Dallas Cowboys improve defense in seven-round 2021 NFL mock draft

2021 NFL Draft prospect Patrick Surtain II #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Patrick Surtain II #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Surtain II, 2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft prospect Patrick Surtain II #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

2021 NFL mock draft: Round 1, 10th overall

Alabama. Patrick Surtain II. 1. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Cornerback. player. 829

The Cowboys look to improve their defense and find a lockdown cornerback for the future to play opposite of 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs. Patrick Surtain II played alongside Diggs at Alabama and could potentially be the first corner taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. Surtain II is the son of the former Dolphins All-Pro corner. As a highly recruited five-star corner coming out of high school, Surtain II has started at corner for the Crimson Tide all three years on campus.

After losing former 2015 first-round pick Byron Jones to free agency last spring, the Dallas Cowboys are in need of improving a depleted secondary, in the transition of again losing depth this spring. Limited cap space will require Dallas to draft potential starters early into the 2021 NFL Draft and Jones gets his man with the former Alabama star.

Surtain II possesses ideal size and length for a number one cornerback at the next level and is an established multi-year starter in one of the nation’s top defenses. Surtain II had an up and down 2021 season flashing his immense talent and physical prowess but will need time to develop into a top-level NFL corner.

2021 NFL mock draft: Round 2, 42nd overall

Scouting Report. Safety. Oregon. Jevon Holland. 820. Pick Analysis. 2. player

Current Cowboys’ free safety Xavier Woods completed the fourth and final year of his initial rookie contract and is not guaranteed to return to Dallas in 2021. Woods has been inconsistent across his short career with a current decline in play since his 2018 breakout season. Woods could return on a one-year extension in Quinn’s new scheme, but no longer looks to be a priority signing or long-term solution at the position.

After missing out on a top edge player, the Dallas Cowboys further address the secondary with their second of ten picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite opting out of the 2020 season, Holland was a two-year starter with the Ducks, registering 9 interceptions while in Eugene. Given the current trend towards Day 2 of the Draft with top safeties, Holland will likely be available as an immediate impact player at the beginning of the second round.

Holland is a versatile defender who could provide additional help to the Dallas secondary as a slot corner but likely projects as a safety at the NFL. Like many of the other top 2021 draft prospects who opted out of the 2020 season, Holland’s final draft position will heavily rely on his combine performance.