The Cowboys finally addressed the secondary by selecting a cornerback from Purdue, Anthony Brown. Bryan Broaddus had a third-round grade on Brown and many see him as player that could have gone much higher.
I know at least two teams that had Day 2 grades on Purdue CB Anthony Brown. He goes in 6th to Dallas. @NFLonFOX— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) April 30, 2016
The Cowboys have themselves a speedster corner who is a fantastic athlete. He ran track in college and was also used to return kicks for the Boilermakers. He doesn't get a lot of attention as he's hidden on a Purdue team that was atrocious in pass defense, but it wasn't because of Brown. His speed allows him to keep up with receivers and maintain tight coverage. In 2015, he had four interceptions, 59 tackles, and broke up 10 passes.
Brown has a great combination of speed and strength to offer the Cowboys some depth at the position. While many people see CB as a big need in Dallas, the team still has some good players on the roster that are serviceable players. Brandon Carr recently took a pay-cut, Morris Claiborne signed a one-year deal, and Orlando Scandrick will return after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. The team can afford to use late round resources as they search for guys to fill roles in the secondary.
Let's see look at some of the reports on Brown:
Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)
Patient footwork from press coverage. Consistent and effective in zone coverage. Plays with plus field awareness and overall intelligence in space. Solid in bail coverage with balancing eye work between receiver and quarterback and maintaining proper spacing. Diligent against play-action possibilities near goal line. Has hands to finish with the interception when opportunity arises. Finished with 10 passes defensed in each of the last two years. Provides value in special teams coverage. Showed blistering closing speed at combine.
On wrong end of entirely too many touchdowns over last three seasons (charged with 17 allowed on 162 targets). Handsy defender at the stem or top of the route. Doesn't trust his technique, and willing to grab and pull rather than work the feet. Charged with six pass interference penalties in 2015. Has some stall when transitioning forward from backpedal and when opening to run from press. Reads pass quickly, but burst to ball is limited. Passive tackler with inconsistent effort against the run.
Dane Bugler (CBS.com)
Above average speed with quick feet to press and stay hip-to-hip with receivers downfield...easy gas to recover and close gaps...recognizes formations to jump routes and crowd the air space of receivers...patient and trusts what he sees.
Has some issues as a tackler, but generally gets his man on the ground...leverages defenders with his lengths to hold contain, stay clean and show up as a run defender...finds the quickest path to the ballcarrier...adequate height, strength and length blend for the position...physical mentality and able to play tight without making obvious contact...improved finishing skills as a senior to complete interceptions, including three in one game vs. Nebraska (Oct. 2015).
Impact potential on special teams with one career blocked kick (Purdue assistant coach: "We can't block him on field goal tries in practice...")...graduated with a degree in organizational leadership and supervision (Dec. 2015)...self-assured competitor with reliable football character, starting 34 straight games to finish his career.
Splay feet and finds his hips turned the wrong way at times...the words "spacing issues" show up frequently in my notes...upright in his stance, causing him to be late driving on throws in front of him...hands-on defender and will attract flags when he allows his discipline to lapse...allows too much cushion in off-coverage...needs to better find the ball with his back to the ball downfield...wild jam technique and needs to stay composed nose-to-nose.
Needs to tighten his break down skills and drive through his target as a tackler...small hands and inconsistent ballskills with too many dropped interceptions on his tape - all four of his career interceptions came in 2015.