LAS VEGAS (KFDX/KJTL) — Before the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, the Dallas Cowboys had selected three offensive lineman in the first round of the draft since 1982.
Those three linemen were Tyron Smith in 2011, Travis Frederick in 2013, and Zack Martin in 2014. All multi-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections. Three names that anchored the offensive line for most of recent memory.
Now, they hope they’ve found their fourth and latest anchor in Tulsa’s Tyler Smith.
With the departure of La’el Collins and Connor Williams this offseason, offensive line was at the top of the priority list for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ front office.
However, when it was the Cowboys’ turn to pick Thursday night, two names closely linked to them in Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green and Boston College’s Zion Johnson were off the board.
Even with several top 20 defensive players still available at pick 24, the Cowboys turned in Tyler Smith’s draft card. You can read more about Tyler Smith here.
With the first round behind them, the Cowboys now look to the second and third round of the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas on Friday, April 29, to address more roster needs.
Just because they’ve drafted an offensive lineman in the first round doesn’t mean they won’t use one of their Day 2 picks on another one.
However, look for the Cowboys to address their needs on the defensive line and at wide receiver on Friday.
Here are some names to keep on your radar heading into day 2 of the NFL Draft.
Mafe had 10 tackles for loss and 7 sacks his senior season at Minnesota. His 4.5 40-yard dash time at his size are evidenced by his natural explosion off the line of scrimmage. He needs coaching, but he has potential to start quickly.
With elite size (6-foot-3) and speed (4.47 40-yard dash), it was injuries that kept Pickens from being the highest rated receiver heading into the draft. His elite catch radius and quick burst allow him to create separation and leverage.
Jurgens, originally recruited as a tight end, excelled at blocking and moved to center his freshman year, becoming the first freshman in Nebraska school history to start at the position. Think of him as first-rounder Tyler Linderbaum, junior.
In his three years at Texas A&M, Leal accounted for 133 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, six passes defended and even an interception. He’s very gifted physically and an incredible athlete. He needs to grow in his consistency, but his ceiling is high.
Goedeke originally walked on as a tight end at a Division 3 college before transitioning to offensive line and getting a full ride from Central Michigan. He played tackle in college, but looks to fill a guard role in the pro’s. And at 6-foot-5 and 312 pounds, he’s got the size and the strength.
Rhyan was a four-star recruit out of high school and earned All-American honors as a Freshman, becoming the first true freshman tackle to start a season opener since 2012. He made the First Team All-PAC 12 his junior year. A 6-foot-4, 321 pound bruiser, but he lacks quickness.
Dulcich has good size at 6-foot-4, but has a wiry frame. He won’t earn points with his blocking, but he’s an explosive pass catcher with a good catch radius and burst. His work ethic and intelligence are “off the charts” according to his college head coach.
Born in Nigeria, raised in Scotland, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound is a naturally explosive pass rusher. Ojabo didn’t pick up a pigskin until his junior year in high school, but quickly became a four-star recruit. With 11 sacks and 5 forced fumbles in 2021, he has Pro Bowl upside as a hybrid pass rusher and linebacker.
Enagbare was named team captain his senior season at South Carolina, where he forced a fumble, defended two passes, had 7 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He’s efficient and powerful, but plays a little too stiff.
With last year’s second-round pick Kelvin Joseph in limbo after being in the car from which shots were fired, cornerback depth looks a little shaky for the Cowboys. Booth is a fluid athlete who can find the football and disrupt the point of the catch.
The fact that the 2021 Butkus Award winner is still on the board is mind-blowing. If the Cowboys want him, they will need to trade up to get him. But, it may very well be worth it. Their last Butkus winner became the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
At 6-foot-6 and 283 pounds, Hall is a matchup nightmare. In his senior season for Houston, he racked up 13.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, as well as a blocked field goal. He lacks consistency, but with coaching, he has elite potential.
Tolbert was a First Team All-Sun Belt receiver his junior and senior seasons. His junior year, he set a school record for receiving yards in a game with 252. He one-upped himself his senior year and set three school records for receptions, receiving yards, and 100-yard receiving games.
Watson is 6-foot-4 and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash, making him among the tallest and fastest receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. Another player who may need coaching, but the Cowboys need receivers. So, the combination of elite size and speed will be hard to pass up on Day 2.
Paschal excels against the run, but lacks in his pass rushing ability. He doesn’t have elite size or speed, but his game is polished and his instincts serve him well. He ranked second in the SEC for tackles for loss in 2021 and has the ability to track down running backs with the best of them.
Faalele is a monster of a man. At 6-foot-8 and 364 pounds with fluid movement and strength, he looks more like a strongman than a lineman. He needs to develop at the tackle position, but his measurables are off the chart.
Spiller led the Aggies in rushing all three years he played. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry during his career, with 3,578 all-purpose yards and 26 total touchdowns. Outstanding footwork, good size, patience and vision, Spiller could compete for a job behind Ezekiel Elliott, which could be useful with Tony Pollard’s contract running out.
At 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds, Moore was originally recruited as a cornerback out of high school. In his freshman year, he was named First Team All-MAC, the first freshman in WMU history to do so. His 4.41 40-yard dash speed is elite. He caught 95 passes for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns his junior year.