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Draft Central | 2023

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Jalen Brooks is Dallas' Final Pick of 2023 NFL Draft


They nearly concluded this year's NFL Draft without addressing the wide receiver position behind their Big 3, but finally decided to take the shot with a talent hailing from the SEC

FRISCO, Texas — It's been a whirlwind weekend for the Dallas Cowboys over the course of the three-day event in Kansas City, the 2023 NFL Draft loaded with plot twists no one saw coming; and that includes some decisions no one saw coming but that also put them in position to do some great things in 2023.

Mazi Smith led the way in the first round and Michigan celebrated yet again when tight end Luke Schoonmaker was named the second-round pick.

The selections thereafter were intriguing to say the least, even involving the cousin of Pro Bowl defensive lineman Vita Vea, so it makes perfect sense they'd end the draft with another they view as having a strong upside — also carrying a low risk, seeing as it's a seventh-rounder.

Round 7, No. 244:  Jalen Brooks, WR, South Carolina

First things first, you should look at this selection as more of a high-priority UDFA that the Cowboys were interested in but also realized he was garnering a lot of attention that would create a bidding war immediately following the conclusion of this year's draft. If you assess it as such, you'll apply the appropriate expectation to him as a low-risk selection with a chance to contribute as a special teams player and possibly more — training camp pending.

It's also at a position of need, a bigger wideout (6-foot-2, 202 pounds) who, as selection, complements the move the pick up electric young speedster running back Deuce Vaughn with the preceding pick.

Brooks is a transfer from the Tar Heels to the Gamecocks who improved year-over-year in his stay with South Carolina, ultimately having a career-best season in 2022 when he produced 504 receiving yards; also demonstrating an ability to be an option on jet sweeps. 

He's long, not fast. He's athletic, not twitchy. Overall, he's a role-specific player who the Cowboys will try to test over the next few months with the belief he can either carve his way onto the roster or, at worst, be a practice squad option that provides them insurance at the position. 

His frame is ready for the NFL, and he flashed moments of professional ability, but there's work to be done in his game and he's undoubtedly willing and ready to get to task of trying to prove the Cowboys right.

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