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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Beyond the first round: Cornerbacks

By Calvin Watkins

Each day over the next 10 days, we will focus on one position in the NFL draft by highlighting a prospect in Rounds 2-7 who might fit for the Dallas Cowboys. With so much attention placed on the first round in mock drafts, "Beyond the first round" focuses on lesser-publicized options beyond the first 32 picks. Today we look at cornerbacks.


Second round -- Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech): He's an athletic prospect with good speed. A team captain with strong coverage skills. He gambles from time-to-time, but Scouts Inc., says he rarely gets rattled. He does a nice job of tracking the ball in the air and understands the difference between playing the ball and his man.

Third round -- Bradley Roby (Ohio State): Off the field issues are dominating what he can do on the field. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery following a bar altercation in Bloomington, Indiana, last summer. He struggled at the combine, where he walked away from a three-cone drill. He missed the Orange Bowl with a bone bruise. When he plays, he gambles but has good off man and zone coverage skills.

Fourth round -- Stan Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska): He’s part of a new wave of corners, big and physical who might be gone before this round. He nearly matches Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman in terms of measureables. His 40-yard dash was one-hundredth off from Sherman’s combine time of 4.61. Jean-Baptiste has good hands, hard to control in tight spaces.

Fifth round -- Jason Verrett (TCU): Cowboys are very interested in Verrett, but he’s got health issues. He played 2013 with a torn labrum, which was surgically repaired after his March 21 pro day. The previous season he suffered a torn meniscus in his knee. When healthy he’s a solid player with excellent change of direction skills and can stay with most fast receivers.

Sixth round -- Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State): Joyner visited the Cowboys as one of their national visits. A durable player who played in 55 games and started 41 in his final three seasons at Florida State. Smart player who makes adjustments quickly and plays well in zone coverage.

Seventh round -- Pierre Desire (Lindenwood): Cowboys like small school players and he fits. Good size, athleticism and leaping combination. He attacks the ball in the air, something the Cowboys defensive coaches want their corners to do more often. Desire has natural ball skills, but there are questions about the type of competition he faced. Some team might take a shot on him and select him in the middle rounds because of his upside.