It’s always interesting being able to see what goes on behind the scenes during the NFL Draft and get a glimpse into the thought process of an organization.
In a video shared by the Dallas Cowboys, we see owner Jerry Jones, VP of player personnel Will McClay, and head coach Mike McCarthy debating whether to draft Michigan defensive lineman Mazi Smith or Syracuse offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron.
Video: Inside the #Cowboys war room debating who to take at 26th overall of the 2023 Draft.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 1, 2023
It apparently came down to Michigan DT Mazi Smith and OL Matthew Bergeron.pic.twitter.com/WEZirpj1xG
McClay: “I would go with Mazi because I know that he helps us now,” argued McClay, who becomes the de-facto GM when it’s Draft season. “With the guard, love the guard too, my question is, you’re adding something to where you have depth. I think the defensive lineman gives you an immediate starter and something for the future.”
Jones: “I am cutthroat if we missed one of those two guys after having them both here in our hands.”
McCarthy: “We’re better on the line of scrimmage with either one of these guys.”
McClay: “We’ve had offensive linemen there, we’ve had an opportunity to pick them, we’ve not had an interior defensive lineman that high in quite some time.”
Jones: “Let’s do Smith.”
Smith was selected with the No. 26 overall pick in the first round and will be an asset stopping the run right out of the gate.
The selection of Smith had Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons excited on draft night, too. Parsons texted Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on Thursday afternoon before the draft, lobbying for Dallas to draft Smith.
The 6-foot-3 and 337-pound Smith had 48 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery last season for the Wolverines.