In the blink of an eye, the 2019 season came to an end for the Dallas Cowboys. Going forward to the new season there are many questions that need answers even after the hiring of new head coach, Mike McCarthy.
The presence of an offensive mind like McCarthy’s could influence Dallas differently heading into the 2020 NFL draft.
While the free agency period will play an enormous role in the draft, we’ll be going through players that could help Dallas reach their ultimate goal. The possibilities are endless on who could land in Dallas via the draft due to so much need for both starters and depth players on this team. The latest factor for defensive players will also be how adjustable they can be for Mike Nolan’s new defensive schemes.
The Cowboys will have 6 picks heading into the draft, the one missing will be their 6th round pick. That pick was used to trade for their 2019 sack leader, Robert Quinn.
With Jeff Heath‘s contract expiring, and Xavier Woods entering the final year of his contract, Dallas has a glaring need at safety.
These future NFL rookies could help the Cowboys fill in their massive hole in the secondary.
Grant Delpit (LSU)
Delpit found a way to overcome an ankle injury throughout the year, and still win the Thorpe Award. He’s proven of being a premium player in coverage as we’ve seen him rack up 7 interceptions over the last 2 seasons. Delpit’s ability to create turnovers will be a key factor for Dallas, who tied for last with 7 interceptions all year.
The downfall for Grant was his inability to make big tackles in the ground game. He missed 22 tackles this season alone. Delpit is still a high-quality player that Dallas could snatch at pick 17.
Xavier McKinney (Alabama)
McKinney is what people would call a “Man’s man”. Xavier has shown to be one of the toughest players this draft class has to offer. From the moment the ball is snapped, McKinney is out with the full intentions of dropping the hammer on opposing players. His aggressive play style and explosion through tackles is remarkable as we saw him have 95 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles this year.
Having a player like Xavier could help Dallas set the tone in games while being able to contain guys like Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders.
Ashtyn Davis (Cal)
Davis plays with great range in the backfield. His ability to shadow running backs and tight ends in the passing game are his strong suits. Playing against top 15 ranked schools, Davis posted 14 solo tackles, 1 interception, and a forced fumble. The greater the opponent, the more he elevates his play. Having a player like Davis instantly upgrades the secondary for any team.
Ashtyn brings traits favorable for someone like Mike Nolan that plays with multiple schemes throughout a game. Davis has the potential to be the steal of the draft.
Kyle Dugger (Lenoir-Rhyne)
Dugger looks to be a “jack of all trades” when he’s on the field. Kyle’s size alone puts him on notice since he’s 6’2 and 220 pounds. However, he still has sub 4.5 speed as we’ve seen it on display during his 4 punt return touchdowns. In the last 21 games, Kyle has 5 interceptions, 19 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles. Dugger would be the perfect player to replace a guy like Jeff Heath. Kyle can play close to the line, while also being mindful of what happens in the backfield.
Khaleke Hudson (Michigan)
Hudson has been a force to be dealt with for Michigan these past 3 seasons in which he’s put up 12 sacks. This season alone, Hudson finished with 102 total tackles. He has a nose for the football, and a desire to win that is unrivaled on his team. He also has the ability to play slot coverage, which makes him a viable option for the Cowboys to use him in different areas. Hudson would step be an instant impact player that could make Dallas a top tier run defense.
Terrell Burgess (Utah)
If Dallas wants a mid-round player that can be effective, look no further than Burgess. Terrell has flashed as an average cover safety. However, he still tallied up 50 solo tackles this season. He’s known for being a reliable tackler but the best part about him is his motor to not give up on plays.
Burgess would likely come in as a depth player for a year or 2 but could stand to be a Barry Church like a player who contributes for many seasons as a starter. His experience on special teams would allow him to have a bigger role than most expect.
Jordan Fuller (Ohio State)
He stands at 6’2 which is kind of hard to miss on the field, yet quarterbacks missed him while he snatched 6 interceptions over the past 3 seasons. Jordan would be a plug and play player if drafted to the Cowboys. His footwork will need improving, but Jordan is always looking for ways to better his game.
Fuller has proven to be a solid player, with an incredible leadership quality that the Cowboys are in need of. His presence in the backfield would give Cowboys fans a feeling of having a Sean Lee-kind of personality.
J.R. Reed (Georgia)
In the 3 years a starter, Reed has made a name for himself being a player that can play the run very well. His best trait is his reaction time, proven with his 199 tackles in 3 seasons. Once the ball is snapped, Reed does a great job of analyzing and executing. Much like JJ Wilcox was a rotational player for Dallas, Reed would be an outstanding depth pick for the Cowboys.
There are plenty of other safeties that could end up with a star on their helmet, but these specific guys have the best shot at making an immediate impact on the Cowboys. From now until April 23rd, there will be players that come and leave via free agency which makes the draft process change far too often.
With so many players in Dallas receiving big contracts, this draft will be crucial for the Cowboys to come away with some great talent.
The cap era in the NFL makes it tough to pay everyone, and the best way out of it is by drafting good players.