Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Grades 2023: Cowboys Add Mazi Smith, DeMarvion Overshown To Shore Up Defense

    What are the Dallas Cowboys' grades for their selections in the 2023 NFL Draft as they look to address their main needs this offseason?

    Is 2023 the year that the Dallas Cowboys finally get over the hump and make it to an NFC Championship Game? They’ve historically been one of the better drafting teams in the league over the years. How does the Cowboys’ 2023 NFL Draft grade out?

    Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Grades

    Round 1, Pick 26: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan

    Mazi Smith is a good but inconsistent football player who has the opportunity to become one of the great interior defensive linemen in the league. Smith possesses pure, unadulterated power in his 320-pound frame but also the athleticism to move up and down the defensive line. The Cowboys play a lot of games on their defensive line, and he is a perfect candidate for that.

    Additionally, if his recognition continues to progress, he will become one of the better run-defending nose tackles in the NFL. But he also has the explosiveness in his lower half to be a problem as a pass rusher as well.

    Although he was one of my personal favorites throughout the draft process, with players like Nolan Smith and Joey Porter Jr. on the board, it’s impossible to give the pick an A.

    Grade: B-

    Round 2, Pick 58: Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan

    The NFL must have been much, much lower on Darnell Washington than those in the media. Even Luke Schoonmaker, who is more of an in-line TE than most at the college level, went before the Georgia TE despite Washington being by far the best pure blocker among a talented TE group.

    Schoonmaker is a decent route runner. He knows how to play against a defender’s leverage, and he’s decently quick. However, he is underwhelming after the catch. As a proactive athlete, he can separate a bit, but he is unimaginative post-catch. He’s also 25, and at a position that often takes years to round into form, this was a peculiar selection.

    Grade: C-

    Round 3, Pick 90: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas

    It’s easy to tell that DeMarvion Overshown was a former safety before moving to linebacker at Texas. The 230-pound linebacker can really show off his explosiveness when in pursuit. However, his size is also an issue because he lacks the natural power to be a consistent player taking on blocks. However, his athleticism has made him a menace in the backfield.

    Overshown is a good player who suffered from having a ton of different defensive coaches over the years. The lack of continuity often led to inconsistent performances. He also had some injury issues over the year, which can be difficult as a linebacker. But the Cowboys absolutely needed to address the position, and taking a swing on an athlete is commendable.

    Grade: B-

    Round 4, Pick 129: Viliami Fehoko, EDGE, San Jose State

    Viliami Fehoko will probably never round into an NFL starter, but his strong hands and good size bode well as an edge-setting run defender. As a rotational piece he could play some quality snaps on early downs.

    Grade: B

    Round 5, Pick 169: Asim Richards, OT, North Carolina

    The Cowboys don’t need a starter at tackle, but they desperately need a developmental piece to hopefully become their awning tackle. That’s exactly what Asim Richards offers the Cowboys.

    Grade: B-

    Round 6, Pick 178: Eric Scott Jr., CB, Southern Miss

    Trading up for a small-school cornerback who ran a 4.71 40-yard dash? Yes, because Eric Scott Jr. got an 80-inch wingspan and posted good explosiveness numbers.

    It will be fascinating to see how this pans out, but there appeared to be better players on the board.

    Grade: D

    Round 6, Pick 212: Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State

    Deuce Vaughn doesn’t have prototypical NFL size, but that never stopped him from being a productive player at Kansas State. He’ll likely never be anything more than a rotational back who is used in specific roles, but if Dallas can find a role for him, he could be productive at the NFL level.

    Grade: B

    Round 7, Pick 244: Jalen Brooks, WR, South Carolina

    Like most of the Cowboys’ draft class, their seventh-round pick isn’t necessarily bad but simply uninspiring. Jalen Brooks likely won’t make the roster unless he can find himself in a special teams role.

    Grade: C-

    What Were the Cowboys’ Biggest Needs Entering the Draft?

    • IDL, G, LB, RB

    The Dallas Cowboys avoid addressing the middle of their defense with a legitimate run defender. That’s just how they operate. Dallas is also historically inactive during free agency. But the Cowboys addressed their two most significant needs by trading for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks.

    Although Tyron Smith and Tyler Smith might end up being the tackle-guard combo, it wouldn’t hurt Dallas to draft Tyler’s replacement at left guard for when he inevitably has to slide outside when Tyron misses games. Dallas would also benefit from drafting and developing another LB, and it’s a good class to need an RB.

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