For the past few seasons, the Cowboys haven’t gone out to sign the “big” fish and instead have built through the draft. The free agency frenzy has been wild in the NFL this season with many players changing teams.
However, the Dallas Cowboys have decided not to be “big players” this year in the free agency market. Instead, the Cowboys have resigned a couple of their own and signed some depth players at other positions. The draft is where Will McClay (VP of player personnel) has excelled to find solid players for this team.
With the draft being a little over a month away, we’ll be going through the top 5 most needed positions to look at in the draft. Even with the signing of George Iloka the safety position remains a need for Dallas.
Every week we’ll be going through a different position and taking a look at players that could help the Cowboys team take the next step.
We’ll start off by going through 5 options at safety for the Cowboys to potentially draft.
2nd Round – Johnathan Abram – Mississippi State
Having a field general like Abrams in the secondary would be an epic win for Dallas. His ability to play aggressive was key in college as we saw him rack up 90 tackles this past year along with 3 sacks. Dallas hasn’t had a hammer in the backfield since Roy Williams. Abrams also brings a high IQ of the game with him that could take Dallas’ defense to a whole new level. Having a well-rounded safety lurking in the backfield would make opposing teams think twice about passing down the middle.
2nd Round – Taylor Rapp – Washington
The Cowboys have become a higher pace team in the past few years. Rapp has a motor that can’t be compared to any safety this draft class has to offer. He isn’t a player to make many mental mistakes either, which is what has led him to 3 straight seasons of over 50 tackles. In that same amount of time, Taylor has 7 sacks and 7 interceptions. Dallas needs a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, and that’s exactly what Rapp brings to the table. Washington has produced solid players on the defensive side of the ball, but Rapp could be their best product yet.
3rd Round – Amani Hooker – Iowa
The NFL combine was a great stage for Hooker as he tested with solid numbers. While his tape doesn’t show a player with outstanding athleticism, it does show his ability to be at the right place at the right time. His timing has helped him put up over 120 tackles and 6 interceptions over the past two seasons. Coaches have bragged on Amani’s ability to be versatile and play many positions. His teammates have also gone out to saying what incredible mind he has for the game. A smart player like Hooker would benefit greatly from working with Rod Marinelli.
2nd Round – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – Florida
Much like Amani Hooker, Chauncey is a player that can play multiple positions in the secondary. However, Chauncey was also given the duty of distributing defensive assignments to his team. He was a true leader with his sense of direction but also his style of play. Chauncey put up 3 sacks to tag alongside 4 interceptions this past year. His confidence allows him to play at a level that could lead him to be an All-pro in the NFL.
2nd Round – Juan Thornhill – Virginia
Thornhill is a risk taker that plays with high anticipation in the backfield. His nose for the ball is what led him to 98 tackles, but his ability to play in coverage led him to 6 interceptions in 2018. His instincts lead him to cause turnovers but also cause him to jump early and be beat deep at times. Thornhill has shown great athleticism and would be ideal for Richard’s scheme. Using his burst will come in handy in Dallas with players like Saquon Barkley being in the division. Thornhill was also one of the Dallas’ 30 visits, which makes him the most likely candidate to play for the Cowboys.
There are many needs to this team, so stick around as we prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
If there are any safeties you feel could come here, let us know in the comments.
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