Rookie CB Trevon Diggs already looks like a Marcus Peters-like player for the Dallas Cowboys
It’s hard to find many “bright sides” to the Dallas Cowboys this season. In a season where virtually anything that could have gone wrong, has gone wrong, optimism is often met with scoffs and disgust in Cowboys Nation.
But after Trevon Diggs pulled in his first two interceptions of his career last Sunday, optimism around the rookie cornerback reigns supreme. And the hopes and expectations of the cornerback from Alabama have gone through the roof. What does his future hold? How good can he be? Whom does he best compare?
Player comparisons are always difficult. You either aim too high in your comparison and look like a homer or you aim too low and look like a “Debbie Downer”. In this damned if you do, damned if you don’t exercise, a certain level of open mindedness and understanding is needed. So when I say Diggs looks like a Marcus Peters starter kit, I’m not saying he is, but simply comparing styles and setting some expectations.
"“He makes a ton of plays, and even some of them – they’re always contested,” Sean Lee said of Diggs. “He plays so hard, he’s so talented for a young guy. The plays he makes, you don’t see young guys making that. It’s a matter of time before he’s one of the best players in the league. I think that he’s that good – that good of a player, that good of an athlete, that good of a person. I think he’s a great young player.”"
When assessing the game style of Trevon Diggs, it’s hard not to think of 2x All-Pro, Marcus Peters. Peters, currently of the Baltimore Ravens, has been a bit of journeyman in his fairly young NFL career. He burst onto the scene in 2015 when he collected a staggering eight interceptions enroute to his first of many Pro Bowls.
What many people seem to forget is what came with all of those big plays…
In 15 games that season, Marcus Peters was the most targeted CB in the NFL (132 targets) according to Pro Football Focus. He gave up 923 yards and seven touchdowns as well. That’s 61.5 yards per game and 8.8 targets per game, in case you’re wondering. Simply put, he was equal parts boom and bust.
Diggs is similarly an oft-targeted wildcard in the secondary. At the halfway point, he’s already been targeted 59 times and given up four touchdowns and 524 yards. That’s 65.5 ypg and 7.4 tpg for those keeping track at home. Pretty darn interesting, huh?
While Peters hit the ground running in interceptions, it’s taken Diggs just about half the season to start pulling in the picks (the skills were apparent, though). What makes up for that is Peters was also a much bigger liability than Diggs early in his rookie campaign.
The first eight games of Marcus Peters’ career, he was targeted almost nine times per contest and gave up over 72 yards per game. He allowed a 60.7% completion percentage and a passer rating over 100 as well. Diggs through this first stretch: 54.2 comp% and 92.8 passer rating.
The numbers aren’t the only thing that’s similar, the style of play is as well. Both players boast next-level ball skills and can see, track, and catch balls that most cornerbacks cannot. They aren’t afraid to look back for the ball, even if it means potentially getting burned. Both players are highly confident and as such, embrace the boom or bust nature of their games.
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In large part, the Dallas Cowboys drafted Trevon Diggs this spring for these ball skills. With dozens of more polished cornerbacks available in the 2020 NFL Draft, Dallas could have gone a variety of ways at CB. And given their immediate need to secure a Day 1 starter, no one would have faulted them if they went a safer route – forgoing the high ceiling in return for a high floor.
As we know Dallas didn’t do that. They fell in love with the potential and raw ball skills of Trevon Diggs and essentially replaced Byron Jones on the roster with someone who was his polar opposite.
If Diggs can have the kind of career trajectory of Peters, I think most folks will be pleased. 3 Pro Bowls and 2 All-Pro seasons later, Peters has cut back on the constant flow of big plays he notoriously gave up his rookie year. He still takes gambles and he still gets burned, but he’s become one of the most feared and avoided cornerbacks in the NFL and only has one season on his resume with less than five interceptions.
Marcus Peters is someone Trevon Diggs could realistically become. Their game is quite similar and their intangibles are special. This would be great for the Dallas Cowboys
- Published on 11/05/2020 at 13:29 PM
- Last updated at 11/05/2020 at 13:29 PM