After a narrow loss to the undefeated Steelers in week 9, the Dallas Cowboys now sit at 2-7 on the year. The team showed more fight than they have all year, but it was not enough to take down the league’s final remaining unbeaten team.
That being said, it’s going to be virtually impossible to right the ship for this Cowboys team in 2020. They have been dismantled by injuries at key positions on offense, and their defense has struggled mightily all season. As if things couldn’t get worse, rookie Cornerback Trevon Diggs is the newest injury. Unfortunately, he will be out 4-6 weeks with a fracture in his foot.
It is still early, but the 2021 NFL Draft will present new opportunities. These are a few prospects to watch for as the college football season hits its peak.
Patrick Surtain II: Cornerback, Alabama
The son of Patrick Surtain, Patrick Surtain II, is quite the defensive back himself. You can absolutely tell he’s the son of a former NFL star. Accordingly, Surtain II is one of the most polished cornerbacks in the entire country. Also, do not forget that he already has experience playing with current Cowboys CB (and former Crimson Tide CB) Trevon Diggs.
Top CBs in College Football
8. Asante Samuel Jr, FSU
7. Roger McCreary, Auburn
6. Shaun Jolly, App St
5. Shemar Jean-Charles, App St
4. Elijah Molden, Washington
3. Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
2. Patrick Surtain, Alabama
1. Derek Stingley Jr, LSUhttps://t.co/R8NnfSCoyZ
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 6, 2020
The Alabama product has the ceiling of a CB1, and that would put Diggs in a much better spot as the CB2 in Dallas’ secondary for years to come. His stat sheet won’t blow any minds, but that’s mostly because quarterbacks just are not targeting him. Teams have found more success throwing towards other players in that Crimson Tide secondary. Additionally, at 6’2” and 205 pounds, he has the prototypical NFL size to be a shutdown cornerback on the outside.
— CFB Pylon (@TheCFBPylon) November 1, 2020
Kwity Paye: EDGE, Michigan
Kwity Paye has possibly been the most productive defender in college football so far in 2020. Paye has accumulated a whopping 25 quarterback pressures in just three games to open Michigan’s season. Paye was an interesting prospect entering this season because he has all the physical tools in the world to be a dominant pass rusher. Those rush abilities would complement Demarcus Lawrence nicely.
#Michigan EDGE Kwity Paye had one of the best performances of any prospects during the season opener vs. Minnesota. Easy burst out of the starting blocks, powerful hands, and inside-out versatility.
Easy to see the Brandon Graham comp.pic.twitter.com/tIzKm1lLf7
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) October 28, 2020
Neville Gallimore and Bradlee Anae are taking valuable snaps on the inside and on the edge respectively right now for Dallas. Undoubtedly, Kwity would be another solid, young addition to a defensive line that is vital in a Mike Nolan defense. Also, Paye works hard in the run game and works his angles efficiently to get into the backfield. Gregory Rousseau from Miami is considered the top edge prospect in this upcoming class by many right now. Although, Paye is making his case on national TV weekly while Rousseau opted out of the season.
Everyone talks about @KwityPaye_19‘s elite pass rush, but he has made some really impressive plays in the run game too this season.
He tosses aside a 6’6″, 315 lb RT like it’s nothing and earns a TFL. pic.twitter.com/VJk3TSZtEN
— Daniel Plocher (@DanPlocher) November 9, 2020
Penei Sewell: Offensive Tackle, Oregon
You may be asking yourself, “why an offensive lineman?”. That is a fair question considering the defensive woes, but Sewell is a special prospect on the offensive line. If Dallas is picking in the top five and doesn’t decide to start over at quarterback, Sewell would certainly be on the table. Furthermore, the Cowboys offensive line has not shown itself to be super durable. Plus, a tackle combo of Tyron Smith and Penei Sewell would arguably be the best in the NFL.
Future Denver Bronco, Penei Sewell 😍 pic.twitter.com/gD4BR1or1O
— Golden. (@PrimeLindsay) October 28, 2020
Sewell, a junior, opted out of the 2020 college football season as he prepares for the draft. Nevertheless, scouts believe he is one of the most gifted and technically sound offensive tackles to enter the draft in recent memory. The Draft Network rates the Oregon tackle as their #2 overall prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, just behind Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.
Oregon OT and projected top 5 pick in the 2021 NFL draft Penei Sewell has opted out of the 2020 CFB season.
Sewell was the highest-graded offensive player in college football last season (95.8) pic.twitter.com/p8vnrPdHAq
— PFF (@PFF) September 7, 2020
Without a doubt, the 2021 NFL Draft will be key for the Cowboys in the short-term and long-term. Currently, Dallas holds the #3 overall pick, but that can fluctuate depending on the final two months of the season. One of these top prospects could certainly be dawning the Star next season in Dallas.
Featured Images via USA TODAY-Sports