DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys came away with quite the haul through the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL draft.
Back in that year’s selection ceremony, the Cowboys were surprised to land Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb No. 17 overall in one of the organization's biggest draft steals since taking quarterback Dak Prescott in Round 4 of the 2016 NFL draft. Dallas followed up that bounty with a Day 2 coup as Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs was available at No. 51 overall in Round 2.
If a do-over were held today, there is no way the Cowboys would come away with a tandem as favorable as the one they enjoy in reality.
In a Pro Football Focus 2020 redraft put together by Ben Linsey, the Cowboys aren't so lucky. The Arizona Cardinals take Lamb at No. 8 overall. Diggs, despite leading the NFL with 11 interceptions last season and earning first-team All-Pro honors, is there for the taking at No. 17 overall.
"Diggs was one of the most polarizing players in the NFL last season because of how often he made and allowed big plays in coverage," writes Linsey. "His 11 interceptions were three more than any other defender, but Diggs also allowed a league-high 1,016 passing yards into his coverage on the season. The value that he can offer as a defensive playmaker who returns the ball back to the Cowboys’ offense keeps him in Dallas in this re-draft."
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on June 9 after organized team activities that Diggs' athletic ability tilts the odds in the defense's favor when opposing quarterbacks throw 50-50 balls in his direction.
"You’re not throwing 50-50 balls when you’re throwing his way," said McCarthy. "So, you don’t get that way by playing cautious, too. So, it’s a balance. He’s young. Big play production, you got to have it to score points and stop points in this league. So, that’s part of it."
That is why the Cowboys would be happy to have Diggs as their first-round pick in a 2020 re-draft, which surely makes them even more glad that they were able to land him with their actual second-rounder that year.
In a world without Lamb, were the Cowboys looking to use their second-round pick on a receiver, the options of who might be available at No. 51 overall would include the likes of Laviska Shenault (Jacksonville takes Tee Higgins in the re-draft), Van Jefferson (originally No. 57 overall to the Los Angeles Rams), and Denzel Mims (originally No. 59 overall to the New York Jets).
Dallas may not be getting as talented of a wideout as they actually have with Lamb in this scenario, but they would have added a weapon for Prescott to go along with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. However, that the Cowboys actually did bring both Lamb and Diggs into the fold continues to be a touchstone moment for the franchise.
Do you think Trevon Diggs would make it to pick No. 17 if the 2020 NFL Draft took place today? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.