Cowboys CFB Spotlight: Texas Longhorns of interest for 2023 NFL draft

The Texas Longhorns are one of the first schools many think of when it comes to college football. Their rich history and storied tradition lead to a strong love and passion for the university. Over the years they have consistently produced talent for NFL rosters and even gave the Dallas Cowboys their best coach of all time, the legendary Tom Landry.

As of late, however, success has evaded them as a whole. 2010 was the last time they finished the season ranked in the top 10. The talent has always been there but they simply have struggled to string together wins and have been unable to maintain status as one of the best programs in the country. This season, they have started out 5-3 with an extremely young roster so their future is incredibly bright. Most of the talent isn’t yet draft eligible, but some are. Here are five names propelling this program and how they could fit with the Cowboys.

Bijan Robinson

Position: RB
Hometown: Tuscon, Arizona
High School: Salpointe
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 220 pounds
Class: Junior

Robinson comes from a line of great athletes. Grandfather Cleo and great uncle Paul were both notable football players in the state of Arizona, the latter making it to the NFL with a respectable six-year career. Robinson was highly recruited and broke numerous state rushing records leading to signing and starting with the Texas Longhorns.

In his first two years, Robinson collected over 2,300 all-purpose yards on just over 300 touches for 21 scores. He has continued as one of the best running backs in the country as a junior. He lacks elite burst, but leans on his elite contact balance and vision as well as consistently improving upon his receiving ability and pass protection as he develops.

Robinson is one of the best running back prospects in a while. He is an Ezekiel Elliott,Saquon Barkley-type prospect who was NFL ready at an incredibly young age. In the era of not having bell-cow backs, Robinson destroys that mold and could be a 300+ carry guy should teams use him as such. If Dallas wants to move on from both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard this offseason, Robinson is the best possible replacement for them in free agency or the draft.

Christian Jones

Position: OT
Hometown: Cypress, Texas
High School: Cypress Woods
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 315 pounds
Class: Redshirt Senior

Jones saw minimal time on offense early in his career as he was redshirted in 2018. In 2019 he played special teams for the most part. He would get a chance in 2020 as a full time starter at right tackle with one appearance on the left. In 2021 he moved to the left full time, showing similar consistency. This season he was moved back over to the right and has had some impressive performances thus far, including the stonewalling of potential top pick, Alabama edge Will Anderson.

Being moved back and forth between the tackle positions have shown to give Jones a some trouble but he looks much more comfortable in 2022. He has a stout anchor and a great frame which allows him to keep defenders at bay. He is better as a run blocker than in pass protection but has grown significantly since entering the program.

Jones would enter the NFL as a high-level swing tackle with upside to become a solid starter. He would immediately take over that role for Dallas and provide some much needed consistency at the position with the ability to provide some roster building flexibility at tackle.

Keondre Coburn

Position: DT
Hometown: Houston, Texas
High School: Westfield
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 340 pounds
Class: Redshirt Senior

Coburn is a three-year starter after only playing in three games his redshirt freshman season. He immediately made an impact as a run stopper with 18 solo tackles, four and a half for a loss and a forced fumble in 13 games. This production continued into the next season with similar numbers but in three less games. He took a step back in 2021 but has come back this year and looked back up to form.

While his strength is obvious, he also has very good athleticism for his size. This helps as a pass rusher given the consistent growth he has shown in that area however, this is not where his game thrives. Coburn is one of college footballs best nose tackles in defending the run. He has an innate ability to eat up space and not only shed blocks to make the stop himself, but also open up lanes for teammates.

Dallas just traded for a nose tackle while also having Quinton Bohanna on roster as the main man-mammoths to stop the run. With Johnathan Hankins likely off the roster this upcoming season, Coburn would be an excellent option as a later-round pick to bring a legitimate menace up the middle that makes this already elite defense that much ore dominant.

D'Shawn Jamison

Position: CB
Hometown: Houston, Texas
High School: Lamar
Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 190 pounds
Class: Redshirt Senior

Originally used as an offensive weapon and return man for Oklahoma State, Jamison transferred to Texas and became a defensive back. He made an impact immediately, earning nine starts and flying all over the field, including three interceptions and another three pass breakups. The next year he added six more breakups and last season he added one more pick and breakup all the while serving as the Longhorns primary return man with three return scores.

Jamison is still learning the position going into only his fourth full season as a defensive back. While the coverage technique is still raw, the playmaking ball skills and willingness to tackle behind and past the line of scrimmage show serious promise to his game. He also brings clear game-breaking ability as a return man, having consistent production and experience in both punt and kick return.

Given his size at only 5-foot-9, 190 pounds he is a slot corner exclusively. With some inconsistent play over the years from that position, someone with the pure energetic and ferocious style of ball Jamison plays with could add a different attitude to the Dallas defense while he develops and refines his coverage skills.

DeMarvion Overshown

Position: LB
Hometown: Arp, Texas
High School: Arp
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 225 pounds
Class: Redshirt Senior

Overshown played early as a December signee but did not make a large impact until 2021. In his breakout season he had 54 total tackles, four a half for a loss, a sack, two passes defensed, two recovered fumbles and a blocked kick. This has carried into his fifth season, making plays all over the field.

He has struggled to be a consistent performer, though. He has serious range from the linebacker position as well as the ability to shoot gaps and lay the wood, but Overshown looks out of place at times. As a former safety, he has yet to get a great feel for playing linebacker which shows in his ability when playing the run. His pass coverage ability is some of the best in the class which couples with his athleticism to make a very solid outside linebacker prospect profile.

Given that he has a way to go developmentally, Overshown would not be a Day 1 starter for Dallas. However he is the type of player who has enough ability in one or two areas that could see him get some game time in certain situations.

Overshown is someone who, with development, could easily play a similar role to what Jayron Kearse down now as a big nickel type defender.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire