Legitimate panic set in after the Denver Broncos took Patrick Surtain. It was one thing for one of the top two cornerbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft to literally go right before the Dallas Cowboys picked, but what made matters worse was that the other one went one pick before that with the Carolina Panthers selecting Jaycee Horn.
Honestly it appeared as if the Cowboys had been wiped out.
As we all know Dallas traded back from 10 to 12, picked up a third-round pick from the Philadelphia Eagles in the process, and walked away with what is easily the best defensive player from last year’s class and arguably the best overall player in Micah Parsons.
It turns out hindsight smiles upon that pick even more than consensus did then.
PFF gives 2021 Dallas Cowboys draft class full letter improvement in re-grade one year later
If we all knew what the future had in store then we would never ever make any mistakes. Hindsight is 20/20 as they often say and it is an easy game to play with NFL draft classes, although doing so even just one year removed is a little bit dangerous given that these players are all still improving and figuring out who they are going to be.
Still though it can be interesting to look back on events from this time last year and that is what PFF did when they re-graded the 2021 NFL Draft Class. They originally gave the Cowboys a grade of a B and bumped it up to an A with the knowledge of everything that unfolded since then.
Initial Draft Grade: B
1-year Re-Grade: A
When you drafted the single most dynamic pass-rushing threat in the NFL at Pick No. 12, an “A” grade is justified. We loved that selection initially — Parsons was a top-10 player on our board — and like it even more now after his 93.0 pass-rushing grade. The other player of note from this class is Osa Odighizuwa, who flashed as an interior rusher with 37 pressures. He struggled mightily against the run with a 37.6 grade in that regard, but he could be a prime Year 2 breakout candidate.
As noted, Micah Parsons stole the show last year, but if not for him the hype around Osa Odighizuwa would have been relatively high given his level of production. Aside from those two, the draft class is still a little to be determined which is why some patience is still necessary with the overall group.
Obviously, though, if you walk away from a draft with a player like Micah Parsons then you are going to look wiser a year later. Thankfully events happened exactly the way they did and the Cowboys wound up with a defensive superstar.