C.J. Henderson has been a popular name among Cowboys Twitter as we count down the days until the 2020 NFL Draft. The team needs a corner to come in and play and Henderson is the consensus top corner in the class after Ohio State’s Jeffery Okudah.
The problem is that there is a realistic chance that Henderson does not make it to the Cowboys’ pick. Teams such as the Jaguars and the Falcons, who pick at nine and 16 respectively, have also been linked to the former Florida Gators defensive back. After Okudah, who will almost certainly be off the board within the first five picks, and Henderson, the cornerback class gets a little tricky.
Sure, there is talent at the position. TCU’s Jeff Gladney, LSU’s Kristian Fulton, and Alabama’s Trevon Diggs are all names that could be drafted in round one. That said, their value seems to be all over the place. Would taking one of the second-tier guys be a reach for Dallas without trading back?
Beyond that, there are corners that Dallas could add later in the draft. Cameron Dantzler has good film, but his 40-time was worrisome. Bryce Hall had some round one hype at one point in time, but injuries and speed have some cautious. Darnay Holmes put together good tape, but is on the smaller side at the position.
A different name has been mentioned in regards who the Cowboys should target at the position to add to its secondary. The Draft Network’s Trevor Sikkema wrote a piece that looked at day two prospects that would be good fits for different teams. Here is who Sikkema believes would be a good fit for Dallas:
DALLAS COWBOYS: AMIK ROBERTSON, CB, LOUISIANA TECH
If Amik Robertson, who measures in at 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds, was three inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, we would be talking about a top-20 player. Due to his size, he likely won’t be, but his game looks like that of a first-round selection. He’s a player the Dallas Cowboys would love.
After losing defensive back Byron Jones in free agency, the Cowboys need to boost their secondary. They could go cornerback or safety with their pick in the first round, but it’s unlikely Jeffrey Okudah or C.J. Henderson will be there at No. 17. If that’s the case, Dallas might not select a cornerback there and opt for an interior defensive tackle or safety.
If they do that and pair say Javon Kinlaw or Xavier McKinney or Antoine Winfield Jr. with Robertson on Day 2, it would be a great haul. Even if Robertson plays nickel corner, he’s a scrappy player with fantastic ball skills who can be used to shut down smaller slot options. He had 14 (fourteen!) interceptions in three years, including five in his first year of action. Takeaways are in his blood.
Robertson is a player that stood out during his time playing in the secondary for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. The Thibodaux, Louisiana, native drew a ton of interest from SEC West programs such as LSU and Mississippi State when he was coming out of high school. Programs were wary of how his size would translate, though.
All that Robertson did was become a big time player in his home state, grabbing 14 interceptions — including at least four in each of his three seasons — scoring three touchdowns, and forcing a pair of fumbles.
Amik Robertson to the !@LATechFB jumps out to the lead! pic.twitter.com/joNFlgA1Hr— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) October 12, 2019
While Robertson flourished playing for Louisiana Tech, it was not because of the lack of competition. Robertson stepped up to the challenge in a big way each time that he lined up against a Power 5 opponent. The talented defensive back grabbed one of his five interceptions of the season against Mississippi State back in 2017:
The best CB no one is talking about right now is Louisiana Tech CB Amik Robertson. One of the most technically refined CBs I’ve seen. Silky smooth transitions, fluid hips, impressive long speed, and fantastic ball skills. He should pick up steam soon, he’s damn good. pic.twitter.com/0BqSHublgx— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) June 10, 2019
Robertson held his own and then some against South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards — who is a wide receiver that many in the draft community love — as a true freshman on the road.
La. Tech true freshman Amik Robertson @_YoungTruth7 holding his own in single coverage vs. SEC opponent. This kid was made for big stage. pic.twitter.com/wfgCQhrJ4o— Chris Singleton (@courierchris) September 23, 2017
Against Texas, Robertson again stepped up to the challenge. The undersized corner is not afraid of the moment or the competition, he just balls against anybody that he lines up against.
One of my favorite under-the-radar CBs plays tonight. LaTech JR Amik Robertson 5’9 183 is small but very scrappy w/ +instincts, twitch & ball skills (10 INT, 22 PBU, 2 blocked kicks in career) pic.twitter.com/EpSXVFFjTh— Mark Dulgerian (@MarkDulgerianOS) September 20, 2019
Robertson, obviously, is a lot different than Byron Jones, starting with size. However, the Cowboys need a playmaking defensive back that can man-up and make the challenging plays in their secondary. As a team that has struggled to take the ball away, the Louisiana Tech product should definitely be able to help in that regard as well.
Both of The Draft Network’s Joe Marino and Kyle Crabbs say Robertson’s best trait is his ball skills. Crabbs believes those skills should translate to the professional level.
Ball Skills - An absolutely delight to watch attack the football. He’ll live by the sword and die by the sword at times and can get too nosy but my goodness his quickness and explosiveness take passers by surprise and he illustrates an innate feel for the game that should allow similar reps in the pros.
The Cowboys already have one former La. Tech defensive back in their secondary in starting safety Xavier Woods. Woods has had his ups and downs, but many expect him to take that next jump.
Pairing another former Bulldogs defensive back in the secondary could be what the doctor ordered for Dallas. Amik Robertson brings toughness, physicality, and ball skills to the table and that should help him overcome his size on the way to becoming a solid NFL defender.