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Cowboys 2018 draft: Safety targets for each day of the draft

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The Cowboys might not draft a safety early in the draft, but we’ve got prospects for any occasion.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like it has been forever since the Dallas Cowboys have had an impactful player at the safety position. In recent years, Dallas pegged Byron Jones as that guy. However, the experiment did not work out and he will be moving to cornerback.

When the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, the thought came up that the Cowboys could potentially looking into trading for star safety Earl Thomas from the Seattle Seahawks. While that could still happen, the draft is less than a week away and the Cowboys need to have a contingency plan if Thomas stays put. Dallas has options with Kavon Frazier, Jeff Heath, and Xavier Woods, but maybe they want to explore the draft for that guy.

The purpose of this article is to inform Cowboys fans of safety prospects at each tier of the draft for the Cowboys. While it is not the deepest draft at the position, this article discusses a number of prospects that the Cowboys could draft.

Day 1

Derwin James, Florida State

Of course we start off with the blue-chipper prospect of the draft. At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, with unbelievable athleticism, great speed, and a good frame, James has the makings of being a special player in the NFL. He said it himself that the Cowboys will have to trade up if they want to get him. And that could very well be true. After all, anything could happen on draft day.

The Cowboys would benefit immediately by adding a player of James’ abilities to their secondary. Dallas is building a secondary of talented players like Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie and James would fit in perfectly.

There will be some bumps along the way, but James’ athletic ability correlates with his football acumen. He would be a slam dunk pick in the first round, even if they have to give up resources and trade up for him.

Day 2

Justin Reid, Stanford

It seems that Stanford produces safeties to the NFL every year and this year’s model is Justin Reid. His brother, Eric, starred at LSU and was a first-round pick. In fact, the San Francisco 49ers traded with the Cowboys to move up and select him. With the picks they received in the trade, Dallas drafted Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams.

With Reid, the Cowboys would get a guy with plus ball skills and range. He will need to improve his processing skills. He sometimes has a tendency to make mistakes leading to big plays for the offense. But Reid would still be a good fit in Dallas. If the Cowboys want him, they may need to move up and draft him at the start of the second round.

Tarvarius Moore, Southern Mississippi

One of Dallas’ 30 pre-draft visitors, Moore is a name that is receiving a lot of buzz in recent weeks. Dallas must be hoping that he sneaks by and that could potentially happen considering Moore missed the combine and did not showcase his uber-athletic skills.

However, he dazzled at his pro day, putting up a 4.32 40-yard dash and a 38.5-inch vertical jump. He is already on Dallas’ radar. While he dominated last year in his starting season, Moore is still relatively raw. All of the athletic skills are there, but he will need to receive more seasoning and tutelage.

Kyzir White, West Virginia

Kevin White’s little brother, Kyzir, is a pretty good prospect himself. The thing that makes White so special is when the football is in the air. Maybe more so than other safety in this draft, White looks, plays, and acts like a receiver when his eyes are looking for the ball.

White played somewhat of a hybrid role between linebacker and safety once he left JUCO and came to West Virginia, but White’s best option long-term will be at safety. He has also shown over the years that his skills against the run are improving. There are glimpses of inconsistencies on tape, but the potential is there for a solid starter.

DeShon Elliott, Texas

The Longhorns’ defense was ultimately the reason they stayed in ball games this past year. One of the main reasons why was because of the play of Elliott. A three-year contributor at Texas, Elliott consistently got better and became more aware and smarter. With his athleticism, he can make plays all across the field. Whether that is sneaking out run plays or taking good angles to the ball, Elliott knows how to be impactful.

His stock would have improved if he performed well in the combine, but he didn’t test well. Regardless, Dallas has gotten a closer look at him thanks to Dallas Day on April 7th. Dallas could potentially draft him in the third-to-fourth round.

Day 3

Tracy Walker, Louisiana-Lafayette

While Walker will likely go at the top of or in the middle of Day 3, the Cowboys still had enough interest or curiousity in taking a second look at him. Dallas had him in as one of their pre-draft visitors and the interest is obvious.

He not only has the size and athletic measurables, but he produced efficiently in college, albeit against non Power-5 competition. Walker has the size and length to play cornerback and the instincts and hard-nosed mentality to play safety. He may not contribute from the get-go, but he has good cover skills and can be a contributor in special teams as well.

Nick Orr, TCU

Another Dallas Day participant, Orr played both cornerback and safety for the Horned Frogs. He also started for three seasons, so he has that going for him. However, while his size is troubling at 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, he is not afraid to come up and make plays.

He is a sure tackler who reads the quarterback and the offense well. Orr was a leader for the Horned Frogs and even if he does not project as a long-term starter, he has the type of persona that would bode well in Dallas.

Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech

It is his brother Tremaine who is getting all of the attention, but Terrell has a future in the NFL too. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Edmunds is a bit bigger at the safety position. Because of that, he struggles with things bigger players at the position struggle with. He can get juked out easily and he is not spectacular in the open field.

He would benefit from improving his ball skills, but Edmunds is a leader in and out of the locker room. He wears his helmet with pride on each play. He does not take a play off and despite his younger brother getting all of the superstar attention, Edmunds has a good head on his shoulders, showing all of the signs needed to continue to improve.

Which safety do you want the Cowboys to target in the draft?