This past weekend marked rookie minicamp for the Dallas Cowboys. Soon enough training camp will be here and we will get an opportunity to see the rookies with the rest of the team. It stands to reason that Micah Parsons will get a lot of opportunities early on in his Cowboys career, but the same is also likely true for the team’s second-round draft pick, Kelvin Joseph.
While there aren’t exactly a lot of people down on the idea of Parsons taking snaps from Leighton Vander Esch or Jaylon Smith, the reality is that there is a bit of competition at linebacker, although Parsons should ultimately win it. In Joseph’s case, the path to starting is probably a little bit less resistant as Trevon Diggs is the only truly established cornerback on the team at the moment, certainly with regards to the future.
The Cowboys drafted a number of secondary players this year, but Joseph will likely get a lion’s share of the opportunities.
How many interceptions will Kelvin Joseph have during his rookie season?
Interceptions are not the end-all-be-all for cornerbacks, but they are obviously important. The Cowboys got a bit luckier in the turnovers department down the stretch last season but early on they were abysmal. Consider that Dallas’ offense had starting field position across the 50-yard line just once in the season’s first four games.
Dallas has thrown a fair amount of draft resources at cornerback over the last decade and change. Interceptions aren’t exactly a predictable thing, but here are how many each secondary player they’ve drafted in the top three rounds since 2008 had in their first season.
- 2008 first-rounder: Mike Jenkins (1)
- 2012 first-rounder: Morris Claiborne (1)
- 2013 third-rounder: JJ Wilcox (0)
- 2015 first-rounder: Byron Jones (0)
- 2017 second-rounder: Chidobe Awuzie (1)
- 2017 third-rounder: Jourdan Lewis (1)
- 2020 second-rounder: Trevon Diggs (3)
As you can see, Trevon Diggs’ rookie campaign was a bit of an outlier, although all three of his interceptions came against the Philadelphia Eagles who were awful (and specifically had awful quarterback play) which undoubtedly helped. Ultimately it is rather rare for a player to come in right away and start picking the ball off with regularity for the Cowboys.
Kelvin Joseph is coming off of a 2020 season with Kentucky where he had four interceptions (in only nine games at that). Obviously there is a lot of hope that the defense overall can experience a turnaround under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and Joseph is seemingly one of his first steps towards what he wants the unit to be.
How many interceptions do you think Joseph will have his rookie season?