis could make the move to safety in order to sure up a position that was not addressed during the draft and could obviously use a little added depth.
Even if Diggs doesn't start immediately, there seems to be an added emphasis on longer cornerbacks who can play the ball and force turnovers. Diggs fits that mold, Lewis has shown the playmaking but doesn't have the length, and Awuzie seems to be the odd man out. All-in-all, the way the secondary will be handled in quite the shift from the past ways of thinking.
Neville Gallimore – Rotational three-technique with starting potential
Gallimore automatically adds competition in the interior of the defensive line and gives defensive line coach Jim Tomsula another hefty and athletic bulldozer. Gerald McCoy will be the starting three-technique while hopefully staying healthy and productive enough to carry that title into next year as well. However, Gallimore's sideline-to-sideline ability and NFL ready frame should get him around 30-40% of the snaps and plenty of playing time as a rookie.
The goal with Gallimore is to learn from the veterans like McCoy and Dontari Poe who were each first round picks and have been to the top of the pass-rusher mountain. If he is able to grow his knowledge of how to attack NFL offensive lineman and sharpen his technique, there's no reason an athletic 300-pounder like him would not contend for a starting spot.
In the words of Will McClay, last weekend was a "well-executed draft," with the final results panning out over the course of the next few seasons. There is no way to know just how special the Cowboys' 2020 draft class until the prospects finally get on the field. The coaching staff has the tough task and long road ahead of them in making sure these players are as effective as possible.
With the options that have been put out in front of them, McCarthy and staff have some high expectations this season. Time to see if they can execute this fall at the same level the personnel department did this past weekend.
You can check out the entire final episode of The Draft Show here: