James Higgins, SAF, Cincinnati Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft
5th Round, Pick 148
James Wiggins, SAF, Cincinnati
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The Cowboys don’t value the safety position, even in a Dan Quinn led defense, but they still realize they need some talent so they grab a big athletic defender who displays solid ball production but took a step back in his final collegiate season from one of his earlier seasons as a result of coming back from a major injury.
That was the story with Donovan Wilson and that could be the story with Cincinnati safety James Wiggins. In 2018, the redshirt sophomore tallied 54 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and four interceptions; this was by far his most productive collegiate season. The Bearcat missed the 2019 season due to an ACL tear and came back in 2020 without the 2018 production.
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Stories like this happen and with the Cowboys being all too familiar with this story I have them selecting the good sized safety to pair alongside Donovan Wilson. Wiggins played in a three safety base system in Cincinnati with Marcus Freeman as his defensive coordinator. He has experience covering the deep middle 1/3rd, deep 1/2, and shallow hook zones and displays the range to overlap routes in all areas of the field.
As one should expect with him being available in the fifth round, Wiggins’ consistency is lacking and for how good of an athlete he still may be, his mental processing isn’t where it should be for a redshirt junior. He is a good tackler displaying good strength for a lean body and can fight through contact while playing receivers.
There could not be a more identical prospect to Donovan Wilson if I tried to create one in a lab. If the team were to bring back Xavier Woods on a cheap deal, a rotation of Woods, Wilson, and Wiggins could do some damage purely from the fact that all their last names start with Ws. (And if there’s anything the Dallas Cowboys need its a big win)
Instead of trying to use all ten picks the Dallas Cowboys have in the 2021 NFL Draft, I tried to trade some of them to make sure the Cowboys could secure the best available talent in the first five rounds. The team needs to fill holes, but they have to be quality additions. What is the value in bringing a prospect to Dallas only for them to be cut by the end of training camp?