Dallas Cowboys 6th Round, Pick 192
Tariq Thompson, SAF, San Diego State
With the last pick in this mock draft, I have the Cowboys taking another safety. This pick likely ends up being an offensive player but considering how the team has drafted thus far it made sense to double up at free safety.
Surtain gave the Cowboys another outside cornerback. Moehrig gave them a versatile defender who can play multiple positions before establishing his place as the free safety for the team. Deablo can be responsible for the play near the line of scrimmage. Bring in Thompson who had a very similar role to Damontae Kazee when he played for the Aztecs.
In a perfect world, the Cowboys would play Moehrig as their starting free safety and Kazee as their nickel cornerback and rotate depending on offensive alignment and such. Thompson could fill Kazee’s role once he leaves the team next free agency.
Thompson displays good football IQ understand route combinations and how to overlap routes in the deep 1/3rd of the field. He displays good ball tracking and good hands to turn the ball over. In contested catch situations, he displays the explosiveness to jump and win. His eleven interceptions, 23 pass deflections, and five forced fumbles would be a testament to this ability.
Thompson is okay in man coverage. He doesn’t have the foot speed to attach at the receivers hips down the field but he does display the necessary short area quickness to win against receivers in the slot and in the short areas of the field.
Thompson would be a cherry on top in a really good draft haul because smart players get rewarded in the NFL even if they don’t always match athletically.
Just like that my final mock draft of the 2021 NFL draft cycle is over. I know everyone will hate this as they do with every other one but I address the defensive secondary early trading up for quality instead of trying to draft several prospects hoping one of them stick. Really, this haul should prove good defensive players are available at every point in the draft so drafting an offensive player in the first round should not be a concern to anyone.
Remember the 51st overall selection had a better rookie season than the 3rd and 9th overall picks. Situation matters but some players just get unnecessarily dinged throughout the process. It’s up to the team, again, to find the diamonds in the rough.