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Possible Pick: Could Graham Barton start at center?


Editor's Note: The 2024 NFL Draft is fastly approaching at the end of April, and the draft process is in full swing as the Dallas Cowboys and other teams work their boards to see who would be good fits at the next level. The staff at will provide Possible Picks before the draft to provide context on potential Cowboys targets when they hit the clock. Next up is Texas A&M linebacker Edgerrin Cooper.

  • Name: Graham Barton
  • Position: Offensive Line
  • College: Duke
  • Height/Weight: 6-5 / 313 (verified at combine)
  • Combine Testing: Did not test due to injury
  • Did You Know? Despite not beginning out as a starter in his freshman season, Barton took over at center midway through the year due to injuries for the Blue Devils and finished as a Second-Team All-American by The Athletic. Following his freshman season, he would only see action at left tackle (2,134 snaps).

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the more tenacious offensive linemen in the entire draft, Barton brings a healthy combination of strength and technique up front that makes him a highly valued prospect. His lower body strength drives up into his punch power off the line, making him an intriguing center option at the next level. That also plays into his shorter-than-usual arms for an NFL offensive lineman, as the center position could provide more security in close-range battles that Barton is used to facing. His area of improvement could be tugging at defenders in the run game that can draw penalties at the next level.

Where He's Projected

While he has been regarded as a surefire candidate to come off the board in the first round, it's also expected he won't hear his name called until the opening round gets into the 20s. Experts have typically pinned Barton in the 24-28 range, which could give the Cowboys comfort in taking him at 24 or moving back a few spots to pick up draft capital while still having the opportunity to pick him.

How He Helps the Cowboys

With Tyler Biadasz now out of the building, a hole is present at the center position going into 2024. The Cowboys do have two in-house candidates to fill that role with Brock Hoffman and T.J. Bass, but bringing in a high-round draft pick would only elevate that competition this offseason. Barton could also provide flexibility as a guard if the Cowboys find that a combination of him and Hoffman/Bass would work better.

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