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Draft analysis: the Cowboys land a hard hitting safety in Donovan Wilson

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The Cowboys finally drafted a safety!

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at South Carolina Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t start the day with a sixth-round draft pick, but they finished the day with two of them thanks to a couple of trade backs. They used the first of those sixth-rounders to select Texas A&M safety Donovan Wilson with the 213th overall pick. We were all expecting the Cowboys to draft a safety, however we had no idea it wouldn’t be until the sixth round. Of course, the last time they took a safety this late (Xavier Woods) it turned out pretty good.

Wilson has good size at 6’0” and 199 pounds. He’s got a solid frame with 33.5 in. arms. He’s a tough guy who welcomes contact. He does a good job attacking up the field to defend the run or chase down screens. Wilson is a physical player who will square up and finish his tackles. He fires downhill and will lay the smackdown on ball carriers.

The Aggies safety has the football smarts to pick up on things quickly. His ball skills are decent and he has experience playing the nickel corner position. He’s got good short area quickness to play the slot or cover tight ends. He can diagnose routes quickly and he tracks the ball well. His ball production is modest as he has eight career interceptions. He’s touted as a good locker room guy that is a natural leader, but also brings with him a nastiness.

Wilson is a little out of control at times as he needs to play more controlled. He’s an aggressive player, but there were several times where he got flagged for targeting. His pursuit angles are lacking and he’s not a fluid mover. Changing directions will be a problem and he lacks the burst to close on throws. He also doesn’t have the long speed to be the last line of defense.

While he has some liabilities in coverage, he offers up some good attributes that will help him play down low. It’s going to be tough for him to earn snaps on defense, but he should have an opportunity to contribute on special teams.

The Cowboys need safety help not only at the top of the depth chart, but down the line. Jeff Heath, Kavon Frazier, and recently acquired George Iloka will all be unrestricted free agents next season. Wilson will have a shot to add some depth to this position group for the future.