ARLINGTON, TX – Thursday night was the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and the Dallas Cowboys used the 24th overall pick to beef up the offensive line.
Last night, the Dallas Cowboys used the 24th overall pick to select the Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith and Cowboy fans, like usual, lost their minds.
First, the defensive end Jermaine Johnson II was available and according to ESPN, Johnson had a 1% chance of falling that far. Instead of using the pick to help the defensive line, they used it to help the offensive line that used to be one of the best units in the NFL.
At 24, a lot of draft pundits consider Smith a reach especially with the other players who were available. Smith, who just turned 21 on April 3rd, is 6’5”, 324 lbs. and will probably kick inside to guard to start his career.
He started 23 games at Tulsa and only gave up 2 sacks in 800+ pass snaps. He is also very raw and a bit of a project but had incredible upside. Smith has an elite RAS (Relative Athletic Score) and that will help him when pulling at the guard position or possible in a move to tackle later in his career.
Smith said, “I want to be nasty and physical, and I want to dominate.” His technique could use help as he heavily penalized at Tulsa, but his aggressive style of play is something the Cowboys desperately needed after letting guard Conner Williams sign with the Dolphins this offseason.
One thing, since Will McClay has been in Dallas and when taking one early, they usually hit on the offensive line. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin were All-Pro players and over the past few seasons, the Cowboys have been one of the better drafting teams in the league.
If you think this pick was a reach, you probably also thought Travis Frederick was a reach. Before he retired due to a diagnosis with Guillian-Barre syndrome, a disease that causes the immune system to attack the nervous system, Frederick was considered one of the best centers in football with many people calling the pick (31st overall) a huge reach.
So, step back from the ledge and take Smith’s athletic upside, nasty demeanor, and the Cowboys front office in consideration. Remember, “fans” were upset with the Micah Parsons pick, and he had the one of if not the best rookie season for a linebacker in the history of the NFL.
Tonight, starting at 6:00 p.m., will be rounds 2 and 3 of the draft. Players the Cowboys could have interest in still available are Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean, Minnesota defensive end Boye Mafe, Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth, Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie, Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon, Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones, Baylor safety Jalen Pitre, Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore, Houston defensive lineman Logan Hall, and Ole Miss defensive end Sam Williams who the Cowboys have been heavily linked to in the pre-draft process.