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Plainsmen Predictions: Tank Bigsby to the Cowboys?

By Matthew Redding,


Mock drafting where the star RB could land in the 2023 NFL Draft

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Mock Draft season is in full swing, and I'm beginning to see the same 30-40 names in the same spots (IE Bryce Young to the Texans, CJ Stroud to the Panthers) so I decided to focus on our favorite Auburn players from now until Draft Day. First up is our favorite Lagrange, Georgia native, Tank Bigsby.

His 2022 stats don't pop off like some of the other running backs entering this years draft (993 yards, 10 touchdowns), but his size and speed certainly caught the attention of several scouts this past Combine in Indy. Under the right system, and with enough patience from the coaching staff, Tank could certainly become the latest day-two back to be elevated to starting spot (ala Derrick Henry or Miles Sanders). If you cheer for any of these teams, keep your fingers crossed and let us begin.

TOP PREDICTION: Dallas Cowboys, Round 2-3

The most frustrating part of Draft season is trying to figure out what Jerry Jones is thinking, no matter how the board could potentially fall to him. It wasn't too long ago he shocked everyone and selected Micah Parsons in the first round, despite having a top need at wideout and cornerback. He infamously selected Ezekiel Elliot in the 2016 Draft at #4 overall, and extended the two-time NFL rushing leader to a ridiculous contract extension that reset the runningback market (worth $90 million). Tony Pollard came in as a complimentary back who eventually supplanted the Ohio State product in touches this past year, which led to Zeke's release and Pollard's franchise tag.

And a need for another back.

Assuming the Cowboys select their top need in round one (wideout, again) then they could go a number of directions in day two. The defense is loaded, and just got more full thanks to the Stephon Gilmore trade, so that leaves offensive line bolstering OR another top offensive weapon for Dak and Co to play with. Bigsby absolutely fills that role.

Pollard has been the quick-sprint, pass catching back for what the late, great Rod Bramblett called the "ole razzle-dazzle" in offense. Tank fits more Elliot's style of ground and pound, which would serve Dallas well in the redzone, and Bigsby would thrive behind the offensive line that paved the way for over 2,000 yards from scrimmage for backs.

ALSO CONSIDER: Tennessee Titans, Round 3-4

I would be shocked if Bigsby made it past the fourth round this year. Just like how I'll be shocked if the Titans wind up trading star running back Derrick Henry, but rumors began circulating around the combine that Tennessee was shopping him for pick compensation.

The Titans are in a complete rebuild if that happens, and taking someone with Henry's play-style on a rookie contract would benefit the Titans after they shore up the offensive line in round 1.

WILD CARD: Philadelphia Eagles, Round 3-4

Nobody is more primed for an excellent draft than the reigning NFC champions. Oklahoma great Jalen Hurts proved he was the guy taking the Eagles to the Super Bowl, which unfortunately means that top talent such as CJ Gardner-Johnson and Miles Sanders were not brought back to make room for what should be a massive contract extension for the star QB.

Like I said though, GM Howie Roseman has masterfully primed the Eagles to win the Draft. Assuming that they go defense in the first two rounds with THREE picks in the top 100, it could be time to replace Sander's with a quality back for Hurts to play alongside. Bigsby should be salivating at the mouth to play behind a line that just brought back Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. Mile's patience and speed remind me of Bigsby, so this would be considered a top-fit for the young Junior out of Auburn.

Overall, Tank will be missed on the Plains, but he picked the right time to enter the Draft. Every team will be looking for a #2 runningback who could become the #1 guy.

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