Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft (Final): A Key Trade Up

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Divine Deablo, SAF, Virginia Tech Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Divine Deablo, SAF, Virginia Tech Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys 5th Round, Pick 159

Divine Deablo, SAF, Virginia Tech

LAC gets 179, 2022 5th

DAL gets 159

I did forget I made another trade but it’s a good one I promise. Diablo is a popular name at this point of the draft and he makes perfect sense for the Cowboys. Whatever role they created for Keanu Neal in free agency should hopefully be Neal’s by the end of his rookie contract.

At 6-foot-3, 226 pounds Deablo has the build of a linebacker but was often deployed as the robber safety in Virginia Tech’s 4-2-5 defense. You could say there isn’t much difference, and you’d have a fair point but the area the safety covers versus a linebacker is different. The range and keys between the two positions are different enough that there has to be a distinction.

Deablo is strong against TEs in man coverage displaying the strength and good enough jam technique to disrupt their releases at the line of scrimmage. He is a bit antsy keying the receiver’s hips through the route stem because he doesn’t always trust his eyes. Weird considering he has good athletic ability with solid change of direction and foot speed.

In zone he displays solid range covering the middle 1/3rd hook zones and as a deep 1/3rd defender. That ability to play deep will be valuable at the next level because it provides versatility for defensive coordinators to switch between Cover 3 Thief and Robber calls without needing to switch out personnel. He displays a solid understanding of route combinations, something he will need to work on, but displays good awareness to key QB against vertical passing routes.

For someone of his size he should be a better tackler near the line of scrimmage. He displays the physical toughness and IQ to take on blockers in run fits and will leverage the alley against TEs. He seems to be a better open field tackler because his pursuit angles are better as his grip strength is good to bring down most good sized ball carriers.

Deablo could be a valuable defender for Dan Quinn, the team would just need to figure out how to maximize his instincts. I think he could switch with Leighton Vander Esch and Donovan Wilson for playing time in the future.