Coming off a disappointing postseason loss, the Dallas Cowboys now shift their focus to the NFL Draft. With several players hitting free agency, the NFL Draft will be important for the Cowboys to address their needs and add depth at various positions. Here is a look at five potential targets that the Cowboys could target in the NFL Draft.
Potential Dallas Cowboys 2024 NFL Draft Targets
5) McKinley Jackson (DT)
One of the Cowboys biggest problems on the defensive side of the football for the past several seasons is stopping the run. The team brought in Mazi Smith to address that hole but so far it has not panned out and he was buried in the depth chart in 2023.
With Johnathan Hankins and Neville Gallimore set to enter free agency, the Cowboys could look at bringing in McKinley Jackson to pair with Smith as two run-stoppers on the defensive line. Jackson’s explosiveness as a run stopper combined with his ability to change directions and make plays all across the field makes him a valuable option to sure up the Cowboys defensive line and help address perhaps their biggest weaknesses.
4) Blake Corum (RB)
With Tony Pollard set to enter free agency following a disappointing season, the Cowboys are likely to look at the running back position in the draft. In 2023, the Cowboys biggest problems on offense were their inability to score in the red zone and their lack of success running the football.
Enter Blake Corum. Corum had an excellent career at Michigan, rushing for 3,737 yards and 58 touchdowns over four seasons. If you look at the Cowboys draft history, they are no strangers to drafting Michigan players. Over the past decade, they have drafted Jourdan Lewis, Mazi Smith, Taco Charlton, Luke Schoonmaker, and several other athletes who hailed from the University of Michigan. Look for the Cowboys to go running back at some point in the 2024 NFL Draft, and take a hard look at Blake Corum to solidify the backfield.
3) Amarius Mims (LT)
With Tyron Smith potentially playing his last down in Dallas, Amarius Mims is a name to watch to replace the 13-year veteran. At 6’7 340 pounds, Mims has great size and would provide excellent pass protection for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys pass-heavy offense. He would also give the Cowboys flexibility as he can play both tackle spots and excel.
At the same time, he is raw and only has eight career starts. The Cowboys have a knack for developing offensive lineman, with Tyler Smith the latest example. Smith was raw and had a tendency to draw flags during his collegiate tenure which was a concern when Dallas drafted him. Two years later, Smith was named to the AP All Pro team and is developing much faster than the Cowboys anticipated. Perhaps they could draw similar luck with Amarius Mims and make him the Left Tackle of the future.
2) Jeremiah Trotter Jr (LB)
If the Cowboys do not draft Amarius Mims in the first round, don’t be surprised if they take a look at Jeremiah Trotter, Jr. Pairing Trotter with DeMarvion Overshown and Marquise Bell would be lethal for the Cowboys. Trotter would fit well with the Cowboys defense as he has a high motor and plays fast on every play.
While Trotter doesn’t have the ideal size for a linebacker (6-1, 230), he makes up for it with his quickness and tackling ability. With Leighton Vander Esch’s future up in the air, Linebacker is a position of need and if Trotter is still on the board in round one, he will be a player that the Cowboys have to consider to sure up the middle of their defense.
1) Sedrick Van Pran (C)
CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, Dak Prescott, and several other stars are up for extensions in 2024. Because of this, a player who might not return to Dallas is center, Tyler Biadasz. Due to uncertainties with the cap, they may not be able to afford Biadasz, who has been a solid contributor to the line since he was drafted in 2020. The Cowboys could choose to draft his replacement in the second round in Sedrick Van Pran out of Georgia.
Van Pran is an excellent run blocker, which is vital if the Cowboys want to establish the running game in 2024 and beyond. Van Pran would fit right in next to Tyler Smith and Zack Martin and would give the Cowboys one of the most dominant interior offensive lines in the NFL right away.
All five of these players would be huge contributors to a Dallas Cowboys team that is looking to take the next step. The Cowboys have a lot of talent on both sides of the football, but nothing to show for it as they haven’t advanced past the NFC Divisional Round since 1995. If they can address their biggest needs on both sides of the ball with these picks, look for the Cowboys to be contenders in 2024.
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