Round 4, Pick 130: Jaquelin Roy, Defensive Tackle, LSU
Jaquelin Roy is one of my favorite players in this draft class. The Cowboys need another big defensive tackle that is effective against the run, and Roy is a great option at this point in this mock draft.
Roy has a ton of potential. He has a great blend of size, power, and athleticism with an outstanding motor. He plays to (and through) the whistle every single play and plays a ton of snaps for a big defensive tackle.
He is big enough to play over the center and take on double team, and athletic enough to shoot gaps and put some moves on guards and tackles. What he does most effectively, in my opinion, is engaging blockers, then using his vision and instincts to locate the ball carrier and detach and make a play in the run game.
Getting a player like Roy in the fourth round can prove to be a real steal for the Cowboys. Right now, the team is a bit weak at defensive tackle. I would expect the team to take a bigger swing at the position, but adding a solid piece like Roy in the Draft would be a very smart move for Dallas.
Round 5, Pick 163: Zack Kuntz, Tight End, Old Dominion
Zack Kuntz is a true project at tight end, lacking production at both Penn State and Old Dominion. He likely won’t offer much early on as a blocker, playing more like a big receiver. But the profile and athletic upside are too promising to pass up at this point in the mock draft.
Kuntz lit up the Combine, running a blazing 4.55 forty-yard dash, posted a 40-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-8 broad jump, all top-two of the 2023 tight end class. This is especially impressive, given Kuntz’s 6-foot-8 and 245-pound frame.
Now, it’s not like Kuntz is just a workout warrior and can’t play football. When you watch the tape, you do see flashes of potential. Lining up often in the slot, Kuntz is a fairly smooth route runner who uses his size to shield off defenders. He is very effective with the ball in his hands and is a threat in the red zone.
With Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot already on the Cowboys roster, Dallas can take their time and develop Kuntz into an impact player. Just as the team did with Dalton Schultz, they can let Kuntz learn and grow as a player before hopefully breaking onto the scene for a dynamic Dallas offense.
Round 5, Pick 171: Jakorian Bennett, Cornerback, Maryland
Despite the trade for Gilmore, the Cowboys would be wise to try their hand with another young cornerback prospect. Former second-round pick Kelvin Joseph has not worked out well to this point for Dallas, and with Anthony Brown a free agent and Jourdan Lewis only under contract for one more season, so another cornerback is a necessity looking forward.
Jakorian Bennett is another player that has incredibly impressive speed and athleticism. He posted the second-fastest 40-yard dash time of the Combine (previous pick, Achane, was third) with a time of 4.30. He was also top four amongst cornerbacks with his vertical jump (40.5 inches) and broad jump (11-foot-1).
Bennett’s teammate, Deonte Banks (who also tested well at the Combine), gets all of the hype as the Maryland cornerback that potentially could be drafted in the first round, but Bennett is a very promising prospect in his own right. He has solid size, is very physical, and has impressive ball skills. He would be a great addition at this point in the NFL Draft for a Dallas team that should look toward the future at the cornerback position.