From the begin to the end of the 2022 season, some stats will inform you that the Dallas Cowboys had been a High-10 move protection. Nonetheless, these stats don’t inform you the entire story as to the difficulties the corners confronted all year long. In some ways, the Cowboys elite move rush basically protected the cornerbacks on a number of events every recreation. One other issue that got here up was the harm bug.The franchise misplaced two main contributors to the secondary throughout the span of two months. Dropping gamers like Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown put the microscope squarely on their replacements.
These replacements featured younger gamers like Kelvin Joseph, DaRon Bland, Israel Mukuamu, and Nahshon Wright which had been all drafted throughout the final two draft cycles. There have been different veterans that made temporary stops in Dallas like Xavier Rhodes and Mackensie Alexander, but it surely was the younger and inexperienced gamers like Joseph, Bland, Mukuamu, and Wright that acquired the vast majority of the reps whereas the crew was coping with the harm bug within the cornerback room.
Of the group of corners that stepped in as a result of harm state of affairs, it was DaRon Bland who stepped up and confirmed out with alternative that was given to him. Bland has seemingly placing himself in a great place forward of the 2023 season to nab a type of beginning gigs on protection, doubtless within the slot. Kelvin Joseph is extra of a particular groups participant to date, and Nahshon Wright flashed capability at occasions whereas additionally trying shaky due to the shortage of motion he has seen. Israel Mukuamu has been deployed in varied methods whether or not it was at security or nook, and whereas taking part in the cornerback place confirmed some promise by the tip of the 12 months.
At present, there’s one cornerback on the 2022 roster that’s now a free agent, and that’s Anthony Brown. The franchise lately made a splash by including two time All-Professional cornerback, Stephon Gilmore through commerce, presumably he’ll take Brown’s spot. Even with this commerce, Gilmore’s present contract expires after the 2023 season which implies this fairly presumably may very well be a one-year rental state of affairs. This commerce clearly helps within the short-term, however within the long-term drafting a nook early on on this 12 months’s draft continues to be a excessive precedence.
Listed here are three gamers that the Cowboys may draft early on to make the cornerback room that a lot stronger for the long run.
Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
Being the son of a former high-level NFL participant like Joey Porter Sr. put stress on Joey Porter Jr. to be good. Popping out of highschool, Porter Jr was a extremely touted four-star prospect out of the state of Pennsylvania. Nationally, he the 324th greatest participant within the class of 2019. At his place, he was the thirty third greatest nook within the nation. On the state degree, Porter was the 4th greatest participant in his class. Pretty much as good as he was in highschool, the supply sheet mirrored it as he held gives from colleges like LSU, and Miami earlier than committing to in-state powerhouse Penn State.
Throughout his freshman season in 2019, Porter can be one in all 19 true freshman to play in recreation as he would seem in 4 video games for the Nittany Lions. It was a bit of little bit of gradual burn for Porter by way of his high quality of play, however as every year handed, he grew to become a fair higher soccer participant. He went from a quarterback ranking metric whereas being focused beginning at 156.3 to a mark of simply 63.6 by the point he left. In 34 profession video games performed, he would tally 113 whole tackles, 20 passes defended, and one interception.
Coming from a household that featured not simply his father but additionally his cousin Jason Gildon taking part in many seasons within the NFL, is an effective bloodline to have within the device field. Porter is a really fluid participant that possesses good velocity and quickness that works nicely in man protection. He possess high tier peak, palms, and arm size for the place and he is aware of the best way to use the bodily talents to his benefit particularly within the leap ball recreation. Don’t fret concerning the lack of interceptions in school as quarterbacks would hardly ever throw the ball to the wideout he was masking. From a tackling perspective, it’s in his blood to be good and he’s a high degree participant on this division.
Even with the NFL pedigree, he isn’t an ideal prospect and does have to refine his abilities in several areas. There’s nothing improper with being aggressive, however generally being a tad overzealous will get him in hassle. Whereas in protection, he tends to seize the opposing participant greater than you desire to which resulted in the next quantity of flags being thrown in his path. Even with the great peak, palms and arm size, he definitely has room to bulk up extra given these traits. Having the peak that he possesses is certainly a plus, however he might want to play barely much less tall whereas in his stance.
The bodily instruments are apparent as he hits excessive marks on the place together with his arm size which he makes use of nicely in protection. His tackling capability is high notch as this can be a power of his on the skilled degree. Technically talking, he checks a lot of the bins as a prospect however he might want to study to be rather less aggressive and rather less handsy in protection. The teaching up portion shouldn’t be a lot of a transition as he’s been schooled nicely for a few years. Porter, on this 12 months’s class, is about as shut of a certain factor at cornerback that you simply’ll see and he ought to have a stable NFL profession simply as members of his household did.
Deonte Banks, Maryland
Additionally from the 2019 recruiting class, Deonte Banks was the 77th greatest cornerback in addition to the twelfth greatest participant in his house state of Maryland. Banks was rated as a three-star prospect that didn’t have a large supply sheet. Faculties like Buffalo, and Kent State had been however he would keep house and play for the Maryland Terrapins.
Proper from the start, Banks would see speedy motion as a real freshman by showing in 11 video games and beginning in eight of them. His sophomore season of 2020 was lower to solely 5 video games as a consequence of Covid. His junior season would comply with and that season was lower brief for Banks as a consequence of a shoulder harm within the second recreation. In his senior season with the Terps, he appeared in 12 video games and tallied 38 whole tackles in addition to an interception. After 4 seasons on campus, Financial institution would whole 83 tackles, and two interceptions.
Whereas on the taking part in subject, Banks possesses large consciousness, particularly in route recognition. His consciousness additionally goes a good distance whereas monitoring and attacking balls coming in his path. There’s loads of physicality in his recreation, and he’s not solely a prepared tackler, however he’s stable on this space as nicely. The entire instruments simply talked about, together with having the scale you search for, makes him a superb prospect. Being a superb prospect and given how nicely he carried out on the mix, it’s straightforward to see why he’s climbing up draft boards.
Pretty much as good of a prospect that Banks is, he does have some work to do as a way to take his recreation to the following degree. The world by which some work will must be performed is within the technical a part of his recreation due to the shortage of consistency. He additionally generally is a little handsy, and seize onto opposing move catchers greater than you want to see which can end in penalties occasionally. There can be occasions that Banks will get a tad too aggressive and can be inclined to double strikes which may end up in huge performs being given up.
Combining his wonderful measurement, and size together with his large athleticism makes him a really intriguing prospect. If he can enhance on his approach and be coached out of grabbing opposing huge outs a lot, then he has tons of potential.
Eli Ricks, LSU/Alabama
Eli Ricks was a category of 2020 prospect. As a prospect, he was ranked 14th general within the nation in addition to the second greatest participant at his place and in his house state of California. In line with 24/7 sports activities, he’s ranked because the 294th greatest prospect since their service began in 2010. As you may see, he was a extremely touted five-star prospect with fairly the supply sheet. Faculties like Alabama and Georgia supplied him a scholarship however he turned them down for LSU.
As a real freshman with the Tigers, Ricks would find yourself garnering third crew AP All-American honors. He would even be part of the Tigers program for his sophomore season of 2021, till a again harm he suffered mid-season would drive him to take a seat out the rest of that 12 months. This might be the final season for Ricks in Baton Rouge as he would switch to their arch rival, Alabama. To start with of the one and solely season for the Crimson Tide, he would battle nagging accidents however would find yourself taking part in in 10 video games with 5 begins. In 24 school video games between each colleges, he would tally 44 whole tackles and 5 interceptions.
The flexibility has all the time been there for Ricks, and whereas on the sphere he confirmed elite playmaking capability. He’s very clear out of his backpedal which helps to result in extra alternatives to make interceptions. His instincts are at a excessive degree, particularly whereas taking part in the ball. Talking of taking part in the ball, his palms are very very similar to a large receivers and he will definitely catch extra passes that many corners will wrestle with. His on-field consciousness is top-notch as he does an excellent job studying the quarterbacks eyes and in addition is fairly adapt at understanding route ideas. Ricks performs each man and zone protection very nicely.
Whilst an elite prospect like Ricks is, his approach can generally be sloppy. Being as bodily in protection as he’s, it may possibly additionally result in drawing extra flags than you desire to. The approach flaws at occasions can actually present towards vertical huge receivers as he generally lags within the restoration division. One other layer to his recreation that wants work is simply getting extra reps in as he hasn’t performed in as many video games as it’s possible you’ll like from a high-level prospect that he’s.
There’s a lot to love about Eli Ricks, and the ceiling for him is kind of excessive. Having been tutored by legendary coach Nick Saban, even when for one season, isn’t a foul factor, particularly for the place that he performs. Coach Saban’s monitor document with corners speaks for itself. As Ricks will get extra taking part in time together with these high quality reps, he’ll present how proficient he could be. If he can clear up some minor technical points in his recreation, then his profession within the NFL needs to be a top quality one.