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Draft Central | 2024

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Justin Rogers to Cowboys as final 2024 draft pick


FRISCO, Texas — One of the most concerning areas for the Dallas Cowboys was the inability to consistently stop the run in 2022, and that led to a first-round pick being used to select Mazi Smith in the 2023 NFL Draft. One year later, Smith will have reinforcements following the departure of Johnathan Hankins in free agency, by way of the team's final pick in this year's extravaganza.

With the 244th-overall pick, the Cowboys selected defensive tackle out of Auburn.

Round 7, No. 244: Justin Rogers, DT, Auburn

Three things to know:

  • Received scholarship from Kentucky as an 8th-grader
  • Full-time start last two collegiate seasons
  • Transfer from Kentucky

Life has come full circle in a way for Rogers, who was born and raised in the very city wherein he heard his name called on April 27 as the Cowboys' seventh-round pick.

Oh, and by the way, this is a very large human and, stop me if you've heard this before, but the Cowboys got more strong value with this selection — Rogers often being projected as a late sixth-round pick.

Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing in at a robust 330 lbs., Rogers has put on some weight to prep for what comes next at the NFL level. He is definitively a nose tackle, period, and there is no mistaking that when he arrives at the Cowboys' headquarters.

A three-year player for Kentucky, he earned the right to start full-time before eventually transferring to Auburn, remaining in the SEC where he went up against plenty of NFL-caliber talent. He's everything you'd look for in a prototypical 1-tech (left of center), in that he has a very wide base, a strong core that isn't moved easily and enormous hands that rank in the 97th (!!) percentile.

His biggest knock is one that's acceptable, given his position, in that he's not a pure athlete by any stretch of the imagination. Rogers is not going to jump out of any gym or run fast in a straight line but, to be frank, who cares?

His job is to eat up double teams and to push the pocket, and he does both very well.

The biggest actual knock is that he needs to improve his leverage at the professional level, because he can sometimes get too high in his stance and that robs him of forward momentum that, at his size, can be devastating on impact.

The Cowboys couldn't afford to leave this draft without getting another potentially impact player at nose tackle and, thankfully, they got one.

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