On the first night of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys acquired the 12th overall selection in the first round and the 84th overall selection in the third in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 10 pick.
With their newly acquired top selection, the Cowboys selected Penn State Linebacker Micah Parsons. That after both top cornerbacks, South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn and Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II, were drafted at No. 8 and No. 9 overall. The Cowboys traded out of picking 10th overall, dropped two spots, and we’re still able to address a defensive need.
Micah Parsons College Stats
2018 (Freshman)- 13 games, 82 total tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, Freshman All- American
2019 (Sophomore)- 13 games, 109 total tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, Consensus All-American
From freshman to sophomore season, Parsons production jumped immensely. The Penn State product has only been playing off-ball linebacker for two seasons and his ceiling looks extremely high.
Here’s what Parsons told 105.3 the Fan during a radio interview on Thursday night.
"“I’ve been playing football off of raw potential and instincts. When I get under a person like Dan Quinn, I’m going to have a great opportunity to get even better and I think that’s what’s the scary part. I (haven’t) even touched my ceiling yet.”"
It will be vital for the Cowboys to help Parsons reach his full potential to help justify the pick.
How Parsons fits in Dallas
The Cowboys had a serious need for a linebacker due to Leighton Vander Esch’s constant injury issues and Jaylon Smith’s ineffective play. Parsons should step right in as the starter at weak or middle linebacker.
Also, Parsons could be used as a DPR (Designated Pass Rusher) in the new defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn’s scheme. Quinn always had talented linebackers when he was in Seattle with the likes of Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Micah should be able to play a similar role in Dallas. The questions about Parsons are mostly about off-field issues due to maturity concerns, and a hazing issue while at Penn State.
Cowboys owner and general manager, Jerry Jones, revealed that Parsons was the highest-rated defensive player on their board. If that is indeed true, credit to the Cowboys front-office on trading back and still landing their top defensive player.
Pick Grade: B
Parsons plays a position of need and he will need to step in immediately to help one of the NFL’s worst run defenses from last season. Selecting an off-ball linebacker 12th overall is a little questionable because the position is not as valuable as others, but he was apparently the best player on their board at the time and I’m a fan of selecting BPA (Best Player Available).
Micah Parsons always wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys. And he had the best game of his college career in AT&T stadium. (14 total tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles.) As long as Parsons stays healthy and keeps himself in check off the field, he has the potential to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL.