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NFL Draft Review: Will Joseph be worth the high risk, high reward pick?

NFL Draft Review: Will Joseph be worth the high risk, high reward pick?

After months of speculation and mock drafts, another NFL draft has come and gone. The Dallas Cowboys came into the draft with 10 draft picks and left with 11 new additions to this year’s team.

A first-round trade with the Philadelphia Eagles netted them the 12th overall pick (Micah Parsons) and an extra third-round pick. The Cowboys didn’t hide the fact they wanted to address a defense that struggle tremendously in 2020.

Their first six draft choices were all defense, while nine of their total 11 picks went towards they side of the ball. After selecting arguably the best defensive player in this year’s class, Micah Parsons, Dallas chose to address the secondary in the second round.

Round 2, Pick 44: Kelvin Joseph, CB

School: Kentucky | Grade: C

  • Height: 6’0 | Weight: 197 | 40-yard dash: 4.34s
  • Arm Length: 31 7/8 | Wing Span: 77 1/8

“A one-year starter at Kentucky, Joseph was the boundary cornerback in head coach Mark Stoops’ zone/man scheme. After fizzling out after one season at LSU, he put together a productive nine games in Lexington in 2020 (four interceptions in nine games) before his effort level fell off and the coaches directed him to opt out (Stoops: “I can’t just have him out there standing around…”). A big-time athlete, Joseph has the rare ability to shadow routes without losing balance, displaying twitchy feet, fluid movements and high-end ball skills to consistently make plays. However, the sample size (nine career starts) and character questions are a concern and his undisciplined eyes lead to completions for the offense. Overall, Joseph won’t be a fit for every organization due to maturity concerns, but he has first-round physical talent and the athleticism to blanket any type of receiver, which is why a team will likely roll the dice on him in the top-50 picks.” – Dane Brugler, The Athletic

Most draft analysts had the “safest option” – Patrick Surtain II – mocked to the Dallas Cowboys in the first round. Since they were unable to address secondary with their first pick they opted to go with a talented, yet possibly troublesome, pick in Kelvin Joseph.

Joseph had five pass deflections and four interceptions at Kentucky in nine games before opting out of the final two games of the season.The talentis there, the size is there, but where scouts find worry is in his ability to remain focused as a football player.

He has released six music albums and was suspended for the bowl game at LSU. The second round has been a habitual “take-a-chance” round for the Cowboys – Randy Gregory, Jaylon Smith, Trysten Hil, Sean Lee – and many times it has paid off in them getting high return on the pick.

However, many of those times hasn’t been when that player is expected to be an immediate contributor. Though Trevon Diggs, Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown are all returners this year, they haven’t done enough – outside of Diggs – to warrant being locked into starter roles for this defense.

This is a pick they could turn into an “A” grade if Joseph proves he can reach a level of maturity that compliments his talent, but until then you have to question if Dallas can afford to not receive immediate contribution from one of their top-50 picks.

Full 2021 Draft Class:

  1. Round 1, pick 12 (from PHI) – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
  2. Round 2, pick 44 – Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
  3. Round 3, pick 75 – Osa Odighizuwa, DT, UCLA
  4. Round 3, pick 84 – Chauncey Golston, DE, Iowa
  5. Round 3, pick 99 – Nahshon Wright, CB, Oregon State
  6. Round 4, pick 115 – Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
  7. Round 4, pick 138 – Josh Ball, OT, Marshall
  8. Round 5, pick 179 – Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford
  9. Round 6, pick 192 – Quinton Bohanna, DT, Kentucky
  10. Round 6, pick 227 – Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina
  11. Round 7, pick 238 – Matt Farniok, G, Nebraska

Staff Writer covering the Dallas Cowboys | Madden Legend | SFA Alum | Fascinated by Success

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