Cowboys have only 14-16 draft prospects with first-round grades

·2 min read

One of the things that has made the ramp-up to the 2022 draft both exciting and maddening for Cowboys fans has been the depth of talent in this year’s college class. Unlike some years when the Cowboys’ realistic first-round target might have come down to just two or three obvious players, this year features a plethora of prospects who one could argue are a good fit for the team with the 24th overall pick.

Stephen Jones says the Cowboys war room doesn’t see it that way.

During the Cowboys’ annual pre-draft press conference on Tuesday, the club’s director of player personnel says they don’t have nearly as many players graded with first-round marks as others might think. In fact, according the Dallas front office, there aren’t even enough first-round-grade players to actually fill the first round.

“On our board, we’re going to be somewhere between 14 and 16, somewhere in there,” Jones told reporters. “It’s lower than normal.”

Overall, Jones said he believes that the ’22 draft class is heaviest in the middle rounds, thanks in large part to “super seniors,” prospects who took an extra year of college availability due to the COVID pandemic. The result is an especially large pool of draftable players.

But it didn’t necessarily produce any more cream that’s now risen to the top of this year’s class.

Whether that makes it more or less likely that the Cowboys would try to trade up to get one of those 14 to 16 highest-graded players, of course, remains to be seen.

That’s where the real drama will be for Cowboys fans Thursday night.

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