Dallas Cowboys 2021 NFL mock draft: The first four picks

LSU Tigers nose tackle Tyler Shelvin (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)
LSU Tigers nose tackle Tyler Shelvin (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Richie Grant, Dallas Cowboys
Richie Grant, UCF Knights (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

We aren’t convinced the Cowboys will actually use a second-round selection on a safety. That’s due to the fact they’ve refused to invest anything higher than a sixth-rounder to addresses this positional need for years.

But our hope is that new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn convinces the Cowboys’ brass to spend their first of three Day Two selections on a safety. After all, Quinn was at the helm of the Legion of Boom as the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks from 2013-2014.

And the legendary safety duo of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor helped to lead the Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances during that span. Perhaps Quinn can leverage that past success to insist Dallas finally invest high enough to obtain a top-tier safety prospect.

Quinn and his new defensive coaches already have a talented young safety in Donovon Wilson in the backfield. And with starter Xavier Woods scheduled to hit the open market as a free agent this week, there’s a big void to fill.

Our selection to do so would be UCF safety, Richie Grant. The Senior Bowl standout recorded 72 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, three interceptions, five pass defends, two forced fumbles, and fumble recoveries in just nine games for the Knights in 2020.

The versatile Grant appears to be the perfect candidate to pair with Wilson in Dallas. He looks to be talented enough to succeed as a box safety to help stop the run while also being a coverage ballhawk who can play centerfield as a free safety.