Mel Kiper’s fake picks have Cowboys without a guard in the first three rounds

The mock draft season is reaching a crescendo as the NFL Draft draws ever closer. Over at ESPN, resident draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have combined to do a full three-round simulation for the league. They alternated picks, with Kiper drawing all three selections for the Dallas Cowboys in the first two days of the draft. This was strictly per current draft order with no exchanges. Kiper ended up going in a different direction than many might expect for Dallas. Here are his three players he sees leaving for the Cowboys.

24. Dallas Cowboys

Kiper’s choice: Arnold Ebiketie, DE/OLB, Penn State

I love this team-prospect couple, especially if so many receivers have already been taken. Ebiketie can join former Penn State teammate Micah Parsons in Dallas, and he will allow Parsons to remain at off-ball linebacker.

It’s clear he thinks a little differently than many of the team’s fans, as both Zion Johnson and Kenyon Greene were still available at this point. But the way it would pair Ebiketie with Parsons has a lot to like. It would also make Stephen Jones’ remarks about Dorance Armstrong replacing Randy Gregory even dumber, but it was done before those remarks were published.

While he talks about keeping Parsons in the off-ball role, that doesn’t take into account what Dan Quinn might deal with the two on the court. It would present a delightful prospect to bring both at once, which would seem like a terrifying idea to most quarterbacks. This has the potential to make last year’s much improved defense even more powerful. If that’s how things really go, there really isn’t much to complain about.

56. Dallas Cowboys

Kiper’s choice: Abraham Lucas, Occupational Therapist, Washington State

With La’el Collins gone, Lucas could compete for Dallas’ good tackle. He’s not a foolproof starter, but his right tackle experience (2,862 college snaps) makes him a good value pick coming late in the second set.

Here, Kiper got help for the offensive line, but not where most focus. It responds to a legitimate need of the team. A guard was mocked just four picks later, but Cole Strange is from Chattanooga, not a Power Five school. The Cowboys definitely have an aversion to small schools, so it makes sense not to pursue him.

We discussed the variety of directions the Cowboys project could take during the latest BTB Roundtable on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Be sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

The need for attacking tackle is significant as a possible upgrade for Terence Steele or as a swing tackle that could eventually start on the road. The right tackle is usually more important to protect the QB than the left guard, and assist for Dak Prescott always seems like a good thing.

88. Dallas Cowboys

Kiper’s choice: Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers

Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson are gone, which means Dallas could look to Day 2 to draft a slots receiver, especially if he wants CeeDee Lamb to play more on the outside. Melton was a demon in the screen game in college, and he ran a 4.34 40 at the combine.

It certainly has the potential to enhance the wide reception hall. One objection here is taking a 5-11 slot receiver when Dallas prefers taller WRs who can play all three positions, but with the current situation they may be more open to that idea. They certainly struggled with screen play, and having someone who can open that up also helps Prescott get the ball out before the pass rush can come home.

It also means the Cowboys are passing up a few other players who are slated as possible guards in the NFL, Nicholas Petit-Frere of Ohio State and Darian Kinnard of Kentucky. Melton would be a flashier pick, and that’s not something to overlook when Jerry Jones is in the room.

A quarterback chaser and two offensive tools aren’t a bad move for the first three rounds. Whether they would pass up not once but twice solid opportunities to improve the left guard is an open question. But this year, the draft seems very volatile and unpredictable. It’s an interesting exercise that has a very good chance of being accurate.

How would you react if it was the spoils of the first two days of the repechage? Let us know in the comments. Politely, of course.

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