For the last decade and a half, the tight end position has not been a question for the Dallas Cowboys. Jason “Mr. Reliable” Witten has held that down pretty well.
Cowboys’ fans have had been spoiled by Witten’s greatness for so many years but now, it is probably time for a change.
Despite the fact that Jason Witten is not the same player that he used to be, the Cowboys organization continues to treat him like he is still a Pro Bowler. He constantly got snaps over young TE Blake Jarwin even though Jarwin has proved to be a bigger pass-catching threat.
Jarwin is a big-play tight end, but consistency remains an issue at that position. With Witten likely heading out the door, the Cowboys need to address his replacement.
Here are some guys who Dallas could select in the NFL Draft to help them out.
Clocking in at 6’5, 250 lbs, Cole Kmet is a large dude who looks like your typical stereotypical tight end, but he is a lot more versatile than most. Kmet lined up on the line, in the slot, and out wide last season for Notre Dame and his production was consistent wherever he played. Last season, he caught forty-three passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns. While Kmet has many strengths, he also has some areas for improvement.
Cole Kmet has not played football for very long, therefore his run blocking needs help but once he enters the league, that issue will be addressed. Kmet certainly has first-round potential, but if he slips into the second round, look for the Cowboys to select him.
Redshirt junior Albert Okwuegbunam has been one of the top tight ends in the SEC since arriving on campus in Columbia. Throughout his career, Okwuegbunam recorded ninety-eight receptions, 1187 yards, and twenty-three touchdowns. He measures in at 6’5, 255 lbs, and is honestly my favorite tight end in the draft.
Despite showing a willingness to run block, his execution needs some work but he is a natural threat in the passing game. He has an impressive ability to find holes in the defense’s coverages and that makes him a really tough cover. Dallas should take Albert Okwuegbunam in the second or third round if he is available.
Parkinson is 6’7 and can catch which makes him super tough to defend for any defense. During his career at Stanford, Colby Parkinson caught eighty-seven passes for 1171 yards and twelve touchdowns.
He only caught one touchdown last season but his run blocking ability helped him maintain his high draft stock. He almost exclusively ran verticals, so his route running is a question, but overall, Parkinson would be a good pickup for the Cowboys as a later selection in the draft.
Harrison Bryant’s strongest attribute is his experience. Bryant saw time as a true freshman and was named to the conference All-Freshman team and continued that production throughout the rest of his career. He finished at FAU with 148 receptions, 2137 yards, and sixteen touchdowns. Bryant is also a willing blocker but his execution needs to improve.
All around, Bryant could be a late-round steal for the Cowboys and would likely be a contributor for Dak Prescott.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Thaddeus Moss, son of legendary NFL receiver Randy Moss. After his performance in the College Football Playoff, you cannot make a tight ends list without including Thaddeus Moss. He really only had one productive season where he put up 570 yards and caught four touchdowns and became a key player for LSU’s national championship run.
His single year of production makes him hard to evaluate but if he is available towards the end of the draft, the Cowboys will not pass on him. Hopefully, they have learned their lesson about passing on a Moss.
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