With the 44th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph. The Cowboys came into the draft needing a corner and they get one in the second round. Joseph is a young corner with plenty of potential. He has the athletic traits you want, but he needs experience and coaching to reach full potential.
Joseph has physical dimensions and natural athletic talent that are easy to get excited about, but his lack of experience might be a secondary concern to the lack of maturity that is sometimes shown on the field. He has the length and strength to re-route and bully the early stages of the release from press and displays a sudden twitch to attack throws if asked to play an off coverage. He has the size and ball skills to create real challenges at the catch point, but lacks the discipline and route recognition to stay consistently connected to routes. While he improved as the 2020 season went on, the Ole Miss game showed just how much work and experience he still needs. The traits and ability in run support could push him up the board for some teams, while others might be turned off by the penalties and undisciplined plays he put on tape. Either way, he has talent to work with.
Kelvin Joseph is a long perimeter cornerback prospect who should have the opportunity to develop into a starting outside option for a team. Joseph, who was an early entree into the 2021 NFL Draft, has the kind of length that is very popular right now in the NFL game and has been exposed to a number of different roles throughout the course of his career. He was charged with periodically following Florida TE Kyle Pitts but also has played deep third coverage against some of the more prominent offenses on the Wildcats’ schedule—including Alabama. Joseph enjoyed a fruitful season at Kentucky and found the football on a number of occasions, illustrating down-the-field ball skills and effective contesting ability at the catch point. A former LSU Tiger, Joseph has about as slim of a resume as you can get; he played nine games for the Wildcats in 2020 after sitting out the 2019 season on account of transferring in from LSU and will take his talent to the pro game with just 20 total games played at the college level. Because of his inexperience, expect sporadic results in coverage and inconsistent recognition skills until he’s able to allocate more reps and increase his route combination awareness and add more polish to his technique. I wouldn’t endorse an early role, but the three-year projection looks much more favorable than the one-year forecast in 2021.
- Round 1, pick 12 – LB Micah Parsons
- Round 2, pick 44 – CB Kelvin Joseph
- Round 3, pick 75
- Round 3, pick 84
- Round 3, pick 99
- Round 4, pick 115
- Round 4, pick 138
- Round 5, pick 179
- Round 6, pick 192
- Round 6, pick 227
- Round 7, pick 238
CB – It’s the most popular position for the Cowboys to use their #10 pick on. Chidobe Awuzie departed in free agency from a group that wasn’t very strong to begin with. Trevon Diggs is a piece to build on, but the Cowboys need help.
OL – Injury and age are catching up to various pieces of the Cowboys once-vaunted offensive line. Tyron Smith has an uncertain long-term future, and the middle of the line still has question marks.
DL – The Cowboys could use an infusion of talent at both defensive tackle and defensive end. Expect both positions to be among the picks this weekend.
LB – Sean Lee retired, Joe Thomas left in free agency, and the Cowboys are undecided on Leighton Vander Esch’s fifth-year option. This is a need that has been building this offseason.
S – The Cowboys signed a few free agents to go with Donovan Wilson, but they were mostly one-year contracts. The long-term stability of the position is in doubt, and the small sample size of Wilson’s work only adds to that.