The Dallas Cowboys need to have a security. In spite of interest in each Earl Thomas and Eric Berry, the group chose not to invest the cap sources necessary to obtain these savvy veteran safeties. They have been in a position to sign George Iloka to a 1-year deal, but he is neither the brief-term or lengthy-term answer. The group ought to make a higher work to strengthen at the security position as this wasn’t achieved via cost-free agency. So, now what?
The front workplace could turn to the draft to assistance obtain their answer. A couple weeks ago, we pondered if this could be the year the Cowboys ultimately use a premium draft choose on a security? It is not just simply because the group has a major need to have at the position, but rather how the layout of talent at security is arranged in this draft. The Draft Network has six safeties going from choose 27 to choose 55 on their predictive board. These safeties consist of: Taylor Rapp, Nasir Adderly, Johnathan Abram, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Juan Thornhill, and Deionte Thompson. The Cowboys could be considering along these exact same lines as they have gradually add these names to the list of pre-draft guests. Initially, we heard about Rapp and Abram getting visits, but now you can add a further 1 of these safeties to the list.
Juan Thornhill stated he has visits scheduled with the Cowboys, Chargers, Rams, Bills and the Seahawks.
— Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) March 28, 2019
A lot of of us right here at BTB are pleased to see Thornhill’s name on this list. Back in January, our personal David Howman 1st introduced us to this achievable draft prospect. Then, a month ago, Cole Patterson presented up 3 varieties of safeties the group really should go following and Thornhill was identified as Mr. Instincts. So, if you cannot inform currently – Thornhill has our consideration.
The fascinating point about Thornhill is – on the surface, he appears like a Byron Jones clone. They have practically identical develop. Their traits are quite related – each are really wise and instinctive players who have played cornerback in college. Even their combine results are eerily similar, which is fantastic simply because Jones was a combine freak.
Now, the 1st point that may well come to your thoughts is – why would we want to see a further Byron Jones-sort player at security when Jones wasn’t a fantastic security? Nicely, 1st of all, Jones wasn’t terrible at security. He was strong. The distinction even so, could come from a couple of of their traits that are not related.
Jones is an All-Pro corner and that is super great, but it nevertheless leaves fans scratching their head why it took the Cowboys coaching employees so lengthy to figure that out. When you appear at Jones’ traits, it is not challenging to fully grasp why they felt he would make a fantastic security. Even UCONN didn’t know what to do with him at 1st as he began out at corner, then switched him to security just before ultimately switching once more to corner his final two years in college. The Cowboys wanted to capitalize on his football IQ and use his anticipation capabilities to play center field in the secondary. Regrettably, playing him at security didn’t totally make use of his athletic skills. His sudden closing bursts have been wasted if he wasn’t a lot more routinely in a position to make a play on the ball. Confident, he batted down balls when covering tight ends, but he necessary to be defending a receiver all the time. The transform was large as Jones had the highest percentage of targets (39.5%) in tight windows of all 119 cornerbacks in the league who had a minimum of 30 targets final season. That is how you make use of somebody like Jones.
Thornhill is a small unique. Comparable to Jones, he’s not the greatest at altering path, but Thornhill appears to fully grasp that. He does not take the possibilities that Jones does. Thornhill is a small a lot more patient with his reads. The trade off right here is that from time to time he’ll be softer in coverage, but he’s not providing up the major play. Do not let this further bit of timidness fool you even though. Thornhill is a playmaker. Each Jones and Thornhill only played 1 complete year at the security position in college. Jones only had 1 interception compared to Thornhill’s six in 2018. Although Jones has demonstrated a lot more playmaking potential at the corner position, Thornhill has thrived at security. PFF grades him as 1 of the top rated cost-free safeties coming out of college.
A further point about Thornhill is he diagnoses the run properly and requires much better angles to make the play. Jones has struggled in this region. We all keep in mind how he looked against C.J. Anderson in the game against the Denver Broncos or how he more than-pursued to the outdoors enabling a major run up the middle from Jay Ajayi in 2017. If you appear at Thornhill’s tape, you will see a lot of plays in the backfield exactly where he’s swift to make the appropriate study and then attacks like a missile. Run defense is not his strength, but it is quite respectable.
There is so significantly to enjoy about Thornhill and he fits the mold as to the sort of player the Cowboys are hunting for. He’s athletic, wise, and has progressively gotten much better all through his college profession. And as luck would have it – he just so occurs to play a position exactly where the group could use a talented starter. It didn’t perform out with Byron Jones at security, but if at 1st you do not succeed, attempt, attempt once more.