By reputation, Jerry Jones controls the draft board for the Dallas Cowboys. If he wants a player, best believe they're headed to the Lone Star State.
Last season, Jones - and really, the personnel department - was interested in drafting LSU star pass rusher K'Lavon Chaisson at pick No. 17. As the board dwindled their way, Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb began to slip. Soon, Dallas had to decide what direction they would lean.
Best player available or team fit need.
They went with option A and they weren't disappointed. Lamb finished the rookie campaign with 935 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
As the Cowboys prep for the 2021 NFL draft, they have options when selecting at No. 10. The team would like to add more protection for Dak Prescott. They also could look to fix the defense, primarily in the secondary.
Of course, they could just take the best player available and be done with it. The question is, will he fall to No. 10 or would Dallas have to jump up to get him?
Should Dallas remain on the clock at its original selection, one of these names makes the most sense based on need and draft grade for Jones and Mike McCarthy to grab for the year.
After all, "BPA" can go a long way.
FLORIDA TE KYLE PITTS
Let's get this out of the way — Jones loves Pitts. Actually, strike that. The NFL as a whole loves Pitts.
The former Florida Gator is not just a stereotypical tight end. Instead, Pitts could be used in a multitude of ways as a blocker, flex option, or even in the slot.
As for his hands? There are few receivers who can match the same production of the 6-foot-5 target on the perimeter.
Add in his 4.44 40-time and it's a clear indication why most scouts believe he's a top-five talent in the class.
The question will be Pitts falls far enough for Dallas to grab him. With an early run expected on quarterbacks, it pushes down a talent like Pitts towards the bottom half of the top 10.
Still, teams like Carolina and Detroit might rather take him for their offense after somewhat addressing the quarterback needs this offseason.
If Pitts falls to 10, lock it up. Jones might not be willing to trade up, but he'll take the tight end to add to a passing attack that includes Lamb, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin.
It's a stretch, but Pitts falling to 10 is good news for Dallas and bad news for the NFL.
ALABAMA CB PATRICK SURTIAN II
The Cowboys' need to fix their defense is evident. What's even more evident is second-year cornerback Trevon Diggs cannot go into the season as the team's No. 1 option ... without help.
For most of the draft process, Surtain has been the consensus No.1 corner. Good size and great footwork, the 6-foot-2 defender is a lockdown defender than isn't afraid to get physical to make a play.
During his past two seasons at Alabama, top targets in the SEC were mismatched consistently against him. Possessing a combination of quickness and play recognition, Surtain can win at both the short-area and downfield in either scheme.
Dan Quinn made his mark with Richard Sherman in Seattle. During his time in Atlanta, Desmond Trufant was a high-end corner for the first two seasons. Quinn needs a true top cover man that he can rely on shutting down names like Terry McLaurin and Kenny Golladay.
Surtain is that guy and then some.
SOUTH CAROLINA CB JAYCEE HORN
Quinn could be looking for the Sherman clone down in Dallas. Depending on how the draft board plays out, that option could be Horn over a name like Surtain.
The son of legendary wide receiver, Joe, Horn thrived the past two seasons at South Carolina. Good size, great agility, and one of the more physical players, the 6-foot-1 corner lets receivers know he means business in coverage.
What Horn doesn't have in size, he makes up for in physicality. A great first punch allows him to mirror targets and play great in press. Horn also overcrowds and blankets receivers, leading to missed throws and turnovers for offense daily.
Dallas can have the top two quarterbacks on their board both available when selecting. That's a good problem to have, but Horn's aggression and top dog mentality might make him a better fit.
OREGON OT PENEI SEWELL
After agreeing to pay Prescott $160 million over the next four years, Dallas now needs to make sure he lives up to the contract. The best way to do that is by adding protection so he has ample time to deliver a strike.
Sewell is the only tackle worth taking for Dallas. (Others think Rashawn Slater deserves mention here, though.) A rare breed of tackle with good size and elite foot quickness, the former Duck might be the most polished player to come out of college in nearly a decade.
Good balance but great strength, Sewell wins most of his leverage battles by brute force over technique. A great first step allows him to come flying out of the box, kicking defenders out of the way in both the run and pass.
Multiple scouts have agreed that his work ethic could use an improvement. In Dallas, Sewell would learn under Tyron Smith and La'el Collins before eventually taking over at likely the left tackle spot.
Dallas' offensive line was elite for the start of Prescott's career. It's good now, but Sewell will make it better.
CONTINUE READING: Cowboys NFL Draft Strategy: Deal with Defense or Swing for Offense?