No player has been linked to a team more in mock drafts than Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II going to the Dallas Cowboys with the No. 10 pick. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay does not expect any spoilers and calls Surtain a “lock” if the Cowboys stay at No. 10. McShay also describes the cost for the Cowboys to move up to select Florida tight end Kyle Pitts as likely the same price teams have paid to slide up for a quarterback.
“Listen, I think Kyle Pitts could be a Hall-of-Fame tight end,” McShay said on The Ryen Russillo Podcast. “He has the highest grade I’ve ever given to a tight end in 20 years, but it’s going to cost quarterback kind of compensation to go up and get that guy. You’re talking maybe two first-rounders and a third or something like that to get a tight end, which is a tough pill to swallow. But I’m told that Dallas, if they stay at 10, Patrick Surtain, the cornerback from Alabama, is a lock.”
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The Cowboys Are Widely Expected to Take Surtain at No. 10
McShay’s anecdote is not anything surprising, but the insider did express conviction in the Cowboys’ prefered selection at No. 10. Surtain is the player most connected with the Cowboys in the first round with South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn also being linked to Dallas. NBC Sports’ Peter King also predicts the Cowboys will select Surtain.
“I am not signing on to the Jerry’s-moving-up-for-Kyle-Pitts storyline,” King explained. “I saw Jerry Jones passionately push to try to trade for Paxton Lynch five years ago and, though he has the juice to do what he wants, not overrule his football people when they said the Cowboys should not up the offer to be able to trade for Lynch. Good thing, obviously. So I doubt Jones this year will trade next year’s one, or a passel of picks, to move up to number four to be able to take the talented Florida tight end. Picking Surtain is smarter. Dallas gave up 29.6 points per game last year, and allowed a ghastly 34 touchdown passes. (Previous five years, on average: 23 per season.)”
Jones on Potentially Trading Down: ‘We Are Well Prepared’
Surtain may be the likely pick for the Cowboys at No. 10, but there is no guarantee Dallas stays put on draft day. During the team’s pre-draft press conference, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted at the possibility of dropping down adding they are “well prepared” for trade-back scenarios.
“As far as laying awake at night, wondering what might happen, I find myself thinking about that phone ringing about that time, too,” Jones noted, per DallasCowboys.com’s David Helman. “And do, that’s a consideration. We are well prepared, I’ll say that.”
If the Cowboys view Horn as a similar talent to Surtain, Dallas could opt to slide down a few spots and potentially still get one of the top corners. This scenario makes a lot of sense if one of the top quarterbacks remain on the board, and a QB-needy team makes the Cowboys a strong offer for No. 10. Surtain will only become certain when the Cowboys turn in their draft card, but early signs are pointing to the Alabama standout if Dallas keeps the No. 10 selection.