There are still plenty of stages Dallas will go through before the draft on April 29th.
One of the biggest ones that will affect the Cowboys’ draft strategy will be free agency, which begins on March 17th.
During the free agency period, Dallas will know which positions to boost due to players not resigning or getting cut from the team. After that stage of filling in missing pieces on the team, the Cowboys will be in a good position to draft their best players available come draft day. However, fans and the team already have an idea of where this team could use the most help.
After watching the defense in 2020, it’s clear that it is their biggest weakness at the moment. With that being said, there is a growing feeling about which players Dallas is most likely to call on come round one of the NFL Draft.
Let’s look at these 5 popular players that seem to be getting the most attention thus far from the Cowboys.
LB Micah Parsons // 6’3″ // Penn State
Parson has been on the rise for a variety of reasons, one of which is his incredible athleticism. In his two seasons at Penn State, he’s put up nearly 100 solo tackles to tag alongside his 6 forced fumbles. His nose for football is something that could prove to be very special in the league. There is also the fact that he will only be 22 years young by the time his rookie season begins.
The potential is certainly something to want here in Dallas and by many teams across the league. Pairing up Micah alongside Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith could be the very thing this team needs to get back on track.
CB Patrick Surtain II // 6’2″ // Alabama
Having played three seasons under coach Saban has helped groomed Surtain into an almost certain top 12 pick. In those years at Alabama, Patrick has demonstrated many talents that the Cowboys Nation community would greatly appreciate. He showed off his skills with over 20 deflected passes and 4 interceptions for the Crimson Tide during his time there. His big size allows him to battle the taller receivers in the 50/50 balls, which normally go his way.
His physical style of play wears his opponents down, leaving them wanting no part of Surtain come the fourth quarter. Not only for Patrick have the tools to be a day 1 starter for Dallas, but being across from his former teammate, Trevon Diggs, wouldn’t be a bad thing.
CB Caleb Farley // 6’2″ // Virginia Tech
Just like Parsons, Caleb decided to opt-out of his junior year at Virginia Tech. However, that won’t steer teams away from such an incredible prospect. Farley’s swift movements allow him to shift gears at will while covering receivers. In just two seasons, he racked up 19 batted balls, 6 interceptions, and took one to the house for a touchdown. His ability to play the ball in mid-air is second to none in this class.
Caleb has that twitch in his game that makes quarterbacks fear throwing his way. This is the type of pick that could considerably rejuvenate the Cowboys secondary. Caleb could quickly become the #1 corner on Dallas’ team before the end of his rookie season.
EDGE Azeez Ojulari // 6’3″ // Georgia
Azeez displayed a different side of himself in 2020, where he had the best season of his career with the Bulldogs. He played as an outside LB for Georgia in their 3-4 scheme, but that shouldn’t stop the Cowboys from taking a good look at him. His pass-rush ability leaves you wanting more. Azeez has an explosive burst at the line of scrimmage that he pairs up with a bend to get around defenders. That’s how he was able to snag 3 sacks in his bowl game against Cincinnati.
Being able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks could play a prominent role in fixing the problems in the secondary. One thing fans know is that you can never have enough pass rushers.
EDGE Kwity Paye // 6’4″ // Michigan
Paye may get fans more excited than Ojulari, and with good reasons. Kwity has displayed a tremendous ability to play multiple positions along the defensive line during his time at Michigan. His 2019 tape has more to offer, given his shorter season in 2020. Yet, he still has over 10 sacks and more than 20 tackles for loss as a Wolverine. His dominating hand game tagged up alongside his brutal strength makes him a handful for an offensive lineman.
While Dallas may lose a versatile player like Tyrone Crawford this season, adding Paye could be the perfect move. He knows how to play the run while also bringing the heat to opposing teams. It never hurts to have such a versatile piece on your team, especially if that piece can succeed from anywhere he plays.
Each of these players brings a unique set of talents that could improve the Cowboys’ defense in many ways. The vision for the first-round pick will get clearer after free agency, but until then, keep an eye out for these five guys.
Be sure to stick around as we continue our search for some game-breaking rookies. This is only the beginning.
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