The 2021 Dallas Cowboys draft class has mixed reviews. On one hand, the Cowboys attacked the defense in hopes of improving that side of the ball. On the other hand, there were some selections that had many scratching their heads.
It is difficult to grade or judge a draft before any of the rookies even take a single snap. That said, everybody has an opinion on how the Dallas Cowboys went about drafting this year. We will see if the Cowboys’ strategy pays off.
Dallas did potentially find some impact players on the third day of the draft. For one, LSU star linebacker Jabril Cox somehow fell to the fourth-round. More than that, though, the Cowboys potentially added some contributors late in the draft. Here are three day-three picks to keep a close eye on.
JABRIL COX, 4TH ROUND PICK
Mentioned above, it was pretty surprising to see Jabril Cox still on the board at 115th overall. The former North Dakota State and LSU star defender was widely considered the best coverage linebacker in the class. He excelled at both big time programs he played at.
Some medical concerns — specifically Cox’s shoulder — played a role in the Cowboys potentially adding a starting defender on the third day of the draft. Cox has the talent to immediately challenge for meaningful snaps as a rookie.
Jabril Cox is DAL's most talented LB in coverage and because of that, I wouldn't be surprised to see him earn a real role on subpackages despite being a rookie selected in the 4th round.
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) May 17, 2021
With Jaylon Smith’s and Leighton Vander Esch’s futures in question, Cox could soon be starting for the Cowboys defense, too. Don’t be surprised to see Jabril Cox become a vital player on the Dallas Cowboys in the relatively near future.
SIMI FEHOKO, 5TH ROUND PICK
The Cowboys used the majority of its resources — eight of its 11 picks, to be exact — on the defensive side of the ball. That said, the Cowboys may have added a potential offensive threat in the fifth-round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Fehoko is a 6-foot-4, 222-pound pass-catcher that possesses 4.4 speed and the ability to go up and get the football. The former blue-chip recruit earned all-conference honors in the PAC 12, as he averaged over 18 yards per catch and scored nine touchdowns during his collegiate career.
Cowboys rookie WR Simi Fehoko on Dak Prescott: “He texted me a couple minutes after I was drafted. Just telling me, ‘Get ready to work,’ and ‘We’re about to go light up the league.’ I’ve seen him in the locker room here and there. He’s a cool guy, down to earth, super humble.” pic.twitter.com/ltNF0pcXs3
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 15, 2021
Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown are currently slotted in as the fourth and fifth receivers for the Cowboys, but their futures are somewhat in question. Michael Gallup’s contract expires and many don’t seem to believe the Cowboys will be afford to re-sign him.
All of that means Fehoko has a golden opportunity to impress the coaching staff and display why he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster come September.
QUINTON BOHANNA, 6TH ROUND PICK
Finally, the Dallas Cowboys grabbed a big-bodied defensive tackle very late in the draft. Kentucky’s Quinton Bohanna was the 192nd selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. He brings his 6-foot-4, 330-pound frame to Dallas.
Cowboys fans have long been wanting a big body in the middle of the defense. Bohanna certainly fits that bill. That is not to say that Bohanna is going to become a Pro Bowl player, but he does possesses the size and ability to eat up blocks at the line of scrimmage. That should help the linebackers and, in turn, improve the Cowboys’ run defense.
Cowboys rookie DT Quinton Bohanna takes pride in doing the dirty work in the middle, allowing the linebackers to run free and make plays: “Yes, sir. We go hand in hand. Linebackers love me. All the ones I done played with so far.” pic.twitter.com/7ESupo6K2I
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 15, 2021
Shortly after the draft, the Cowboys parted ways with beloved defensive tackle Antwaun Woods. Woods was a fan favorite in Dallas and was one of the Cowboys’ best players along the defensive line. That said, Bohanna is a cheaper, bigger option that might be able to play the run better.
Releasing Woods signals that Bohanna has a great chance to make the 53-man squad.He is certainly a rookie worth keeping a close eye on.
Featured image via Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports