Dallas Cowboys: Grading potential first-round selections

Kyle Pitts, Florida Gators, (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Kyle Pitts, Florida Gators, (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Surtain II, Alabama Crimson Tide
Patrick Surtain II, Alabama Crimson Tide, (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Patrick Surtain II, CB (Alabama)

Prospect Grade: A-
Chances of falling to ten: High
Level of need: High

Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II is quickly becoming close to a “consensus” pick for the Dallas Cowboys at ten. A “consensus” pick is the result of a player who meets one of the teams’ most pressing needs, is likely to be available when the team is picking and is good enough to justify their selection at the pick in question.

Surtain is a good example of this phenomenon. The former Crimson Tide is one of the top-rated (arguably the top-rated) cornerbacks in this years’ draft class. The Cowboys secondary was one of only seven that allowed opposing passers to throw for a passer rating of 100 or better last season.

The organization has tried to address this need by signing safety Damontae Kazee and safety Jayron Kearse. However, Dallas has (at the time of this writing) done embarrassingly little to address their need at the cornerback position. In fact, that need arguably grew for the Cowboys after the Cincinnati Bengals picked up one of the teams’ free agents at the position, Chidobe Awuzie.

The 20-year old played 40 games during his collegiate career while going up against some of the top competition in college football in the hyper-competitive SEC. The young defender managed to rack up an impressive 24 pass deflections, four interceptions, and four forced fumbles during his time at Alabama.

Last year, the former Crimson Tide played an integral role in the teams’ run to a National Championship. Surtain had a career-high in both pass deflections (nine) and tackles for a loss with 3.5 while playing 13 games.

The Dallas Cowboys could reunite Surtain II with his former teammate cornerback Trevon Diggs, who the organization selected in the second round of last years’ draft. Diggs led the team in interceptions with three and pass deflections with 14 last season despite only playing 12 games. Taking Surtain here would give the team a pair of highly-talented defensive backs from Alabama that could constitute the best duo at the position the team has had in a very long time.

Grade: A