Dallas Cowboys: Trevon Diggs is trending like a elite No. 1 CB

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Trevon Diggs, the Dallas Cowboys second round draft pick from 2020, had a rocky start to his first NFL season. Considering his circumstances, it was perfectly understandable too. The converted wide receiver was relatively new to the cornerback position, making his jump to the NFL more daunting than your average first year professional.

To make an already difficult situation even harder, the rookie cornerback was thrown to the fire by the ill-prepared Dallas Cowboys. With Byron Jones leaving in free agency, Dallas needed Diggs to be a starter in Week 1.

While fans immediately noticed his ability to play the ball and make plays, they also noticed his propensity to give up big plays.  In 12 games Diggs gave up 667 yards at an average of 14.5 yards per completion. Passers completed 54.8% of their passes and achieved a 85.8 passer rating when targeting Diggs

Trevon Diggs’ coverage grade from Week 7-17 would rank as the fourth best amongst CBs in the NFL last year.

His season-ending numbers aren’t troubling or anything, but they’re a far cry from the man he replaced (Jones) who only gave up 385 yards in three extra starts last year in Dallas. What does all of this tell us about Trevon Diggs?

That he is on track to possibly be a true No. 1 cornerback in the NFL.

As hard as it is to believe, Trevon Diggs, graded by Pro Football Focus as the 59th CB in the NFL, is following a familiar path in the NFL. As discussed in my previous article Where are CB1s Drafted?, cornerbacks are notorious for growing pains early in their careers. There’s a reason contending teams don’t like to start rookie CBs – they usually stink.

Look at the group above. These were the top rated CBs in the NFL last year. Now look at how they graded as rookies. Not so hot, right?

There’s only a handful of elite CBs in the NFL who started better than Trevon Diggs did. Most of them had much rockier rookie seasons. And as we touched on early in the article – Trevon is new to the CB position. He came into the NFL rawer than your typical rookie CB. So his ceiling is still undiscovered at this point.

Trevon Diggs is also decidedly trending in the right direction. Look at how he played down the stretch for the Dallas Cowboys…

Despite the fan hype from Cowboys fans early in the season, Diggs wasn’t very good in the first six weeks. In fact, he was downright terrible. But after that horrific start, he rebounded. PFF didn’t give him a single coverage grade below 62.9 after week six (which also speaks to his consistency) and listed him as a breakout candidate to watch in 2021.

Trevon Diggs’ coverage grade from Week 7-17 would rank as the fourth best in the NFL last year. He was a top-5 CB during that stretch. Let that sink in.

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Finding No. 1 CBs is not an easy thing to do in this league. They are almost always found in the first round of the draft so if you’re a team looking for one, you really just have one realistic shot in each draft.  And keep in mind, even first round CBs have a pretty troubling bust rate.

If Diggs didn’t perform so well last season, the Dallas Cowboys would probably feel obligated to find one this year. And that means either paying for a veteran or rolling the dice on a first round rookie.

Diggs’ progression gives them more flexibility. Sure, they still need a CB or two in the draft, but they aren’t forced to spend their top pick on one.

Related Story. Could Trevon Diggs be the next Marcus Peters?. light

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Trevon Diggs is following in the footsteps of some of the NFL’s best cornerbacks

  • Published on 02/04/2021 at 13:01 PM
  • Last updated at 02/04/2021 at 09:49 AM