Blogging The Boys will begin taking a look at some of the NFL Draft prospects that will be in the 2018 NFL Draft class. We’ll try to do this on a Friday night or Saturday morning so you can pay attention to that player in their next game if you should so choose. Some weeks, we will look at potential targets that will be within the Cowboys’ expected draft range. Others, we will highlight some of the elite members of the class.
Last week, we took a look at Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant. Bryant, who was coming off of a four-sack performance against the Auburn Tigers, helped Clemson’s dominant defense shut down 2016 Heisman winner Lamar Jackson in a nationally broadcasted game. The speed rusher would obviously help a defense looking for players that can get to the quarterback, like the Cowboys. For this week, we will take a look at another elite ACC defensive prospect: Florida State Seminoles defensive back Tarvarus McFadden.
It is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are examining ways to improve its secondary play. The front office opted to part from veterans Morris Claiborne, Barry Church, Brandon Carr, and J.J. Wilcox in favor of revamping the defensive backfield with younger, cheaper players. Therefore, Dallas spent both of its day-two selections on defensive backs — Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie and Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis — this past 2017 NFL Draft. The Cowboys also selected Louisiana Tech’s Xavier Woods and Florida State safety Marquez White in the latter parts of the same draft. However, there is still room to improve. Yes, Orlando Scandrick was out and Chidobe Awuzie and Nolan Carroll both left the game with injuries, but Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian torched Dallas for four touchdowns in week two.
That was only one game, but do we really feel comfortable in relying on Nolan Carroll week in and week out?
I do expect Chidobe Awuzie to develop into a huge part of Rod Marinelli’s defense moving forward, and Jourdan Lewis showed promise as he recorded his first career interception on the NFL level, but the Cowboys can still get better in that area.
Obviously we have ways to go in the draft process, but would Dallas choose to spend its first-round selection on a defensive back in 2018? Here’s one potential candidate:
Tarvarus McFadden — cornerback, Florida State
Florida State is known for producing as much NFL talent as any program across the nation. The ‘Noles are consistently competing for conference championships, national championships, and putting high-quality players into the professional ranks. One of the more highly touted players expected to come out for the 2018 NFL draft is junior corner Tarvarus McFadden.
McFadden was expected to be a major player for the Seminoles dating back to when he first arrived on campus as a five-star recruit in the 2015 class. After waiting his turn behind elite talent as a true-freshman, McFadden burst onto the scene over his sophomore season.
The highly talented defensive back emerged as a ball-hawking corner for the eventual Orange Bowl champions. Time and time again, quarterbacks wanted to test the FSU corner. Time and time again, McFadden forced turnover after turnover. In 2016, the sophomore corner racked up 19 total tackles — 16 of which were solo and three were behind the line of scrimmage. The most eye-popping statistic, though? Interceptions.
Tarvarus McFadden made quarterbacks pay over the course of his sophomore season. The FSU corner picked off a widely impressive total of eight passes. Eight interceptions in one single season. The ball-hawking corner proved week in and week out that he is the type of talent that can make a game-changing play and help his team reach victory.
The lengthy ball-hawk is considered one of the elite talents in the defensive backfield for the 2018 class. In fact, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso mocked McFadden to the Big D in his latest mock draft earlier this week.
21. Dallas Cowboys
Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State. More secondary for the Cowboys. They need it. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are talented players who played in many collegiate games, but McFadden has the height and length they don't. He had eight interceptions a season ago for the Seminoles. In this scenario, McFadden slides into the outside cornerback spot right away.
McFadden certainly would add another element to the Cowboys’ secondary as America’s Team builds its young secondary. McFadden, along with Awuzie’s versatility and Lewis’ potential in the slot, would make Dallas’ secondary exciting to watch.
Tarvarus McFadden is a huge name to keep an eye on as the draft process heats up.
*gifs courtesy of LaManna Highlights, stats gathered from sports-reference.com.