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The Dallas Cowboys have a new defensive coordinator and Dan Quinn is going to need a lot of reinforcements to get the ship going in the right direction. If the Cowboys can find some spending capital, they’ll need to address some of their biggest needs in free agency, and that is even more of the case when looking at the strengths in this year’s draft class.
There isn’t a Top-10 lock player at either defensive tackle or safety, two of the three biggest needs going into 2021. Assuming Dallas addresses those needs in some level of free agency, they’ll still need reinforcements there as well as front-line starters at other positions. Here’s our attempt to round out those positions with impact players using The Draft Network’s simulator and scouting reports.
No. 10: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
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6-foot-2, 197 lbs Farley sat out 2020 but he has a tremendous ceiling as a speedy cover corner that would work great with Trevon Diggs' aggressive nature opposite him. From The Draft Network:
Farley played quarterback in high school and started his career at Virginia Tech as a wide receiver. With that in mind, his film does not resemble a player that is new to the position. His man coverage skills and route anticipation ability is outstanding. Farley features a rare blend of size and athleticism. It’s not often corners of his size are as loose, fluid, and quick as Farley is. He has exceptional long speed to stay connected as routes elongate and recover. His footwork is clean and his pedal is smooth, leading to easy transitions.
TRADE: Send 2.42, 5.174 to New York Jets for 2.34
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
2.34: LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
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6-foot-0, 232 pounds From TDN
Bolton has come on strong after entering his sophomore season in 2019 as a first-year starter, so there should be plenty of optimism that Bolton can continue to hone his decision-making process and develop into a more consistent fill player and coverage option. Teams who implement a lot of green-dog blitzes and pressure schemes up the middle will love the leverage, twitch, and hitting power that Bolton brings to the football field. Ideal Role: Starting MIKE linebacker.
Scheme Fit: Single-gap penetration front with shallow zone tendencies on B-level.
3.74: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
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6-foot-5, 310 pounds From Reid:
Barmore has an already rock solid and mature upper body that makes it hard for blockers to engage and stick against his body. The Alabama interior defender possesses outstanding raw power combined with active/busy and powerful hands that enable his frame to remain clean and disengage when necessary. Excellent with executing swim/arm over moves that allow him to make plays behind the line or in his gap as a run defender. As a redshirt freshman, he was treated mostly as a third down specialist prior to the final four games of the season. He has the versatility to play 1 or 3-technique in an even front, but he’s spent most of his time as a base 4i/4-technique in Alabama’s odd front. This is a prospect that’s only scratching the surface of what he could become and with an expanded role in 2020, it shouldn’t be surprising to see him skyrocket up draft boards.
3.99: Safety Richie Grant, UCF
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
6-foot-0, 194 pounds From TDN:
Rangy safety that thrives in single-high and deeper split zones. Has the ability to play man coverage from the slot. Springy and fluid footwork. Rapid click and close ability when driving forward. Generally takes correctly calculated angles in pursuit and he can cover plenty of ground. Adequate face up tackler that does well to square up and arrive under control. Does well to squeeze routes in zone coverage and is generally sound with layering coverage. Although he’s dropped a few interceptions, his ball skills are an obvious strength. He breaks on the football with proper technique and is disruptive at the catch point both from the trail and breaking forward.
4.111: CB Elijah Molden, Washington
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
5-foot-10, 191 pounds From TDN:
Elijah aligns as the nickel corner in Washington’s hybrid defense. He’s a good athlete with good lateral agility and quickness. In the run game, he is a willing and effective tackler. Molden is slightly more effective on the perimeter than he is against RBs, partly due to his size. In the passing game, he is very good. He aligns in the nickel slot and impacts the passing game in a number of ways. He has good mirror and match ability in off coverage. He shows a very good trigger and close in off-man scenarios, especially on routes in the shorter range. He has excellent instincts with two rare, instinctive plays in the 2019 USC game. His ball skills are excellent and he does a good job of consistently getting his hands on the football.
4.136: OT Abraham Lucas, Washington
(AP Photo/Young Kwak)
6-foot-7, 324 pounds From TDN:
Abraham aligns at right tackle for the Cougars' Air Raid offense. He is an average athlete, as evidenced in his ability to handler counters on the edge. Although he is not a vertical mover in the run game, he's sufficient due to his ability to engage and hold the point of attack. In the passing game he is good, mainly due to his efficiency and productivity. He’s effective with his punch, although not he lacks a lot of power in his hands. He is rarely beaten on the edge and has the football IQ to use his length to his advantage. Due to their decisiveness in the passing game and his length on the perimeter, it is extremely tough to get to the QB on his edge.