The Dallas Cowboys have the 17th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
On Monday night, LSU and Clemson take the field at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to determine this year’s collegiate National Champion.
Both schools have immense talent up and down their rosters. At least five prospects in Monday’s game are likely to be selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, with several more players not far behind.
Here are five players Dallas should watch that fill needs heading into next year.
Isaiah Simmons LB/S, Clemson
2019 stats: 97 tackles (61 solo), 7.0 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, 3 INT, 6 PD, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons, so far, is a consensus top-10 selection in this year’s draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay has him slated the highest as the fifth-best prospect, while CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards has him the lowest at number 10.
There is no denying the versatility Simmons offers a defense. The talented 21-year-old played 100+ snaps at every alignment group other than outside corner and finished with a PFF grade of 80.0 or higher in run defense, pass rush and coverage.
Simmons has shown the ability to line up on the line, in the slot, at free safety or in the box, and has excelled at each position. While many experts believe he is destined to be a linebacker in the NFL, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound defender was great in coverage this past season.
Grant Delpit S, LSU
2019 stats: 59 tackles (33 solo), 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 2 interceptions, 7 pass deflections
It’s time the Cowboys invested viable resources in their safety position. LSU’s Grant Delpit has endured a down season from his five-interception sophomore year, but CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler cites an ankle injury as a partial cause for Delpit’s up and down season.
He’s Brugler’s 27th ranked prospect at 6-2, 206 pounds. He’s possibly the Derwin James of this draft.
Grant Delpit has incredible range from the deep safety spot. Love that plus-break. pic.twitter.com/zzqjXbKLW1
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) January 9, 2020
Kristian Fulton CB, LSU
2019 stats: 32 tackles (22 solo), 1 interception, 13 pass deflections
Dane Brugler’s take: “Although he must improve his tackling and body positioning, especially if he wants to handle slot duties in the NFL, Fultonstays in the pocket of receivers with his patient process and athletic traits. He shows the natural feel for reading route breaks that plays at every level.”
Oddly similar to Byron Jones at 6-0, 194 pounds. LSU’s Kristian Fulton has accumulated just two interceptions in two seasons, but it’s in large part to him not being tested. Per PFF, Fulton has been “very bit of a lockdown cornerback.”
He’s been targeted 59 times and allowed just 26 receptions on the year, and he hasn’t been beaten for a pass longer than 35 yards since Week 6. With Byron Jones’ free agency looming, coupled with the benching of Chidobe Awuzie, the cornerback position stands as a glooming need for Dallas at the moment.
Henry Ruggs is a first-round player that – a lot like Devonta Smith – improved his releases/route-running this season.
Ruggs' LSU tape against Kristian Fulton is special.pic.twitter.com/1z6WpTTuw3
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) January 7, 2020
A.J. Terrell CB, Clemson
2019 stats: 29 tackles (20 solo), 2 interceptions, 2 pass deflections
A viable second-round option for Dallas if they choose not to address the cornerback position in the first-round. Clemson’s A.J. Terrell is Brugler’s 48th ranked prospect at 6-1, 192 pounds.
According to PFF college, Terrell has yet to allow more than 60 yards in coverage in a single game.
Justin Jefferson WR, LSU
2019 stats: 102 receptions, 1,434 yards, 18 touchdowns,
Currently ranked as the 48th best prospect on CBS Sports’ top 100 board. LSU’s Justin Jefferson allows Dallas to go younger in their receiving core if they choose not to resign Randall Cobb. Jefferson had 14 receptions for 227 yards and four touchdowns in their 63-28 win against Oklahoma.
He has seven games in which he caught a pass for 36 yards or longer. We saw Dallas attempt to stretch the field more this past season. Jefferson adds another piece for Dak Prescott.
Justin Jefferson's ridiculous 83.6% catch rate is by far the best mark among WR's with 65+ targeted passes. pic.twitter.com/aVxAQ5i1RB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 13, 2020
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