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Our Review of Todd McShay’s 2021 Cowboys Mock Draft 4.0

Todd McShay’s Cowboys mock draft 4.0 changed things up from other mock drafts you see. Our mock draft 1.0 and 2.0 (2.0 to be released soon) and Mel Kiper’s recent releases all expect Patrick Surtain II to be the 10th overall selection to Dallas. McShay sees him taken a pick before to the Denver Broncos, which is one of the boldest predictions in a mock full of them, including the Patriots trading up for a QB. 

If he’s available at 10, the Cowboys should definitely take Surtain II who has to be one of the most experienced corners to ever enter the draft having practiced and played against what will go down in NFL history as two of the deepest and most talented wide receiver classes. First round picks like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Jalen Waddle, and DeVonta Smith were all receivers at Alabama with Surtain II. Going up against 4 first round receivers, all with amazing speed and great hands, is something very few other corners can say.

Even LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase faced off with Surtain II in the SEC. You plug in Surtain and he fits whatever new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn could have planned to turn around this defense. Size and speed of the opposing receivers don’t impact how you would use Surtain II, who has the speed to cover ground in zone coverage and the strength and quickness to stick to anyone in man coverage. 

Instead in McShay’s Cowboys mock draft, he has them selecting another corner Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina. Some will have Caleb Farley as the second corner on their board; however, we agree with McShay that if Surtain II is already gone, then Horn should be the pick. Horn is roughly the same size as Surtain II at 6-1 and 205 pounds, but is much more of a man coverage threat. Quinn would have him stick on a Kenny Golladay and probably shadow him wherever he goes on the field.

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In our mock, we had him projected to New England at 15 because he could be the replacement to Stephon Gilmore. Dallas would let him play press man on the best receiver, with minimal or any safety help over the top. The Cowboys passed on Jalen Ramsey in the draft in favor of Ezekiel Elliott, but this year they’d get their big physical corner to neutralize the best opposing receiver. 

Unlike previous versions, McShay’s Cowboys mock draft 4.0 also projected second round picks. Cowboys fans should like both picks immensely as they focus on the two biggest needs on defense with a corner in the first round and a defensive tackle in the second. McShay projects the Cowboys to select Christian Baramore out of Alabama. We project him to be taken 28th in the first round by the New Orleans Saints, but if still available would be an excellent addition to the Cowboys defensive line. 

We’ve broken down the defensive front in Dallas already by highlighting the severity of their absolute lack of depth and some free agent veterans like Geno Atkins they could bring in.

Just to reiterate how thin they are, Aldon Smith had been out of the league since 2015 and was brought in as a situational pass rusher. He ended up playing the 3rd most snaps on defense at 73.01%, only behind Jaylon Smith and Xavier Woods. He had 5 sacks in the first 8 games and then zero sacks the rest of the season as he was exhausted down the stretch.

The Cowboys need to have depth for not only injury, but in order to utilize a rotation to keep players fresh. Baramore would be a great first step to replenishing the line. I would expect a couple of more picks along the line as well as the Cowboys progress into day 3 of the draft. Baramore is 6-5 and 310 pounds and just about everyone has him as a late first or early second round pick. Again, not sure if he’ll actually be there, but if Dallas could plug him into the middle of their defensive line in order to help out their historically porous run defense and even pressure the QB from the inside it would be a great value pick at 44th overall. 

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