FRISCO, Texas – The time has come to finalize the draft board and make important decisions on the future of the Cowboys roster. These are crucial times weighing the needs and values around certain position groups.
At this point in time, it could be argued that no unit needs a talent influx more than the offense. Offensive line injury woes, lack of depth at wide receiver and the departure of Ezekiel Elliott and Dalton Schultz have provided question marks at nearly every position.
With that being said, the toughest task for the front office this weekend is to decipher which prospects fit the current value and need for their respective position. Spots like tight end and running back have young and unproven talent currently on the roster, but a remarkably deep draft class to pull from at the position. Others like offensive line and wide receiver have an obvious need currently, but a draft class that isn't as talented as others in the past.
Either way, it's an exciting time for the future of the offense and the possibilities around the skillsets being added.
With all those factors in play, here is one 2023 NFL Draft prospect that fits the Dallas situation for each offensive position.
Quarterback: Clayton Tune, Houston
There is a list of attributes that teams in the modern-day NFL search for in quarterback prospects. Arm strength, athleticism, decision making, and productivity. Tune showcased all those and more during his time at Houston. As an under-the-radar prospect that probably won't be selected until late in day three, Tune fits the value Dallas is looking for in a developmental quarterback. His 40 passing touchdowns were tied for third in the FBS last year and spent time as a starter since 2018. He can make throws to all areas of the field and flashed awareness and mobility when the pocket collapses. It's pretty apparent Dallas would like to invest in a developmental quarterback, Tune may be the guy.
Running Back: Zach Charbonnet, UCLA
Tony Pollard is the uber-talented home run hitter at running back. So why not go get an uber-talented physical back that has the chance to be a home run hitter too? That big-bodied, big-play threat would be Zach Charbonnet. The most decorated tailback in the Pac 12 the last two seasons, Charbonnet tallied nearly 2,500 yards and 27 touchdowns on his way to First-Team All-Pac 12 honors. He differs from Pollard with his 6-foot, 214-pound frame and the ability to eat up tough carries. Some scouts will shy away because he runs with high pads and isn't much of a threat in the passing game. Because of that, he'll likely slip to day two and be an absolute steal for a team that needs a physical presence in the backfield.
Wide Receiver: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
It's hard to believe one of the top receivers like a Jordan Addison (USC) or Jaxon Smith-Njigba will fall to 26. That low probability, plus the addition of Brandin Cooks this offseason allow some flexibility at the position and doesn't force Dallas to draft a receiver in the first round. The real value of the position lies with the depth around the third and fourth round of receiver prospects. In the middle of that range fall Frisco, Texas native Marvin Mims. The former Sooner went from a four-star high school career playing games at The Star, to becoming a "star" in the Big 12. He led the Sooners in receiving over the last three years and was a walking highlight reel. His catch radius and ability to stretch the field would both fit well in a Cowboys offense in search of a vertical threat out of the middle rounds.
Tight Ends: Sam LaPorta, Iowa
Most of the pre-draft storylines have surrounded the tight end position. It all starts with a class that is top-heavy with talent and a team that has a need at tight end. Dalton Kincaid (Utah) and Michael Mayer (Notre Dame) have each had their moment in the Cowboys draft spotlight and could still be the pick this Thursday. However, should the Cowboys stay away from drafting a first-round tight end, watch for LaPorta to fit the bill on day two. One of the most complete prospects in the draft, he led the Hawkeyes in receptions for both 2021 and 2022 while also showcasing a polished blocking skillset.
Center: Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin
Dallas has never shied away from drafting Wisconsin centers. So why not keep the trend of Travis Frederick and Tyler Biadasz going? Tippmann appears to be a nice middle ground between the previous two Badgers greats. More NFL ready now than Biadasz was in 2020, but still a long way from the ceiling of Frederick. Biadasz is under contract for one more season, so this pick would be a luxury. Bringing in a league-ready prospect to solidify depth at the position immediately and possibly challenge for the starting job in the future sounds great. But it would take a late day two, possible day three pick to do so.
Guard: O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida
One of the earliest names to emerge on the Cowboys draft radar, Torrence has split plenty of draft analysts and even front offices around the league. There are worries over his mobility and game shape after playing at 346 pounds in college. He's helped answer some of those questions by dropping wight to 330 for the NFL Combine, but there are still critics out there. Nevertheless, Dallas is in search of something different on the interior of their offensive line. Torrence brings that with a nasty resume of run blocking and physicality. He paved the way for the Gators and anchored their offensive line for years without allowing a sack in 1,500 pass blocking snaps. Torrence is likely gone early on day two, making this possible in a scenario where Dallas gets their board wiped at 26, or wants to trade out of the first round. Either way, he's a plug-and-play and long-term starter at left guard.
Tackle: Darnell Wright, Tennessee
There may take some early movement to make this pick happen. Wright has skyrocketed up draft boards over the last few months after a successful draft process paired nicely with impressive film against some of the best edge rushers in the country. After playing left tackle in 2021 and a few starts at right guard as a freshman, Wright had his best season in 2022 at right tackle but shows promise with some inside/out flex. Dallas has been very committed to their potential starting tackles this offseason with Tyler Smith, Tyron Smith, and Terence Steele. But with the future up in the air at multiple spots on the offensive line, one of the best options is to target a prospect who can move inside or outside like Tyler Smith did last season. The only question now becomes, will he make it to 26 or will it take a trade to move up?
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