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Our review of Mel Kiper’s 2021 Cowboys mock draft 4.0

Mel Kiper’s Cowboys mock draft 4.0 had a big trade involving the Cowboys and the 10th overall selection. Despite the recent fervor surrounding Jerry Jones and Kyle Pitts, Kiper did not project that they would trade up to the 4th pick to take the tight end out of Florida. Instead he sees them trading back to 15th in a trade with the New England Patriots are jump up to nab the falling Justin Fields. 

Putting my skepticism of Bill Belichick trading up in the 1st round to take a QB aside, let’s look at it from Dallas’ perspective. With the Patriots trading up to 10, all five projected 1st round QBs are now off the board, meaning the picks 11-14 will be teams picking the remaining elite non-quarterbacks. Guys that the Cowboys could have taken like Patrick Surtain II and Rashawn Slater are no longer in play as he has them going to Philadelphia and the Chargers, respectively. However, the Cowboys received the Patriots 2022 1st round pick in the deal and although fans who had their minds set on Patrick Surtain II will be upset, Dallas still addresses the corner position with the 2nd best one in the draft.

Now picking 15th overall, Kiper projects the Cowboys to pick Jaycee Horn, corner out of South Carolina. Depending upon Dan Quinn’s vision for his new defense, it’s quite possible that Horn is actually their top ranked corner. At almost 6-1 and 205 pounds, Horn is the best press corner in this draft. He isn’t as polished of a corner as Surtain II and only had 2 career interceptions. If Quinn wants a corner to stick on a Kenny Golladay one-on-one with little to no help over the top, this is the guy. It frees up the remaining ten defenders, especially the safeties. Keanu Neal (although he might be used as WLB) and Damontae Kazee are best used around the field. Opposing QBs will always need to keep an eye on where they will be lined up form play to play. This can really only happen if you can comfortably put a corner on one of the opposing offense’s best weapons. Teaming Horn up with Trevon Diggs gives the Cowboys arguably the best young cornerback tandems in the NFL.

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Mel Kiper’s Cowboys mock draft 4.0 also featured a second round for the first time this year. Kiper projected the Cowboys selecting Washington defensive end Joe Tryon with the 44th overall pick.

If they could pull it off, this would be a steal for Dallas who would be getting a big, physical edge rusher that we project to be off the board earlier in our mock draft 2.0. Instead we saw them taking Carols Basham Jr, an edge rusher from Wake Forest. At 6-5 and 260 pounds, Tryon is not as big as Basham but is a much more refined pass rusher. The advantage with Basham is that he is large enough to be moved inside occasionally, so Dan Quinn could have 3rd down schemes with Basham, Randy Gregory, and Demarcus Lawrence on the line at the same time. Tryon however is the more well-rounded defensive end and can be a day 1 starter if they need him to be, or he could rotate in for Lawrence and Gregory on certain snaps or drives. He’s a first-round talent who might be able to fall to them in the early second round. 

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Mel Kiper’s Cowboys mock draft 4.0 sees Dallas not only taking the best press corner in the draft and following that pick up by taking a first-round talent defensive end in the second-round, but they also add New England 2022 first round pick in the process. This would be a masterfully orchestrated draft for Jerry Jones and company, who need to bolster their defense and draft capital stock pile in order to maintain depth and talent despite numerous enormous contracts.

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