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2021 NFL Draft: Top five second-round targets for the Dallas Cowboys

Dan Rogers

The first day of the draft is in the books as the Dallas Cowboys addressed their defense by selecting Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. The team will now turn it's attention to the second round where they hope they can collect more great talent from this draft class.

While 32 players now have homes, there still remains some very intriguing prospects available. Here are my top five second-round targets for the Cowboys 44th overall pick.

1. Azeez Ojulari - EDGE, Georgia

This draft class didn't feature any elite edge rushers, so it wasn't surprising that the first one taken off the board didn't happen until pick 18. In total, five edge rushers were taken in the first round, including the final three picks of the day. Surprisingly, Georgia's Azeez Ojulari wasn't one of them.

Azeez is my top rated edge rusher from this draft. He's got explosive get-off and plays with great bend, allowing him to work his way around the edge. His length and fluid movement allows him to move all over the backfield. The Cowboys are placing an emphasis on turnovers, and Ojulari's violent attack has forced five fumbles over the past two seasons. An edge rusher isn't the team's biggest need, but landing a talent like Azeez is too big to pass up.

2. Christian Barmore - defensive tackle, Alabama

The Cowboys took a great step towards improving their run defense by selecting the top linebacker in the draft. How about following that up by selecting the top defensive tackle in the draft? A brusier in the trenches, the Alabama star plays with a lot of power. He gets off the snap well, and will throw blockers around like rag dolls. He has a nose for the football and a relentless drive to find the ball carrier.

Barmore's inconsistency sustaining leverage will cause him to lose battles at time, which is why he's still available. His technique need refinement, but these are coachable aspects of his game. If the Cowboys can land themselves this 310-pound run stopping beast as late as 44, that's just incredible value.

3. Teven Jenkins - offensive line, Oklahoma State

The Cowboys may have been considering Rashawn Slater for their first-round pick, but ultimately there were too many defensive players stacked ahead of him, including Micah Parsons. The good news is, this is an incredibly deep offensive line draft class and plenty of great options are still available. One of those players is Oklahoma State's Teven Jenkins.

Jenkins is an offensive tackle, but he has the flexibility to play inside, which means he can help the team in two ways. If Tyron Smith or La'el Collins again are hit with any ailments, Jenkins can cover the outside. But if their tackles are able to stay healthy, Jenkins can slide inside and help out at the guard position.

4. Levi Onwuzurike - defensive tackle, Washington

If the Cowboys miss out on the top defensive tackle in the draft, they could easily take the next best guy in Washington's Levi Onwuzurike. While he doesn't posses the power that Barmore has, Levi shows great lateral movement and can finesse his way through the gaps. He plays with a lot of energy with a no-quit mentality to chase down ball carriers.

Onwuzurike can play a little upright at times, leaving himself vulnerable and losing his leverage. Overall balance is an issue as he can be found on the turf quite a bit. Another concern when it comes to the Cowboys is the fact that Levi chose to opt out of the 2020 season. Jerry Jones has gone on record saying those players are "compromised" so it's unclear exactly how much that could hurt his chances of being selected.

5. Richie Grant - safety, UCF

The Cowboys missed out on a chance to address their secondary when both cornersbacks Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II were selected before they were on the clock. The team may look to address corner in round two, but there aren't any players that jump out at you. However, the same is not true when it comes to the safety position as all of the top safeties are still there. Whether it's Trevon Moehrig, Javon Holland, or Richie Grant, the Cowboys have some options.

UCF's Richie Grant is atop my safety board. His impressive range and ball skills would be a sight for sore eyes at the safety position. While Grant can cover a lot of landscape in coverage, he is showing some nice growth as a tackler as well. Could this be the year the Cowboys finally spend a premium draft pick on a safety?

Who are your top five second-round targets for the Cowboys?

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