Dallas Cowboys 2020 NFL Draft review

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One victor after the first night of the 2020 NFL draft was Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones. His awareness to select the best player available while making the phone call from a $250 million yacht was a major flex, even without regard to the team’s vulnerability defensively in the secondary. Speculation that divisional rival Philadelphia (No. 21 draft pick) also had their eyes on CeeDee Lamb forced an executive decision. If the defensive back group is the liability defensively in Dallas, why allow the Eagles to draft Lamb and torment rookies that will get playing time? 

Grade: A

ROUND 1: #17 - WR Ceedee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Consensus All-American receiver CeeDee Lamb fell to the Cowboys at No. 17 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Louisiana native moved near Houston after Hurricane Katrina and played high school football in Texas for the Foster Falcons. After a senior season of 98 receptions for 2,032 yards and 33 touchdowns, the 4-star recruit committed to the University of Oklahoma over twenty other schools, including Alabama and Texas.

In three seasons and 40 games for the Sooners, Lamb caught 173 passes for 3,292 yards and 33 touchdowns, including one rushing score. Lamb averaged 19 yards per catch in Lincoln Riley’s offensive scheme and will be an addition to the elite Dallas offense already loaded with two 1,000-yard receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

Pro Football Focus listed Lamb as the No. 6 overall prospect in this year’s draft. The first round home-run threat has incredible playmaking ability after the catch and elite awareness on deep throws. A major move, especially considering the following two days would be focused on addressing the young defensive back group.

ROUND 2: #51 - CB Trevon Diggs (Alabama)

Brother of Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs, Trevon Diggs is a life-long Cowboys fan. Dallas was able to land the Alabama defensive back with the No. 51 overall pick in the second round. Diggs ranked third last season in completion percentage among cornerbacks in the FBS. A team-leading three interceptions, eight pass deflections and two fumble recoveries, including a 100-yard scoop and score at the goal line, earned the Nick Saban product Second-Team All-SEC honors.

The Cowboys were in desperate need of defensive back depth after the departure of former starters Byron Jones and Jeff Heath. Several draft boards projected Diggs as a potential first round pick. On March 1, I left the combine with Diggs as the No. 3 cornerback prospect and was initially hopeful that Florida corner CJ Henderson would fall to Dallas in the first round. A second round steal by being listed as a press-zone corner, Diggs fits in with the Cowboys Cover-3 defensive scheme.

Pro Football Focus listed Diggs as the No. 31 prospect and would have won the approval of nearly every NFL fan base. Diggs offers immense depth to the secondary and is not afraid to press the receiver. The Third-Team All American only allowed nine catches in 224 snaps while in press coverage last season. With second-to-none coaching at the collegiate level and the ability to drill with a professional receiver prior to summer camp gives Diggs an advantage over his peers. Diggs will certainly be competing for a starting role among the young cornerback group consisting of Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis.

 

 ROUND 3: #82 - DT Neville Gallimore (Oklahoma)

Dallas was able to unite two former Sooners together in the same rookie draft class. With their third round pick, No. 82 overall, the Cowboys selected Canada native Neville Gallimore out of Oklahoma. After earning Third-Team All-American honors, the 305-pound interior lineman shocked scouts at the combine, running the fastest 40-time in two decades at his position, clocked at 4.79 seconds.

Draft experts thought that a possible replacement for recently retired center Travis Frederick was the appropriate move. The starting center for the reigning national champion LSU Tigers, Lloyd Cushenberry, was also available. Instead, the team decided to wait until round four to land Wisconsin Badger Tyler Biadasz. My draft grade would have been an A+ if Texas safety Brandon Jones would have fallen to Dallas, but unfortunately he was selected early in the third round at No. 70 overall by the Miami Dolphins.

         Pro Football Focus listed Gallimore as the No. 51 overall prospect so the Cowboys were able to draft three players drastically later than each rookie was originally projected. An evolved pass-rushing grade from 75.0 to 82.4 was updated after he dropped 30 pounds and improved his range each year of his career. Gallimore will be joining a defensive front that includes DeMarcus Lawrence, Dontari Poe, Tyrone Crawford and recently signed former Sooner Gerald McCoy. Through three rounds, America’s Team drafted a top-ten prospect, a first round defensive back talent late in the second round and the fifth-ranked interior lineman late in the third round.


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