Saturday, March 6, 2021

Pre-Free Agency Dallas Cowboys 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Dallas Cowboys from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

For a more inclusive lists of mock drafts for the Dallas Cowboys, check out our 2021 Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft Database.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Cowboys:

EDSFootball - Hanson (3/5)

10. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Two of the team's top four corners -- Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie -- are scheduled to become free agents. The 2020 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Surtain II has an NFL pedigree (father was a three-time Pro Bowl CB that coached him in high school) with outstanding size (6-2, 202) and length that new coordinator Dan Quinn will covet.

ESPN - McShay (3/4)

10. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

All this jockeying for QB talent has left Dallas in a pretty great spot. The latest that a draft class' first defensive player has ever come off the board was No. 7 in 1999, when Champ Bailey went to Washington. But the Cowboys are even luckier here; they need defense, and they have every option on that side of the ball available to them at No. 10. Surtain is an instinctive shutdown cornerback who can help shore up a secondary that allowed 10.4 yards before first contact per reception last season, along with 34 passing touchdowns (both among the NFL's worst). Pass rush is another area to watch, but value and need line up with Surtain.

Todd Archer on his fit with the Cowboys: Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are set to hit free agency and might see better offers elsewhere. Surtain would walk in as a day one starter, just like former Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs did when he was the Cowboys' second-round pick last year.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (3/3)

10. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Linebacker is a sneaky Round 1 pick for the Cowboys because of the health of Leighton Vander Esch and the recent downturn in play from Jaylon Smith.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/1)

10. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

The Cowboys have many defensive needs, but cornerback is arguably the biggest. Starting corners Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are headed to free agency, and Dallas badly needs to upgrade the position. Surtain or Farley makes a lot of sense. Pairing either with Trevon Diggs, last year's second-round pick, would have to excite new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. There are some concerns about Surtain's overall speed, but his résumé is just too impressive to pass on at this spot. It's interesting to think the Cowboys might almost have their choice of the top defensive player in this draft class at pick 10. -- Jon Machota

Touchdown Wire - Farrar (2/26)

10. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

It was primarily the fault of former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan that Dallas' defense experienced an epic faceplant in 2020 -- a pass defense that had allowed 21 touchdowns and picked off seven passes in 2019 (pre-Nolan) gave up 34 touchdowns to nine picks in 2020, and Dallas' cornerbacks were directly responsible for 16 of those scores. So, the combination of bad play and bad scheme was ... well, bad. Rookie Trevon Diggs showed some potential when he was able, but other than that, the need for improvement is obvious.

Enter Caleb Farley, who chose to stay in school for the 2020 season before opting out. It's pretty certain he would have been a high first-round pick a year ago, and he'll certainly be one now based on the tape teams have.

n 2019, Farley was a pain to target no matter the range of the throw -- he gave up eight receptions on 12 targets of 0-9 air yards, one completion on 12 targets of 10-19 air yards, and four completions on 15 targets of 20 or more air yards. All told through two seasons, Farley allowed 50 catches on 104 targets for 720 yards, 244 yards after the catch, five touchdowns (four in 2018), six interceptions (four in 2019) and an opponent passer rating of 63.0. Farley is primed to succeed in the NFL right away, and goodness knows the Cowboys could use that. - Casserly (2/25)

10. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Dallas has plenty of defensive needs, and Surtain gives Dan Quinn's unit another good young cornerback to pair with Trevon Diggs. - Meinke (2/25)

10. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

The defense was a problem last year, and now starting corners Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are eligible to hit free agency. The Cowboys need help, and CB1 just happened to fall to them in a draft where the corner talent falls off fast.

San Diego Union Tribune (2/24)

10. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Injuries and age are starting to erode what was once the Cowboys greatest strength, it's offensive line. Darrisaw could definitely find his way into the top 10 if he tests as well as I believe he will during the draft process.

Previous update: Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft Roundup 5.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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