BRISTOL – After some splash acquisitions made in the first three rounds, the Cowboys and Texans both enter the final day of the 2020 NFL draft looking for diamonds in the rough that can turn them into contenders for next season and beyond.
DALLAS COWBOYS DRAFT:
- CeeDee Lamb - WR, Oklahoma, 17th overall
- Trevon Diggs - CB, Alabama, 51st overall
- Neville Gallimore - DT, Oklahoma, 82nd overall
- Reggie Robinson II - CB, Tulsa, 123rd overall
- Tyler Biadasz - C, Wisconsin, 146th overall
- Bradlee Anae - Edge, Utah, 179th overall
- Ben DiNucci - QB, James Madison, 231st overall
On Saturday afternoon, the Cowboys continued a series of trends in this year’s draft.
With the 123rd overall pick, Dallas selected Tulsa cornerback Reggie Robinson II, marking the third defender and the third player from an Oklahoma-based college program taken this year.
After an injury inhibited his performance in 2018, the 6-foot-1, 205 pound defensive back delivered his best performance last season, leading the Golden Hurricanes with four interceptions and 13 pass breakups to go along with 38 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Additionally, he has consistently contributed on special teams, recording a blocked kick in each of his four collegiate seasons.
Next, the Cowboys traded back into the 4th round and found a potential successor to All-Pro center Travis Frederick, who retired last month.
With the final pick of the 4th round, Dallas selected Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz. After making his name on the defensive side of the ball for Amherst High School in Wisconsin, Biadasz found his home with the Badgers offensive line. Over the past two seasons, the 6-foot-4, 314-pound lineman has started all 27 games, a feat sandwiched around hip surgery in the spring of 2019. His efforts helped propel running back Jonathan Taylor to a 2,000-yard season, and he was awarded the Remington Trophy recognizing the nation’s top center. He also earned first-team Associate Press All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Biadasz is the first center and first Badger drafted by the Cowboys since Frederick in 2013.
After addressing the offensive line, the Cowboys war room went back to the defense and snagged Utah edge rusher Bradlee Anae with the final pick of the 5th round.
Taken 179th overall, the 6-foot-3, 257-pound Hawaii native blossomed into a star for the Utes, earning back-to-back first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2018 and 2019. Over the course of those two seasons, Anae tallied 92 tackles, 21 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss. He also added three pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 2018.
Lastly, the Cowboys spiced up their draft class with the selection of James Madison quarterback Ben DiNucci with the 231st overall pick in the 7th round.
A two-year starter for the Dukes, DiNucci completed nearly 71% of his passes in 2019 and threw for 3,441 yards and 29 touchdowns against just 6 interceptions. He led James Madison to their second National Championship in the last three years, where they came up short against North Dakota State, 28-20. Dinucci completed 22 of 33 passes for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game, but threw the game-sealing interception on the goal line in the closing seconds.
HOUSTON TEXANS DRAFT:
- Ross Blacklock - DT, TCU, 40th overall
- Jonathan Greenard - Edge, Florida, 90th overall
- Charlie Heck - OT, North Carolina, 126th overall
- John Reid - CB, Penn State, 141st overall
- Isaiah Coulter - WR, Rhode Island, 171st overall
It didn’t take long for head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien to make a move on Saturday afternoon.
After missing out on moving up in the third round, O’Brien first dropped back in the draft by trading the 111th overall pick to the Dolphins in exchange for the 136th and 141st picks. Then, O’Brien traded up to select Charlie Heck, an offensive tackle out of North Carolina with the 126th overall pick.
There’s no doubt that O’Brien and the Texans are trying to protect quarterback Deshaun Watson with this move, but with both Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard on the roster, Heck will likely see his first NFL action in a supplementary role as a swing tackle or at guard. The 6-foot-8, 311 pound brings experience on both sides of the line, first starting at right tackle his junior season, then switching to left tackle for the entirety of 2019.
Heck is also the son of Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck.
With their next 4th-round selection, the Texans looked to strengthen their secondary, selecting cornerback John Reid out of Penn State.
Taken 141st overall, the 5-foot-10, 187 pound defensive back earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in back-to-back seasons and posted career-highs in 2019 in tackles (37) and interceptions (2) while also tallying eight pass breakups and a sack. His presence will aid a Texans secondary that lost longtime starter Jonathan Joseph and finished 29th in passing yards allowed per game (267.3).
The Texans have made some moves in free agency to replace DeAndre Hopkins’ consistent production after trading the dynamic wide receiver to the Arizona Cardinals. That endeavor continued in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, where Houston selected Rhode Island wideout Isaiah Coulter with the 171st overall pick.
At 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, Coulter added plenty of sizzle to the Rams’ offense in 2019, catching 72 passes for 1,039 yards and 8 touchdowns. His statistics have improved in each of his three seasons, and with a 4.45 40-yard dash time, Coulter could definitely improve Houston’s already dangerous passing attack.
Houston traded their final seventh-round pick to the Saints for a sixth-round selection next season.