FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys have the No. 10 pick in the April NFL Draft ... and we've got your Cowboys Draft Tracker for 2021: Check back often as we keep you up-to-date on Cowboys Mock Drafts from all over the internet, including the ones we do here at CowboysSI.com ...
FEB 26: FARLEY'S NUMBERS GIVE HIM AN EDGE AT NO. 10: USA Today's Doug Farrar filed his first mock draft of the 2021 NFL Draft season, and he had the Cowboys taking Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley.
Farley is a familiar name here. He's one of the cornerback associated with the Cowboys at No. 10, along with Alabama's Patrick Surtain II. Surtain went to Denver at No. 9.
Farrar made an analytical argument for the Cowboys taking Farley at No. 10, citing the Hokies' production in Blacksburg:
In 2019, Farley was a pain to target no matter the range of the throw — he gave up eight receptions on 12 targets of 0-9 air yards, one completion on 12 targets of 10-19 air yards, and four completions on 15 targets of 20 or more air yards. All told through two seasons, Farley allowed 50 catches on 104 targets for 720 yards, 244 yards after the catch, five touchdowns (four in 2018), six interceptions (four in 2019) and an opponent passer rating of 63.0. Farley is primed to succeed in the NFL right away.
As Farrar notes, the Cowboys could use something like that right now.
FEB 25: COWBOYS GET AN EDGE? The Cowboys do have a habit of collecting pass-rushers, and that's the prediction from Sporting News at No. 10.
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (6-6, 260 pounds)
Sporting News writes, "The Cowboys need to help DeMarcus Lawrence better up front especially with the likelihood of losing both Tyrone Crawford and Aldon Smith. Rousseau, who opted out of the Hurricanes season, didn't really need to play to boost his stock after posting 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his lone significant and final season under defensive-minded head coach Manny Diaz. He would be a great fit with new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.''
Our view? We've already predicted that Crawford might retire and that Aldon will be tougher to retain than many think. We frankly have no idea of Rousseau "fits'' into Quinn's scheme.
But the Cowboys do like to collect those ends.
FEB 24: NEW NAME You've seen all the cornerbacks mocked to Dallas at No. 10. You've seen two O-linemen mocked there as well.
Here's a familiar position ... but a new name.
The San Diego Union Tribune mocks offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech to the Cowboys.
Injuries and age are starting to erode what was once the Cowboys greatest strength, its offensive line. Darrisaw could definitely find his way into the top 10 if he tests as well as I believe he will during the draft process.
We can't argue with the general logic. Sewell and Slater would obviously have to be gone ... and then would start the debate about "reaching.''
FEB 22: 2 DBs AT THE TOP? Want to fix the Cowboys secondary, all in one weekend? Here's a way ...
Our friend Jon Machota at The Athletic mocks it this way:
First round, No. 10 overall: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Second round, No. 44 overall: Richie Grant, S, UCF
That's two highly-though-of players at positions of need for Dallas. Worth noting: In Machota's previous mock, he gave the Cowboys Caleb Farley at No. 10 and Trevon Moehrig at 44.
That, too, is a cornerback and a safety, any way you slice it.
Machota's got a vision here. Maybe the Cowboys do as well.
FEB. 16: PITTS TO DALLAS It's not just the idea of the stellar tight end landing in the Cowboys lap; it's where the idea comes from.
That's an Eagles-heavy website based in Philly (featuring a reputable beat writer) and we don't dismiss the idea of Florida's Kyle Pitts to Dallas ... well, because, we're two months ahead of the NFL Draft. Why dismiss any ideas?
We're intrigued a bit here because of what Philly's view of Dallas might be. From the site:
The Cowboys should definitely think about OL help here but instead they opt for one of the best overall players in the draft. They can’t turn down the value and they get a great player at a position of need.
We'll disagree that Dallas views tight end as a "position of need.'' But we will not argue about the gifts of Kyle Pitts - or how tempting it would be to grab him, need or not.
FEB 11: CB VS. OL? "The Cowboys could go Rashawn Slater here or possibly a front-seven defender, but cornerback is currently a weak spot on the roster and Patrick Surtain would be a natural fit in Dan Quinn’s scheme,'' writes our buddy Dane Brugler in his latest mock at The Athletic. "With a Pro Bowl father, he was groomed to play the position at a high level would be an immediate starter in Dallas playing alongside his former Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs.''
Dane (writing here) makes a point we can build on: There is an educated opinion on Slater, as good as he is, that he might not be an immediate starter in Dallas. But Brugler says Surtain would be?
That might be the tiebreaker, assuming both are truly available at 10.
FEB 10: NEW MCSHAY MOCK PUTS FARLEY ON COWBOYS: ESPN.com's Todd McShay released his second 2021 mock draft during the late SportsCenter on Tuesday and it was a draft heavy on offense. But that enabled a familiar name to slide to the Cowboys at No. 10 — Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley.
Farley, along with Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, have been the most popular defensive players attached to the Cowboys in first-round mocks since the offseason began. The most popular offensive player has been Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater. In fact, Mel Kiper's first mock draft, released earlier this week, had Slater going to the Cowboys at No. 10.
Why did Farley slide this far? McShay's mock had offensive players flying off the boards with the first eight selections. Then, at No. 9, he had the Broncos taking Surtain. So, it was an easy call for the Cowboys to take the next-ranked corner on the board at No. 10.
McShay said Farley was a 'ball hawk' who has an eye for making interceptions. And the Cowboys could use some of that.
FEB 7: A COWBOYS-NINERS DEAL FOR A 'NEW' CORNERBACK NAME: In his latest two-round mock draft at profootballnetwork.com, Dalton Miller proposed that the Cowboys and Niners make a deal to swap picks at No. 10 and No. 12. The Niners have their eye on a new QB, and Miller proposed that trading down just two spots might allow the Cowboys to take a cornerback, but a relatively new name to those following our tracker.
Miller wrote that the Niners want to move to No. 10 to grab North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. The deal with the Cowboys allows that to happen, and they only have to cede two spots in the draft. With the No. 12 overall pick, the Cowboys would then take ... Syracuse cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu.
Miller admits this might be a high projection for Melifonwu. It also ignores the fact that while Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley is off the board, Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain isn't. But, as Miller wrote, it's about exploring scenarios. Miller wrote that, on his board, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Melifonwu is the third cornerback and that his style of play is a great fit for new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Surtain fell to Arizona at No. 16.
So what ELSE did Dallas get in this deal? Well, with their second-round pick, Miller has the Cowboys taking UCF safety Richie Grant. Since the Cowboys don't have an additional second-round pick, we can surmise that the Cowboys probably got a late-rounder from the Niners as a sweetener to moving back just two spots.
So, with this deal, Miller takes care of the Cowboys' needs at cornerback and at safety. It also brings a 'new' cornerback name to the table, as Farley and Surtain have been the corners most associated with the Cowboys' first-round pick since the offseason began.
FEB 5: NFL.com's BROOKS HAS COWBOYS TAKING FARLEY: NFL.com's Bucky Brooks is a former NFL player and scout, so his mock drafts carry the weight of someone who has 'been there, done that.' So when Brooks released his first mock draft earlier this week, the interest from Cowboys fans was to see who Brooks would take at No. 10.
It ended up being Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, who along with Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, has been a popular selection in Cowboys mock drafts the past month.
Brooks' draft unfolded with the Denver Broncos taking Surtain II at No. 9 overall, leaving Farley to drop to the Cowboys at No. 10. Given the Cowboys' need at cornerback, taking Farley was a pretty easy selection.
We think Dallas will end up ranking Surtain above Farley ... but it's interesting to see both fall right in the range of 10.
Brooks wrote that it gives the Cowboys a 'play-maker' on defense.
READ MORE: Slater as Cowboys 'default' first-rounder?
Earlier this week we wrote about Rashawn Slater, who seems to be the 'default' offensive player taken in Cowboys mocks when both Farley and Surtain are off the board. Well, in Brooks' mock, Slater went No. 13 to the Los Angeles Chargers.
FEB 3: BRUGLER HELPS 4 TO COWBOYS Defense. Defense. Defense. Defense.
Our pal Dane Brugler at The Athletic has a Top 100 draft board that we find valuable ... and our pal (yes, everybody is our pal!) Jon Machota uses it to mock some guys to the Cowboys in the coming NFL Draft. ...
Some guys who play defense.
The top four picks:
First round, No. 10 overall: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Second round, No. 42 overall: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Third round, No. 74 overall: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Third round, No. 99 overall: Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburgh
Defense. Defense. Defense. Defense
Feb. 1: FIRST POST-STAFFORD TRADE MOCK HAS COWBOYS GOING OFFENSE: USA Today's Mark Schofield filed a mock draft on Saturday afternoon — and then two hours later he had to change it after the Detroit Lions traded quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff (and other assets).
That compelled Schofield to change the mock, and the Cowboys ended up with Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater at No. 10.
Slater has been the most popular offensive player in Cowboys mock drafts, but he usually BECOMES the pick IF two players are off the board before the Cowboys select — Alabama cornerback Partrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley. If both are off the board, mock drafters seem to default to Slater, who would help the Cowboys' offensive line. If only one is selected, mock drafters seem to default to the other corner.
It appears a pecking order has developed among those three players, at least among mock drafters. It also means that mock drafters aren't convinced that another corner that has slipped into the No. 10 spot, South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn, is worth the selection.
Is there a player who will now go at No. 7 (to the Lions) who is different than who might've gone pre-Stafford trade? Same goes for the Jets and the Dolphins at the top of the draft as they might joust for the services of Houston QB Deshaun Watson.
We've already reported in this space that Dallas would consider an O-lineman at 10 and might end up zeroing in on cornerbacks. Trades involving the top nine teams, ideally, will work in a way that pushes talent - at positions of interest - to the Cowboys.
Jan. 31: COWBOYSSI.com 7-ROUND MOCK DEBUTS: Our first 7-Round Cowboys Mock Draft debuted in our Sunday First-and-10 Piece, which is our weekly reader of Cowboys stories.
The mock, done by our Matthew Postins, was his first attempt at crafting what a 7-round Cowboys NFL Draft could look like, given the completion of the Senior Bowl.
The first-round selection was a familiar one — Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. From there, Postins addressed several needs on defense, found a few players that fit the 'best available player' mold and added some significant depth on the defensive line.
Jan 28 COWBOYS SENIOR BOWL INTERVIEWS: Per a tweet by the NFL Network's Jane Slater, the Cowboys have interviewed these three players at the Senior Bowl: Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill, Houston defensive end Payton Turner, and Miami (FL) defensive end Quincy Roche.
The Cowboys have likely interviewed more players on both rosters, and this is the time of year for the Cowboys to do their due diligence, especially since the NFL Scouting Combine is now essentially virtual pro days.
Hill, 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, was an All-SEC First Team selection in 2019 after he led the Bulldogs with 242 carries, 1,350 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. For his three-year MSU career he amassed 2,535 rushing yards.
Turner, 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, was a 2020 American Athletic Conference Second Team selection who only played five games. But, he led Houston with 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Roche, 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, transferred to Miami (FL) before last season after a standout career at Temple. With the Owls, Roche had 137 total tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss and 26.0 sacks in three seasons, and in one season was the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
With the Hurricanes, Roche had 45 total tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
Jan 27 KIPER TAKES NORTHWESTERN OL SLATER: The buzz on Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater is growing, as far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, as Mel Kiper Jr. has the Cowboys taking the Wildcat at No. 10 overall in his first 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
While defensive backs and defensive linemen have been popular selections at No. 10, Slater seems to be the single offensive player that Cowboys mock drafts have focused on in January, as taking Slater would certainly help bolster the Cowboys' depth on the offensive line.
Kiper's logic? That the injuries up front exposed fissures in the Cowboys' depth on the offensive line, and Slater has position flex, as he can play both tackle and guard.
What was interesting in Kiper's mock was that he passed on Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, who went two selections later. Surtain is one of two corner prospects — along with Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley — who have been popular in mock drafts so far.
Jan 26 TARRON JACKSON 1-ON-1: How about drafting a defensive end from the same hometown as DeMarcus Lawrence?
Our guys at NFLDraftBible.com are pumping out great 2021 NFL Draft content on a daily basis, and with it being Senior Bowl week, they're kicking it into overdrive.
A couple of days ago CowboysSI.com writer Matthew Postins pointed out Five Players to Watch at The Senior Bowl. Those five players were not picked out at random. They were picked out because they can potentially help the Dallas Cowboys in 2021 and beyond. One of the players posted highlighted was Coastal Carolina defensive end Tarron Jackson.
Plus, Jackson made his way into a Dallas Morning News 7-round mock draft compiled by John Owning, which we highlighted on Jan. 24. (See below.)
So, it's time to take a deep dive into Jackson, courtesy of NFLDraftBible.com. Get loads of info at that link, and then dig what the 6-2, 270-pound Jackson (who Owning projects to Dallas as a sixth-rounder) says about his college path:
"I am an Applied Mathematics Major and Actuarial Science minor. I don’t make excuses about things that happen in my life, I work through problems and find solutions. I always make a way, and this degree is living proof of that. I sacrificed and worked my butt off in every area of my life to ensure I secured a valuable degree and had a great season.''
And you have to love this quote from Jackson's head coach, Jamey Chadwell:
“He works every day like he’s trying to earn his spot like he’s trying to earn a scholarship and like he’s trying to prove himself to coaches every day and that epitomizes what you want your team to be about. I know he’s going to go at the next level and he’s going to get doubted there and he’ll end up proving himself there as well.” – Coastal Carolina Head Coach Jamey Chadwell
Jan 24 WADDLE-ING IN?: Our friend John Owning of The Dallas Morning News posts a 7-round Cowboys mock draft and has the Cowboys taking an Alabama wide receiver in the first round — Jaylen Waddle?
Not the one you were thinking of, was it?
Owning’s logic for taking Waddle with the first pick in his 7-round mock was that Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley would be off the board by No. 10 and Waddle represented the best player available. He also writes the selection would make Michael Gallup’s days ‘numbered’ in Dallas.
The problem, of course, is that the selection of Waddle (the 'Bama teammate of Heisman Trophy receiver DeVonta Smith) doesn’t address any of the pressing defensive needs for the Cowboys. But Owning takes care of that in successive rounds, grabbing Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell, Washington defensive back Elijah Molden, Washington defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike, Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning, Texas safety Caden Stearns and BYU nose tackle Khyiris Tonga with successive selections, including the Cowboys’ expected compensatory selections.
Owning comes back in the sixth round with an intriguing offensive selection — Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in just eight games for the Bulls in 2020.
Owning wraps up his draft with Coastal Carolina defensive end Tarron Jackson and Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas. Jackson is a player we profiled in our Senior Bowl Players to Watch.
Jan 23 - DALLAS GETS THE TOP O-LINEMAN? Is Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell going to be available at No. 10?
From where we sit, that seems unlikely. But NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah paints a picture that has Sewell falling to the Cowboys at No. 10 overall, as he projects Cincinnati Bengals to select Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater to go ahead of him.
“Sewell could go as high as No. 3 overall to the Dolphins, but there's a chance he slips to the Cowboys," Jeremiah wrote. "They need to get younger and more talented along the offensive line."
We can't make an argument against Sewell; there isn't one.
We can make an argument about him being available at 10, given that our guy Dane Brugler views him as the second-best prospect in the entire draft. As Brugler writes: "For a blocker with his size and strength, Sewell (6-6, 330) is astonishingly efficient with his movement patterns due to his natural flexibility and footwork. Not only does he offer impressive physical traits, but his split-second reads and reflexes are also advanced for a player his age.''
At 10? Hard to buy. But lots to love.
Jan 20 - COWBOYS TRADE OUT: Matthew Valdovinos of profootballnetwork.com published his latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft, a three-round mock with the Cowboys trading out of the No. 10 pick and accumulating an additional second-round pick in the process.
The scenario allowed the Cowboys to pick up three defensive players in the first two rounds, two of which are familiar to Cowboys mock draft followers — South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn and TCU safety Trevon Moehrig.
In this scenario, both Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley are off the board. The trading partner is the Miami Dolphins, who take Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell at No. 3. The Dolphins package their No. 18 and No. 36 picks and ship them to Dallas so Miami can take Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (a big assumption that Smith would even be available at No. 10).
But, with the trade, the Cowboys took Horn at No. 18 and Moehrig at No. 36, both of which would address some of the team’s glaring needs in the secondary.
Valdovinos then has the Cowboys taking Iowa defensive lineman Daviyon Nixon with their No. 44 selection. Nixon (6-foot-3, 305 pounds) was a unanimous All-American.
Then in the third round Valdovinos addressed the offensive line as he had the Cowboys taking Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little, who opted out of the 2020 season and declared for the NFL Draft.
Jan 18 - CERTAIN IT’S SURTAIN: Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II — who just declared for the 2021 NFL Draft — was back on the clock for the Dallas Cowboys at No. 10, according to the latest mock draft by RotoUnderworld’s Cody Carpentier.
Surtain just won a national championship with the Crimson Tide, and the Cowboys likely had their eyes on him during the game.
To this point, the cornerback position has been a popular position in NFL Mock Drafts, with Surtain’s name in heavy rotation with Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley and South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn.
Carpentier’s mock had the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall and the New York Jets taking Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 2 overall.
Our thoughts on Dallas at this early moment? There are some players the Cowboys might trade down from at 10. We bet they would not trade down from Surtain or Farley (or the offensive lineman Rashawn Slater. And what about the tight end Kyle Pitts? That could be a classic "draft-for-need'' issue. Dallas doesn't "need'' a tight end in the same way it "needs'' a corner like Surtain ... but doesn't every team need players who project to be perennial Pro Bowlers, which is what many talent people think of Pitts?
READ MORE: Cowboys Need a 'Heavy-D' NFL Draft
Horn would address the need the Cowboys have at cornerback, and he’s been one of three popular selections at the position in mock drafts around the internet.
In this case, Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley and Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II were already off the board, so Morgan took Horn for the Cowboys at No. 10 overall. Despite that, Morgan wrote that Horn would be a ‘fantastic option’ because ‘Horn is a press/cover corner, whose size, length and tenacity make him extremely difficult to separate from at the line of scrimmage.’
Horn was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week during the 2020 season after picking off two passes against Auburn. He opted out of the rest of the season shortly after that.
The interesting part of this mock is that just the week prior Trapasso had the Cowboys taking Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. But this mock, done after the National Championship game, which Alabama won, saw Surtain go No. 4 overall to Atlanta.
Trapasso notes that the Cowboys ‘need to prioritize the secondary’ and that Farley is a ‘tall but athletic and instinctual corner.’
Farley was an All-ACC selection last year, but did not play in 2020 as he opted out of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jan 14 - PASS ON PITTS?: As you see below, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts was the Cowboys’ selection by New York Post NFL writer Steve Serby in his first 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Pitts, considered the top tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft, is coming off a 2020 in which he caught 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging nearly 18 yards per catch. Florida reached the SEC Championship game, losing to Alabama, before losing to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
Some issues here, though.
One, with all due respect to the veteran writer, we're not sure he's especially connected with the NFL Draft, with Cowboys insights or with Cowboys needs. (Indeed, he suggests that Blake Jarwin's injury might be motivation here, but we have no indication that Jarwin will be anything less than 100 percent in 2021.)
Further, we'd suggest this: While Pitts seems a likely star at the next level - one scout tells our Mike Fisher that he's "like Kelce and Kittle except that he really could line up at receiver and beat corners'' - it is entirely possible that Dallas looks at this draft, sees the relatively shy number of guys with first-round grades, and trades down from 10.
The question will be, regardless of team need: If Pitts is the next Kelce/Kittle ... shouldn't ever team - Dallas included - be clamoring to take him?
Jan 12 — OL AND S HELP: Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and TCU safety Trevon Moehrig were the Cowboys’ first two selection in the latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft by The Athletic’s Dane Brugler.
Brugler’s latest mock draft comes one day after the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the FBS national championship game.
Slater, considered by many to be the No. 2 tackle in the draft behind Oregon’s Penei Sewell, goes against the grain of many other mocks, in that they have the Cowboys taking a defensive player with their first-round pick. Brugler acknowledges that in making the Slater selection, but also notes that the Cowboys’ ‘offensive line woes were a constant theme all season.’ He also points out that Slater has flexibility at tackle and at guard.
Brugler did a two-round mock this time, and with the second-round pick he had the Cowboys taking Moehrig, who was recently named the Jim Thorpe Award winner, given to the nation’s top defensive back. Brugler noted that the Cowboys haven’t taken a safety in the first two rounds since Roy Williams in 2002. He considered it to be an upgrade over current safety Xavier Woods.
Brugler slid Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith up to No. 3, as he noted that a selection there would reunite him with his former Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He has the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall.
Jan. 11 — HOKIE AT NO. 10: Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley was the Cowboys first-round selection in the latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft of NBCSports.com’s Josh Schrock.
Farley was a First-Team All-ACC selection as a redshirt sophomore in 2019. The Hokies converted him from wide receiver to defensive back and he had four interceptions in 2019. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Farley chose to opt out of the 2020 season and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. At 6-foot-2, 207 pounds, Farley is considered one of the top cornerbacks in this draft, along with Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II, who has been a popular Cowboys Mock Draft connection early in the offseason.
Schrock noted that the departure of Byron Jones last offseason put the Cowboys in a position where they ended up with one of the worst-performing secondaries in the league. Schrock also referenced Farley’s physical play and his upside in the NFL as a “route-mirroring” cornerback.
The Cowboys have four impending free agents in the secondary, including cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis.
Jan. 9 — GOING PITTS?: Florida tight end Kyle Pitts was the Cowboys’ selection by New York Post NFL writer Steve Serby in his first 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Pitts, considered the top tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft, is coming off a 2020 in which he caught 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging nearly 18 yards per catch. Florida reached the SEC Championship game, losing to Alabama, before losing to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
Serby’s justification for selecting Pitts at No. 10 revolved around the injury to Blake Jarwin — who should be back in 2021 — and the contract status of Dalton Schultz, who had a solid season in Jarwin’s place in 2020. Schultz is expected to be a free agent in 2022. He also noted that the Cowboys needed cornerback help. But, in Serby’s estimation, Pitts would be the best player available at No. 10.
Serby believes that, right now, the top two cornerbacks in the draft — Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley — will be off the board before the Cowboys get to pick.
CBSSports.com ranks Surtain as the No. 13 prospect overall and the No. 2 prospect at his position, and Trapasso writes that Surtain dropping to No. 10 would be ‘music to the ears’ of the Cowboys and that Surtain is the ‘most advanced outside press cornerback in the draft.’
The Cowboys certainly have a need at corner, with four impending free agents and second-round pick Trevon Diggs — also of Alabama — returning as one of the starters in 2021.
Trapasso had Jacksonville taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 and the New York Jets taking Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields No. 2.
Jan. 6 — O-LINEMAN?: FoxSports.com’s Jason McIntyre filed an updated 2021 NFL Mock Draft and selected Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater.
Slater (6-foot-3, 305 pounds) is an offensive tackle and is starting to push Oregon’s Penei Sewell as the No. 1 offensive tackle off the board in April’s draft.
Slater has Texas roots, as he’s from Sugar Land and played his high school football at Clements High School.
McIntyre wrote that a ‘beaten-up OL has hindered the run game.’ The Cowboys do expect to get all of their injured offensive linemen back for 2021 — Tyron Smith, La’el Collins and Zack Martin among them — but Smith is pushing 30 years old and has missed at least three games each of the past five seasons.
Jan. 5 — HORN IN: ProFootballNetwork.com’s Nick Farabaugh published a four-round mock draft shortly after the Dallas Cowboys had clinched the No. 10 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he had the Cowboys taking South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn.
Farabaugh called Horn a “true junkyard dog,” citing the Gamecocks’ aggressiveness and skilled play for three seasons in Columbia, South Carolina. Farabaugh had the Cowboys taking Horn after the Broncos took Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley at No. 9. Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, a popular mock draft target of the Cowboys, fell to No. 12 and San Francisco.
TheDraftNetwork.com’s Kyle Crabbs attached Horn to the Cowboys at No. 11 a couple of weeks ago, when it appeared they might end up selecting No. 11. Horn is the son of former New Orleans wide receiver Joe Horn.
Horn played most of 2020, but opted out of the rest of the season in mid-November when South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp was fired.
Farabaugh’s mock was a four-round mock, so he had selections for the Cowboys in the next three rounds. In the second round he had the Cowboys taking USC interior defensive lineman Jay Tufele at No. 44 overall. In the third round he had the Cowboys taking Pitt safety Paris Ford at No. 75 overall. And, in the fourth round, he had the Cowboys taking Oregon State edge rusher Hamilcar Rashed Jr. at No. 106 overall.
His mock draft didn’t include compensatory picks, and the Cowboys are expected to have some compensatory picks in this draft, perhaps as early as the third round.