Dallas Cowboys Draft Targets: 7 cornerbacks in 7 different rounds

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Jourdan Lewis #27 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Jourdan Lewis #27 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Gladney, Cornerback (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Jeff Gladney, TCU

Round Grade: Late 1st/Early 2nd

Value: Reach

Percent Available: 80%

So the reaches are starting as early as the first round. Lovely! I promise I’ll make this sound like a good pick!

Why Gladney at 17? I ran the mock draft simulator ten times and Gladney was the highest-rated cornerback who was available more than 80 percent of the trials. Why that high of a percentage? I wanted to ensure the Cowboys would end up with a player that would most likely be there and I wanted to temper the expectations of everyone reading this article.

The draft is a highly unpredictable event, so having realistic expectations of who is available each pick softens the blow of your favorite player/ideal prospect not being available. This is exactly why I didn’t want to pick C.J. Henderson at this spot even if there is a chance he is available.

Also, it gives everyone a good sense as to the expected value of a position at a specific pick. It gives us a good idea as to where we should draft any position of need.

That said, Gladney is still a good pick if the Cowboys wanted to secure cornerback early on in the draft.

The TCU product was very productive in his five years with the Horned Frogs. After redshirting his first season, he logged 44 games in Fort Worth. Gladney totaled 5 interceptions, 37 pass deflections and 6 tackles for loss in those 44 games. and he allowed the lowest passer rating when thrown at of any Big 12 cornerback the last two seasons.

(This is quite the accomplishment for someone in a conference known for the aerial attack)

He also did all of this standing at 5-foot-10 and 191 pounds with sub-32 inch arms. Gladney measured in smaller than expected at the scouting combine. While that explained some issues regarding his play against some big receivers, I do believe Gladney was able to generally hold his ground against any receiver in man and zone. (The ball production would suggest the same thing)

In the past few seasons, the team probably would not have looked past Gladney’s measurements but times have changed. The last time a Mike McCarthy coached team drafted a cornerback in the first round, he turned out pretty good. That cornerback also measured in at 5-foot-10,  191 pounds, and 31 1/8 inch arms.

While Jaire Alexander and Gladney are expected to play different positions, both showed great ball skills in their time in college and had good combine numbers. (Gladney was also working out with a right knee that was going to be surgically repaired after the combine)

Gladney is very much a plug-and-play starter for the Cowboys with positional versatility to play on the outside and as a nickel corner.