As the 2017 NFL Draft comes ever closer, the rumors just keep coming. This latest one arrives from Tony Pauline over at Draft Analyst. It concerns one of the Cowboys biggest positions of need, cornerback, but it would be a little bit of an unusual pick for Dallas.
I’m told the Dallas Cowboys have Adoree' Jackson as a first-round target, and we’ve had the cornerback being selected by the team in our past three mock drafts.
Jackson doesn’t fit the usual thresholds the Cowboys like in their cornerbacks. He’s not very tall or big, checking in at 5 foot 10 and 186 pounds. Dallas usually likes their corners in the six foot range. What Jackson is, though, is a world-class athlete who could also add some spark on special teams. He has excellent ball skills and good hips, but he’s under-sized and probably more suited as a slot corner.
BOTTOM LINE There are two things teams love -- ball production from cornerbacks and return men who can play meaningful snaps on every down. Jackson fits those criteria. His lack of size and length are concerns, but he has the athleticism to step right in as a slot corner on the next level. His combination of coverage and return talent could make him an early impact player.
As strictly a cornerback there are a lot of things to really like about Jackson, especially his speed, smooth athleticism, excellent ball skills, and feisty nature. Conversely, his tendency to give up explosive plays and the lack of size are concerning, especially because he may not have the size or physicality to hold up playing press technique on the outside full-time in the NFL.
To me, the only way to justify selecting him at 28 is if the team commits to using him as their full-time punt and kick returner. None of this stuff about “only in certain situations” or “he’s too valuable on defense to risk back there full-time”. No, this could be the best return man in the league right out of the gate, and if only judging him as a cornerback without the return potential I’d probably say he should go somewhere in the mid to late second-round. So with that said, if you want to spend the 28th pick on him it has to be with the intent to utilize him to the fullest, and that means he’s back there to return every punt and every kick.
Tony Pauline has another corner that supposedly is receiving some love from the Cowboys.
Another cornerback the team likes an awful lot is Cordrea Tankersley of Clemson.
While I can’t imagine they’d take Tankersley in Round 1, he’s a name to remember for the Cowboys on Day 2 should they grab a pass rusher in the first frame.
BOTTOM LINE Has an impressive body of work as a lockdown, boundary cornerback but he has some holes in his transitions that could open the door for more separation on the next level. While he's not always the most fluid in coverage, his 6-foot-1 frame and eight interceptions will be the two numbers some teams will focus heavily on. If he runs well at pre-draft workouts, his stock could soar thanks to his size and production.
Our own Joseph.Hatz:
Conclusion: The ball skills, size, and physicality are extremely intriguing, and I believe he would be an excellent fit as a strictly outside corner, particularly in a press and/or Cover-3 heavy scheme. With that said, he lacks versatility as far as being able to play in the slot, and he is especially poor playing in space, lacking fluidity and ideal change of direction. He also has a reputation for grabbing and attracting flags downfield. For these reasons I feel like there will certainly be better options on the board at 28, and likely even somewhere in the 40-45 range if the Cowboys were to trade down. However if he is available at 60 I think he would make for an excellent pick at that point, projecting as a potential long-term starting “number two” type of cornerback.
Pauline isn’t done, he mentions one other name in proximity to the Cowboys.
Safety Marcus Maye is another Florida Gator likely to be selected earlier than most project.
The senior had a great visit with the Dallas Cowboys last week and is receiving a ton of interest from the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals. The other team showing big interest in Maye is the New England Patriots.
I’m told the pre-draft grade given to Maye is better than the one received by Keanu Neal a year ago. Neal was eventually selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 17th pick of Round 1.
DRAFT PROJECTION Round 2
NFL COMPARISON Glover Quin
BOTTOM LINE Interchangeable safety with the instincts of a free safety and the physicality of a box player. Thrives as a downhill player and has the instincts and speed to operate effectively from both single-high and two-deep looks. Has the physical attributes and intelligence to step into a starter's role early on and will be a strong contributor on special teams.
So BTB, how does Adoree Jackson strike you as a first-round pick for the Cowboys? Any interest in Cordrea Tankersley or Marcus Maye in the second round? Hit up the comments and let us know your thoughts.