The Dallas Cowboys have an important decision to make in the upcoming NFL Draft. While the player to pick may appear obvious, it may not be that simple.
Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, all eyes seem to be on the safety position for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have shuffled safeties over the years, not truly finding that star at the back end of the defense since Roy Williams made five straight Pro Bowl’s from 2003 to 2007.
With the draft coming up, there are two safeties that stick out for the Cowboys at their first-round pick, 17th overall. Those prospects include Grant Delpit from LSU and Xavier McKinney from Alabama.
It’s understandable why Delpit can be seen as the easy choice if he falls to pick No. 17. He won the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive back in the country this season.
Delpit’s best quality is his range. His ability to fly from one end of the field to the other is unmatched when it comes to other prospects in this draft. This gives Delpit an ability to force takeaways and by forcing the quarterback to make accurate throws in tight windows.
With this being said, Delpit severely struggled in open-field tackling for the Tigers this past season. He showed inconsistency and flaws in being able to make the needed one-on-one tackles to prevent a first down or a big play. This separates Delpit from safety prospects such as Los Angeles Chargers’ Derwin James and the New York Jets’ Jamal Adams in recent years.
While Delpit has great potential and qualities every team looks for in a safety, he is far from a complete prospect/ And he’s not the most complete safety prospect in this draft.
McKinney is, in fact, the most complete and NFL-ready safety available in this draft class. He not only can prevent takeaways in coverage, but he’s a punisher in the run game and provides a tackling threat near the line of scrimmage. Not only does his film back this up, but his stat sheet also backs it up as well.
Delpit had an impressive year this past season with the Tigers racking up 65 total tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, seven pass deflections, and two interceptions. McKinney had an even better statistical season with the Crimson Tide racking up 95 total tackles, forced four fumbles, collected three interceptions, and had three sacks.
While Grant Delpit has a higher ceiling than Xavier McKinney, he has a lower floor. That’s why McKinney is the better choice for the Dallas Cowboys. He should be able to produce more quickly for the Cowboys on the field and would give them a playmaker on the back end of the defense who can help in coverage and in run support.