2018 Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft: Four-Round Prediction

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Jason Garrett (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Jason Garrett (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Braden Smith 2018 NFL Draft
Braden Smith 2018 NFL Draft /

A lot of people are going to read this and immediately being grumbling. With needs on defense and the remains of a stagnant offense still fresh on Cowboys’ fans minds, it may seem justifiable. But when you remember where the strength of this team lies, and the kind of talent that Braden Smith is, you can understand the kind of impact a selection like this can have.

After La’el Collins transitioned to right tackle, a spot opened up at left guard. Chaz Green and the newly-signed Jonathan Cooper were the top options, and each competed for playing time. Green struggled, leading the Cowboys to shift to Cooper. While Cooper played well, it was still the weakest point on the o-line and a week 17 injury now puts his future with the Cowboys in jeopardy. While many will say to push Collins back over, he progressively got better as the season wore on and I’m sure this coaching staff would prefer to keep him there.

That’s where Braden Smith comes in. While a second-round pick is certainly a high investment, Smith is the kind of prospect worth spending it on. With a rare combination of length and athleticism for his position, Smith (6’6″, 310 lbs) played a major role in Auburn’s dominating ground attack. Smith is a capable starter from day one and would help shift the Cowboys back to their offensive dominance in 2016-17.