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Cowboys draft 2023 scouting report: Purdue cornerback Cory Trice

This cornerback has become a popular name in Cowboys scouting circles.

Big Ten Championship - Purdue v Michigan Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

A continuing series of scouting reports for potential Cowboys draft picks.

Name: Cory Trice
Position: CB
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 206 pounds

Cory Trice Career Stats, courtesy of Sports Reference

Combine Results: 4.47 40-yard dash, 35.5” vertical, 11’ broad, 17 bench press reps

Cory Trice’s name has become wildly popular in the last month or so, especially within scouting circles for the Cowboys. A big part of that is the fact that Trice is 6’3”, giving him the kind of height and length that Dan Quinn craves in defensive backs.

Trice originally committed to the Boilermakers as a safety out of Kentucky, and was moved to corner ahead of the 2019 season. Trice flashed his ball skills right away, picking off three passes, but looked predictably uneven in coverage. He took a step forward the next year, but 2021 saw Trice’s season end early due to injury.

Trice returned this past year with a vengeance, and put up his best season yet. Still, he flew under the radar until recently, but Trice’s tape shows a player bursting with potential while still growing in the position.

Man Coverage: Trice is at his best in man coverage, where his combination of size and athleticism make it difficult for receivers to get open. He doesn’t have elite speed, but he’s fast enough to keep up with faster receivers, and he leverages his size and length to close the gap in a hurry. He’s especially adept in press alignments, which allows Trice to stick to his man from the snap.

Zone Coverage: Trice has flashes in zone coverage, mostly because he understands how to use his length to clog passing lanes. But he is still training his eyes to read the quarterback sufficiently, thus making him susceptible to false moves. With a little more confidence in reading his keys in zone, he could become a very well-rounded cover corner.

Playmaking Ability: The interceptions have come in spurts - three in 2019, two in 2022, and none in between - but Trice has remained consistent at playing the ball through the catch point. In his three full seasons of experience, he allowed completions on just 56.8% of his targets with 14 pass breakups. He may not make the interception with much consistency, but Trice knows how to affect the ball.

Athleticism: He presents a great athletic profile, with elite postings in the broad jump, short shuttle, and 3-cone drills at the combine. While his 40 time was just average compared to his fellow corners, Trice is such an explosive athlete with long strides that it’s a little less impactful. Overall, Trice posted a very good Relative Athletic Score and that’s reflected on his tape.

Run Support: One of the better run defending corners in the draft, Trice plays with a linebacker mentality in run support. He loves coming downhill and laying the wood on ballcarriers, and Trice does so with well-above-average tackling technique; he had just two missed tackles all year.

Processing: Trice is still learning the position, and there are times where it’s clear he’s just relying on instinct out there. He has pretty good instincts, granted, but his processing ability is still a work in progress, especially when working in zone coverage. He’s much better when just trailing a receiver in press man.

Intangibles: He has an alpha mentality, never backing down from a challenge. The way he embraced a position change and a season-ending injury speaks volumes to his work ethic. Trice will likely have to play on special teams as a rookie while he works on his weaknesses, and his competitiveness suggests he’ll thrive there, only adding to his soaring draft stock.

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