Dallas Cowboys’ best sleeper pick: Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest

Yes, Jerry Jones has a lot of weird things to say about the player evaluation process, and that bears out in free agency. But don’t sleep on Dallas’ scouting department, led by Will McClay — that’s where all the great draft picks come from. And in the 2024 draft, the Cowboys got a sleeper at cornerback in the person of Wake Forest’s Caelen Carson. I spoke with Carson at the scouting combine, and he talked with pride about his ability to take the playbook and make something out of it.

Which shows up on tape. Last season, Carson allowed 36 catches on 64 targets for 436 yards, 146 yards after the catch, four touchdowns, no interceptions, four pass breakups, and an opponent passer rating of 98.2. Had Coleman turned a few of those pass breakups into interceptions, his metrics would more closely mimic what you see on the field. Maybe this is why the Cowboys landed him with the 174th overall pick in the fifth round.

I also asked Carson for his favorite NCAA play, and he went right to his battle with Keon Coleman when Wake Forest played Florida State last season.

“Keon Coleman tape. Slot fade, I pressed him with outside leverage because I knew it was going to be a fade. I used my technique and flipped him to the outside. Didn’t turn my head, because he was in the slot, and there was too much space to the sideline, and he’s a big guy. If I had turned my head, he could have pushed me.”

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire