April 24, 2020

By Al Ortiz

 It's like Christmas Day in the spring! The NFL Draft is set to take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. Central Time - at least the first round - and will take place, honestly, nowhere. The draft, for the first time in the modern NFL era, will be held virtually, with all team officials conducting their team's draft from their very own homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The draft features a plethora of Texas collegiate prospects, and of course, our two NFL Texas teams - the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. 

The Dallas Cowboys have the number 17 pick in the draft, where there has been plenty of speculation as to what they will do with said draft pick. Some team beat writers are speculating that the Cowboys could very well trade down in the draft to get Michigan Center Cesar Ruiz or Penn State Edge Rusher Yetur Gross-Matos. However, there have been rumblings that the Center position, left vacant by the since-retired Travis Frederick, is one that the Cowboys are comfortable with - and could go with an in-house replacement, leaving the prospect of drafting Ruiz a slim-none-situation. 

In addition, if the Cowboys do decide to stay put, a name out there that has been most associated with Dallas has been LSU Edge Rusher K'Lavon Chaisson. The Cowboys are in need of an edge rusher, safety and corner - so the names also associated with them at that spot include Alabama Safety Xavier McKinney, LSU Safety Grant Delpit, and Florida Cornerback CJ Henderson. 
With the wheeling and dealing the Houston Texans have been doing, including trading away a few first round picks a year ago for Tackle Laremy Tunsil, the team's first pick doesn't come until pick number 40 in the second round. According to team-focused blog Toro Times, there are rumors the Texans could select the best player available that can help their team, or they might trade back in the round to gain more draft picks to be used later during the event. Sports Illustrated also has the Texans coming out of the draft with three top needs: defensive lineman, safety, and pass rusher. 

As for the young men who will be selected during the weekend, here are some Texas college athletes to keep an eye on in the early rounds of the NFL draft: 

  • Joshua Jones, Offensive Tackle, University of Houston
  • Jalon Reagor, Wide Receiver, Texas Christian University 
  • Brandon Jones, Defensive Back, University of Texas 
  • Justin Madubuike, Defensive Tackle, Texas A&M University
  • James Lynch, Defensive Line, Baylor
  • James Proche, Wide Receiver, SMU 

Cheers to the draft! We (somewhat) have sports to watch!