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Pick Fit

Pick Fit: DT fits for every Cowboys draft pick


FRISCO, Texas — The NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, as the Dallas Cowboys are taking the final steps in their evaluation process before making their currently scheduled seven picks in the draft before acquiring a carefully constructed undrafted free agent pool.

In the Pick Fit series, we will take a look at each position group and what player would make sense for the Cowboys at each of their seven picks within that position group.

Next up is defensive tackle.

Round 1, Pick 24: Byron Murphy II (Texas): While a defensive tackle that has Byron Murphy's skillset as a 3-Tech isn't necessarily a need for the Cowboys, if Murphy slips to 24 and the top offensive line targets are off the board, this is a perfect scenario to take the best player available and reap the rewards after figuring out how to get him in the game. Murphy is one of the stronger and stockier defensive tackles in the draft and is expected to come off the board anywhere between 13 and 27 in the first round.

Round 2, Pick 56: T'Vondre Sweat (Texas): While character concerns stem from much further back than his DWI arrest last week, if T'Vondre Sweat is available at 56, there is still a compelling argument present to select him. His wide 366-pound body clogs running lanes and his athleticism off the line would provide immediate assistance to the nose tackle position with Johnathan Hankins out of the building and Mazi Smith still working to develop his own skills.

Round 3, Pick 87: McKinnley Jackson (Texas A&M): A prospect that Dallas has done a lot of homework on during the draft process, McKinnley Jackson has a 6-foot-1½-inch, 326-pound frame that terrorized A-gaps in the SEC and has his stock rising into the second day as draft weekend nears. Jackson gets off the line in a hurry, provides a strong initial punch into the chest of centers and maintains a low center of gravity that makes him snake-like in filling running lanes.

Round 5, Pick 174: Khristian Boyd (Northern Iowa): A player that shined bright during the East-West Shrine Bowl week in Frisco back in January, Khristian Boyd has gone from FCS sleeper to day three priority for some teams needing help in the interior defensive line. He's well-built at 6-foot-2, 320 pounds, has strong hands that fight off interior offensive linemen, and he has a quick burst that fires off the line. While he may need some time to adjust to NFL blocking schemes, he has a ceiling that could see him maintain a spot on a 53-man roster for the long run.

Round 6, Pick 216: Keith Randolph Jr. (Illinois): While Jer'Zhan Newton is seeing a lot of the hype from Illinois defensive tackle products in this draft cycle, Keith Randolph Jr. deserves a lot of love for what he can provide as a versatile interior defensive lineman moving from 1 to 3-Tech. His athleticism jumps off the board and he sometimes requires two offensive linemen to keep him put in run block. While he is more of a patient attacker off the line, he was highly productive for his position in his time with the Fighting Illini (144 tackles and 10 sacks in three seasons as a starter).

Round 7, Pick 233: Justin Rogers (Auburn): Another potential late-round pick and another big body in the interior as Justin Rogers will bring a 6-foot-2, 330-pound skillset to the NFL that is violent with his punch as a pass rusher and run defender. While he doesn't have the best athletic traits in the interior, his strength jumps off the board as it disrupted some of the top interior linemen in the SEC a year ago.

Round 7, Pick 244: Evan Anderson (Florida Atlantic): There aren't many bigger bodies in the draft than Evan Anderson who stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs a whopping 356 pounds. That obviously translates into a legitimate heavy force at the nose tackle position that can simply stand in running lanes, maintain positioning and bring down ball carriers looking for some A-gap breathing room. His 58 tackles in 2023 were among the most in the FBS for true nose tackles.

UDFA: Jowon Briggs (Cincinnati): While Jowon Briggs could be picked in the seventh round, there is a chance he's waiting for the best offer available when the final pick is made. Briggs has a wide frame that can translate between the 1-Tech and 3-Tech based on where he is needed. While he is athletic in his get off and pursuit in the backfield, he is a bit limited physically with short length that can leave him fighting with his chest more than his hands off the line.

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