Cowboys Use 2nd-Round Pick on New Starting Cornerback

New Cowboys CB Kelvin Joseph

Getty New Cowboys CB Kelvin Joseph

And on Day 2, the Dallas Cowboys continued to fortify its defense.

The Cowboys on Friday selected Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph with the 44th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, adding to a defensive haul that includes first-round linebacker Micah Parsons.

“This is a dream come true, just going to the NFL… I appreciate [the Cowboys] for that, and I’m just ready to get to work,” Joseph said after his selection, via WFAA’s Mike Leslie.

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Scouting Report

A Louisiana native, Joseph began his collegiate career at LSU, recording 12 tackles and one pass breakup across six appearances as a 2018 freshman. He entered the transfer portal the following year and was forced to sit out the 2019 campaign, per NCAA rules.

Joseph eventually landed with the Wildcats, for whom he totaled an SEC-high four interceptions and a defensive touchdown over nine games last season. He opted out early to enter the 2021 draft.

Joseph (5-11, 197) is not without potential red flags — an aspiring rapper, he also goes by the alias “YKDV Bossman Fat” — but profiles as a future starter along the boundary, able to function in both zone and man-press schemes. Below is his official scouting report, courtesy of The Draft Network.

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.

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Fit in Dallas

The Cowboys badly needed CB depth after ignoring the position in free agency (save for Jourdan Lewis’ extension), and, apparently, the team’s brain trust — owner/general manager Jerry Jones, vice president Stephen Jones, personnel boss Will McClay — got their man.

Joseph should see significant rookie snaps opposite 2020 second-rounder Trevon Diggs, forming a competent outside duo to pair with slot men Lewis and Anthony Brown.

“The Cowboys are getting a playmaker,” Joseph said Friday night.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL