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Two analysts named Cowboys prospect Patrick Surtain II as the best defensive player in the draft

Not just the best corner, but the best defensive player in the draft?

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t exactly made a ton of waves in terms of player acquisition this offseason. Ultimately. this a team that is notorious for sitting out free agency. The Cowboys did technically add a big free agent, though, in quarterback Dak Prescott. America’s Team retained the most important player on their team and when they held the press conference to announce the news to the world, they talked about how it is now time for them to focus on the defensive side of the ball.

As noted, the Cowboys didn’t exactly splurge on defenders, but they do hold the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It is very possible that they will walk away from night one of the draft with defensive help and potentially with the best defender in the class at that.

Two analysts named Cowboys prospect Patrick Surtain II as the best defensive player in the draft

The first nine picks of the draft are obviously unpredictable, but we have a fairly solid idea of how they will go. What’s more is that it is within reason to expect Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II to be on the board when the Cowboys are up to pick.

Surtain is widely regarded as the top cornerback in the draft, but what’s more is that he is arguably the best overall defensive player in the class. Dallas taking him could be a team taking the first overall defender in the draft and if they do, there are some analysts calling him the best defensive player in the draft.

When asked to name the top defensive player, NFL.com’s Marc Ross said:

Most of the top defensive players in this draft class come with some glaring concerns. But not Patrick Surtain II. He checks all the boxes of a potential perennial Pro Bowler on and off the field: pedigree, physical talent, production and intelligence, just to name a few. It’s really hard to identify a legitimate flaw in his game, which sets the Alabama cornerback apart from the rest of the field.

Brian Baldinger also said:

I believe Patrick Surtain II is the best defensive player going into the draft. He has a great deal of experience after playing three years at ‘Bama against the best competition every Saturday. Not to mention, he practiced daily against a fleet of top receivers (DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle in this draft class, as well as 2020 first-rounders Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy), honing both his man-to-man skills and zone principals. Surtain was coached by his father, who had his own 11-year NFL career, before playing under the best defensive back coach in the country in Nick Saban. That’s why he is clean, skilled and ready to immediately upgrade an NFL team’s secondary on Day 1.

Perhaps the only defenders that the Cowboys could take over Surtain are cornerback Jaycee Horn or linebacker Micah Parsons. Both options feel severely unlikely, but they exist.

Of course, it is possible that the Cowboys could walk away from night one with offensive help. Either tackle in Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater would address points of need, and tight end Kyle Pitts still exists as the proverbial pipe dream.

Does Patrick Surtain II feel like the best all around option?