How about them Cowboys? I know a lot of people's ears perk up when they hear the Dallas Cowboys because they've got the moniker of America's team and one of the biggest fan bases in the NFL.
They had an intriguing draft and in the first round with pick number 12 they took Micah Parsons, the linebacker out of Penn State. He's six foot three 246 pounds. This guy ran a 4.3 40 yard dash at his pro day! Blazing speed for a cornerback or an elite wide receiver, but when you've got a 250 pound linebacker running that fast of a 40 it is impressive. This guy was the best defensive player in this draft class. I said it multiple times on the podcast, he's one of the guys that I'm really bullish on, he's my pick for defensive player of the year, an absolute steal at number 12 Overall. He was number six on my big board, so this is awesome value and a great pick by the Cowboys. He has incredible range, closing speed, ideal size, strength and quickness, he checks all those boxes for the NFL. He is a do it all player, a stat stuffer, a guy who really has no holes in his game. He can play the run, he can cover and blitz the quarterback. Parsons had awesome production at Penn State. Day one starter at middle linebacker, no doubt about it, this guy will be an impact player right away with Sean Lee retiring in Vander Esch having health problems, this pick makes a lot of sense. Dallas was awful versus the run, allowing over 1700 yards before first contact. Last season, that was by far the worst in the NFL so they needed to shore up that run defense and this is the guy who will instantly have an impact in that regard. But he's a guy who's going to get his hands on a lot of balls and just do a lot of good things for the Dallas Cowboys.
In the second round. The Dallas Cowboys took Kelvin Joseph, the cornerback out of Kentucky. He's five foot 11 and a half 197 pounds. He's got great size, length and ball skills and a prototypical build for an NFL cornerback. He's a tough confident kid, he's got a swagger to his game that I love. He has an edge to his game because he's just a feisty hard nosed cornerback. I love how he crowds wide receivers when you watch his tape. He really makes guys uncomfortable and I like that about him. He's also a strong tackler. He's not afraid to play the run, he's not afraid to get his jersey dirty. I love that about him. Now, the knock on him is he had very limited experience, and it does show at times with his play recognition and he tends to bite on ball fakes, but he's got really high upside, because we haven't seen his best football yet. He's a player who has the ability to develop into what I think will be a high level starter down the road, maybe not a day one starter but a guy who can really become a good player at the next level. He had a great game versus Alabama with an interception and two pass breakups. The only other red flag is some people have reported that he might have maturity issues and maybe some off the field issues that could be a concern. He was suspended for a game in his career, because of some of those issues. Some of it was undisclosed so it's hard to say for sure but, the Cowboys were targeting JayCee Horn and Patrick Surtain in the first round because they desperately needed help at cornerback but when both of those guys went off the board just before them, they decided to trade back and get Mike Parsons and then land, a high upside cornerback with Joseph. I think it was a nice move by them, a position that they desperately needed help at. So, this pick made a lot of sense.
Last year the Cowboys really ignored their needs on defense in round one and took wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. I wasn't a huge fan of the pick. He's a very good player but it haunted them because they had a historically bad defense last year. And because of that, they took defenders with their first six picks in this draft. I love the Micah Parsons pick and I think Joseph has really nice upside. I also thought day three pick Jabril Cox from LSU is a good value pick and I think he's a guy that could become a day one starter as well. He has that kind of talent. They might have overcorrected though going so heavy on defense and missed out in those middle rounds on some other positions I thought they could have addressed, but I also like the pick of defensive tackle OSA Odighizuwa from UCLA. A very solid class for Dallas because they addressed a lot of their holes, especially on that defense. Not the most balanced draft class but very solid overall I'm going to give them a "B+"