On day two of the NFL draft the Cowboys had two picks, they selected two potential starters on both the offense and defense. Bringing youth, speed, and potential game-changers. So let’s break down our second and third-round picks.
What Sam Willams Brings To The Cowboys
With the 56th overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected Ole Miss edge rusher, Sam Williams. A player the Cowboys did their due diligence on by going to the Ole Miss pro day. When defensive coordinator Dan Quinn went through drills with him at his pro day, the interest was there in the second round. So, you can’t go wrong, and here’s why.
In the offseason, the Cowboys signed DE Dante Fowler to a one-year deal, but there was still a need for another edge. I give this draft pick a B+ grade because he has some things to work on. But by selecting Williams, you bring an explosive pass rusher who is quick to attack the pocket. He applies pressure to potential quarterbacks, and the ability to bend the edge gives offensive tackles problems. He also has the ability to shed blockers with active hands, and counter to shed blockers.
Overall, he had great production during his time at Ole Miss racking up 12.5 sacks, an Ole Miss record (among 57 total tackles, 16 for loss). He tied for tenth in the country with four forced fumbles in 13 starts this season.
However, Williams needs to improve in the run game because at times he will get taken out of plays. But DL coach Aden Durde and Dan Quinn coaching him will put him in the right place to succeed. I believe in his first years in the league he will be utilized as a sub package rusher in the early downs. Once he gets that NFL strength and improves in the run, Williams will be an all-around force for the Dallas Cowboys.
What Jalen Tolbert Brings To The Cowboys
With the 88th overall pick, the Cowboys selected Jalen Tolbert out of South Alabama. In my honest opinion, this pick is a steal in the third round. Tolbert, who fills a need at receiver, brings versatility as outside and inside receiver. I give this draft pick an easy grade of B+ simply because it’s too early to tell if he is the real deal.
Tolbert is a tall, slender receiver who utilizes shiftiness and quickness to separate from corners. His route tree is limited however Tolbert has the ability to glide and make sharp cuts effortlessly. Jalen has a knack to track, leap, and catch the ball in traffic effortlessly. Together with all those traits, Tolbert brings versatility to play inside and outside as a receiver. The loss of Amari Cooper in the off-season left a need at receiver.
Tolbert is the type of receiver who can take the top off a defense as a deep threat. Having the addition of Tolbert to the receiving core of CeeDee Lamb, and when Micheal Gallup returns from his injury could make a dangerous WR trio. Tolbert brings a blend of shiftiness to break free from defenders and the ability to rack up yards after the catch. These traits will bring havoc on opposing defenses.
Initial Reaction To Both Picks
Both picks fill the need that the Cowboys needed, and I can honestly say the Cowboys didn’t reach either Willimas or Tolbert. Williams was an edge rusher that was high on the Cowboy’s list. Looking at the film you can see why he’s a high-performing pass rusher that wreaks havoc on opposing offenses. As for Tolbert, he’s one of my favorite prospects in this year’s draft. His ability to track, catch and make a play after the catch will be helpful for Dallas. With the way he plays, you would be shocked that he didn’t play for a Power 5 conference team.
Day Two Draft Grade: A-
I give the Dallas Cowboys’ day two draft picks a solid A grade and here’s why. First, the Cowboys fill a need at edge with Sam Williams whose a solid pass rusher. He most likely starts off as a rotational piece between him, Dorrance Armstrong, and Dante Fowler. Selecting Williams is preparing for the future at the edge position who has all the traits to be a starting edge and possibly will get quality snaps to succeed in the first year.
As for their third-round pick, Jalen Tolbert, he has the potential to start day one. With Gallup recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in January, he most likely won’t be ready until a month after the season. Adding Tolbert to the receiving corp with CeeDee Lamb and newly acquired receiver James Washington could make a solid trio until Gallup comes back. Tolbert has the ability to play inside and outside receiver due to his shiftiness to break free from defenders and make plays after the catch.
Overall, day two was a success filling important needs at the receiver and at the edge. Both Williams and Tolbert will most likely start or get quality reps at the start of the season.
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