Mel Kiper Mock 3.0: Cowboys go DL after run on CBs, WRs
There probably would’ve still been a draft industry if Mel Kiper, Jr. never existed, but he certainly gets the credit for lighting the flame that turned a cottage industry into a full-blown three-alarm fire. ESPN’s resident draft expert has chimed in with the third iteration of his 2023 mock drafts and with it more things to talk about.
In this version, which includes some trades, Kiper has four quarterbacks going in the first five selections, and then a run on the two boundary spots. Cornerback seen as one of the three deepest positions in the draft, but there’s certainly a cluster of players identified as first-round prospects. Wide receiver isn’t seen as top heavy but still has a bunch of first-round guys even if there isn’t the top-10 talent other years have possessed. Where does the run leave the Cowboys? Selecting a workout warrior, according to Kiper.
Cornerbacks taken before Dallas
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
8. Atlanta Falcons: Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
14. New England Patriots: Joey Porter, Jr., Penn State
16. Washington Commanders: Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Deonte Banks, Maryland
Wideouts taken before Dallas
20. Seattle Seahawks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
22. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, Boston College
23. Minnesota Vikings: Quentin Johnston, TCU
25. New York Giants: Jordan Addison, USC
26. Dallas Cowboys: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DE, Northwestern
You might remember Adebawore from his performance at the NFL combine, where he ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at 282 pounds, putting up the fastest time of any player over 280 pounds at the combine since at least 2006, according to ESPN Stats & Information. I wrote at the time that he was going to rise, and he’s likely going in Round 1 now. He wasn’t super productive in college — 9.5 sacks since 2021 — but his talent is undeniable. Adebawore played about 75% of his snaps at defensive end, but he could move inside at the next level and work as a 3-technique tackle.
For the Cowboys, we know defensive coordinator Dan Quinn values versatility, and Adebawore could get reps all over the line. DeMarcus Lawrence turns 31 this offseason, and they need to keep adding young players to their rotation.
Adebawore's Athletic Markers
Adetomiwa Adebawore is a DT prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.70 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 46 out of 1491 DT from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/kcBR0aeFSr #RAS pic.twitter.com/Apv7NoJVOG
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 19, 2023
Analysis, Fit with Cowboys
Adebawore could certainly be an edge in a nascar-type package, but it would seem his home in the NFL would be on the interior. The question is what then happens with the ascending Osa Odighizuwa. A team can never have enough pass rushers, no matter where they are deployed from, and Adebawore would slide in nicely with the rotation Dan Quinn loves to deploy on passing downs.
Adding him to the long-term future of Micah Parsons, Sam Williams and Agent OO97 seems like a good use of resources for a team that’s done an excellent job closing their holes entering the offseason.
Was he the best pick?
Dallas left RB Bijan Robinson on the board and he was snatched up the very next selection. They also bypassed another DT, Pittsburgh’s Calijah Kancey, and Georgia TE Darnell Washington.