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Dallas Cowboys 2023 NFL Draft picks, analysis and prospect spotlight

26. Dallas Cowboys - Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan, drafted in the 2023 NFL draft first round on April 27, 2023. Syndication Usa Today Syndication Usa Today

The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After a flurry of selections from Thursday to Saturday, 259 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the Dallas Cowboys draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2023 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2023 NFL Draft Picks

R1 (26): DI Mazi Smith, Michigan
R2 (58): TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan
R3 (90): EDGE DeMarvion Overshown, Texas
R4 (129): EDGE Viliami Fehoko, San Jose State
R5 (169): OT Asim Richards, North Carolina
R6 (178): CB Eric Scott Jr., Southern Mississippi
R6 (212): RB Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State
R7 (244): WR Jalen Brooks, South Carolina

Day 1: It might not be an exciting pick, but for a team that have struggled to stop the run consistently recently, it makes a lot of sense. An impressive athlete for someone his size, Smith posted PFF grades of 75.0 or better in each of the past two seasons.

Day 2: Schoonmaker is an in-line tight end, so the fit is obvious here for the Cowboys, but it’s just that it’s a bit of a reach at 58th overall. He averaged 2.15 yards per route run in 2022 but caught just 28.6% of the contested targets he saw. There’s some projection here, but he does have the athletic profile where the reach could work out for the Cowboys.

Overshown is an explosive off-ball linebacker who grew into the player many had expected him to become in 2022. The 6-foot-3, 229-pound Longhorn boosted his run-defense grade by more than 40 points from 2021 to 2022. That kind of improvement should be encouraging for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

Day 3: Fehoko makes a lot of sense in the fourth round as a player who offers the versatility to play on the edge and kick inside in certain situations. He dominated at San Jose State in 2022, winning 21.5% of his pass-rushing attempts and registering a defensive stop on 10.9% of his snaps in run defense.

Richards struggled as a run blocker in 2022, producing sub-60.0 PFF run-blocking grades on both zone and gap plays. If there’s a silver lining to his play, though, he had a 75.5 PFF pass-blocking grade and allowed 20 total pressures from 667 pass-blocking snaps.

Scott earned a 70.9 coverage grade in 2022 and has good size at 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds. At his size, his 40-inch vertical leap and 11-foot-1 broad jump are above the 90th percentile.

Brooks has good hands, with only two drops in 2022, but doesn't bring a ton of big play ability with a 4.69-second 40-yard dash.


Prospect Spotlight: DI Mazi Smith, Michigan

Smith is a special athlete for a 337-pound nose tackle and could very well see a Dontari Poe-esque rise up draft boards after the combine. He turned it on strong down the stretch in 2022, as well, and earned a 79.2 overall grade on the season.

Strengths, weaknesses and NFL role

Where he wins: Grown-man strength

When Smith gets his paws inside your shoulder pads, good night. His hands are so strong that shedding blocks is an afterthought.

What's his role? Nose tackle

Smith is a true hold-the-point nose tackle. He won't be much more than a pocket pusher in the passing game, but he has the strength to do just that in the NFL.

What he can improve: Hands

Smith has the kind of pop in his hands that can't be coached, but he often lacks urgency. He doesn't possess the violence and speed to be an impactful pass-rusher.

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