The Dallas Cowboys select Marte Mapu, safety, from Sacramento State University.
Okay, so this isn’t a typical draft pick for the Dallas Cowboys. Historically, they have drafted players from major college programs who have played in major ball games. Sometimes that have worked out for them and sometimes it hasn’t (Taco Charlton). But this is the fifth round where teams are drafting for traits and just trying to hit anywhere on the dartboard. This kid has physical traits to spare. Not to mention, he was one of the Dallas Cowboys 30 visits recently.
He is 6’3″ 216lbs box safety that plays a little bit of every middle to back-end position. I’ve read articles suggesting that Malik Hooker may be the odd man out at the safety position at some point. However, I would argue that this pick is more about Jayron Kearse and his health concerns. Granted Kearse does not miss a ton of time, he does miss enough where it is noticeable when he isn’t on the field.
Mapu is a semi-clone of Jayron Kearse to a certain extent. He will be the heir apparent. It’s going to be vital that he connects with the right coach and as luck would have it the Cowboys have that exact guy. The range and physicality are all there to play that linebacker role in the big nickel situation that Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn loves to toy with.
As with Jayron, Mapu will have to earn his stripes on special teams, but his aggressive style will most certainly get the attention of the coaching staff early and often.
With this prospect, if you’re waiting to watch highlights of him, you probably barking up the wrong tree. Sacramento State isn’t the school of YouTube highlights. His senior bowl tape is what will make you fall in love with him. He overcame the title big fish in a small pond. He proved that he could hang with the big boys, and he’ll continue to prove it at the next level.