There’s no way to know for sure, but in all likelihood, the big board of every team in the NFL probably looks a whole lot like the big board of every other team, at least for the first 60 or 70 prospects. Sure, there will be discrepancies and the occasional outlier here and there, but by and large, everyone– owners and GMs, TV talking heads and certified draft gurus, basement bloggers and casual fans- is talking about all the same guys.
It’s where they will all end up that makes it so captivating.
NFL.com’s draft analyst Chad Reuter has been poring over the names for a lot longer than most, so when he plays matchmaker and pairs up a college prospect with the club that he says is the “ideal” fit, it’s worth noting.
That’s exactly what he’s done for for the first two picks for each team. Not a mock draft per se, the exercise sends each club what they need most while also being realistic about which players will theoretically be available once they’re on the clock.
For the Cowboys, Reuter addresses two positions that it’s no secret they’ll be focused on early in the draft proceedings.
Round 1, 26th pick: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
The 5-foot-10-inch receiver played way bigger than that at Boston College, finishing as the school’s all-time leader in career receptions, career receiving yards, and career receiving touchdowns.
Brandin Cooks was a major get for Dallas in the offseason, but a talent like Flowers would potentially set up the Cowboys WR corps as an absolute wrecking crew for years to come.
“The diminutive but strong and quick Flowers and two-time Pro Bowler CeeDee Lamb would drive secondaries crazy by flipping inside and outside, depending on the formation,” suggests Reuter.
Flowers was reportedly one of the Cowboys’ official 30 visitors, so there’s definite interest there. But there’s interest from a lot of NFL teams; the 22-year-old has reportedly separated himself from the pass-catching pack to become several general managers’ and team executives’ No. 1 wide receiver in this year’s class.
Round 2, 58th pick: Tyler Steen, OT, Alabama
The Cowboys are always looking to beef up their offensive line, so why not add a third Tyler to the mix? Fitting in nicely with Smith and Biadasz, Steen would also give the team good short-term depth and versatility in a unit that’s depended on both mightily in recent years.
“The Cowboys need depth on the offensive line,” Reuter writes, “whether it’s an underrated athlete like Steen as a backup or an interior presence in case second-year pro Tyler Smith needs to move outside again due to injuries.”
Steen played four years at Vanderbilt and started 33 consecutive games to close out his Commodores career before transferring to Alabama and stepping immediately into a starting job at left tackle and earning second-team All-SEC honors and a start in the 2023 Senior Bowl.
Steen doesn’t have the buzz surrounding his name as some of the the tip-top linemen in this year’s class, but with prospects like Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, Georgia’s Broderick Jones, Tennessee’s Darnell Wright, and Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. likely coming off the board on Day 1, Steen would represent solid Day 2 value at a position of need.