Ignore the Cowboys-centric part, but this is my eval on one of the top corners in the entire draft from when I took him in the mock.
You're all welcome.
I am currently sat here counting my blessings and then some. To be nervously watching through 56 straight selections, waiting for the one guy you earmarked and coveted BAD at Pick # 60 pre-draft would test the strongest of characters. To then watch 10 of his fellow positional classmates be taken off the board (3 in the previous 7 picks) is absolute purgatory. I got to within 3 picks of my goal. But the fear of those left above me was too much and a small move up had to be made. Patience most assuredly is a virtue and all good things come to he who waits .... !
4 picks ago, we here at Cowboys HQ in Frisco believe the World Champion Patriots were the beneficiaries, through an injury fall, of the best Cornerback in the class in Washington's Sidney Jones. Now, all here at Dallas feel humbled to be similar beneficiaries of who we believe to be one of the top 3 Corners in this draft and one who is still learning the position with a ceiling as high as the sky to reach as he improves. As he has to this point every year of his short career thus far.
So without further ado, with the 25th Pick in the Second Round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and 57th overall, the Dallas Cowboys are delighted to select
CB. Fabian Moreau. Snr. UCLA.
Standing at an imposing 6', 206 LBS, the long armed 23 year old senior is the protoypical starting NFL Corner. Not limited to zone or man coverage, he's fast developing his off coverage skills to complimet his press-man ones which he excells at like no other draftee this class. Fabian attaches himself to his reciever like glue, going down the field with little to no seperation. Which suits our DC Ron Marinelli perfectly. Big Ron likes the athletic guys that are aggresive at corner to fit in his scheme diverse Tampa 2 backfield that encompases both press and off-man coverages. Fabian is the perfect fit to contribute from Day One here in Big D.
After losing Safties, Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox to FA, along with Corners Morris Claiborne (2,279 defensive snaps in 2016 between the three) and Brandon Carr, who started all 16 games for the Cowboys for the 5th straight year; strengthening the defensive backfield has become a priority this off-season. A safety is needed to compliment Byron Jones and the emerging Jeff Heath, and whilst we made a solid pick-up of the veteran starting Eagles corner Nolan Carrol in FA to augment last years already starting 6th Round surprise Anthony Brown; with continuing question marks over Orlando Scanderick's health to last a full season, we made another stellar corner a priority going into the draft. And in the Bruin we believe we've now added just that.
Fabian was recruited out of HS to UCLA as a RB, Only making the transition to CB his true freshman season. He's relatively inexperienced at the position having only started to see meaningfull snaps on the Bruins his sophomore year in 2013. And then medically redshirting almost all the 2015 season with a foot injury. But for one so young in football years, he's improved year-on-year to be a 3 year starter (51 games/ 40 starts), mostly at left Corner in Westwood but also seeing some inside slot action. An exceptionally hard worker at his craft, he was rewarded his past senior year with a captaincy role with his Coaches describing him as 'A great locker room guy.' Exactly the type of stellar young character Coach Garrett is building on here in Dallas.
He first really came to our attention the East-West Shrine game down in Florida back in January where he dominated and stood out as the best player all week long. That interest just accelerated the more we went back over the tape culminating in Fabian blowing the Combine up with his ridiculously good showing in Indy. Placing himself in the top 5 in 4 of the workout events, he registered a ridiculous 1:36 broad jump and 38' vertical to attest to his athleticism. Which he augmented with his rapid 6:94 3-cone, 4:12 20 yars shuttle, and crazy mad 4:35 40 yard dash. #10 doesn't only hit you hard. He FLYS!
Quite simply put, his workout matched his tape more than any other Corner in Indianapolis. Which just confirmed our assertion that here is a stud in the making.
And when you go back over that tape, you can't help but fall in love in the young Floridian. Such a fluid, smooth mover (almost as fast backpedling as going downhill) who accelerates quickly with great pursuit speed in off-coverage. And a physical, confident athlete who tackles hard and wraps up well. He possesses very good football inteligence on the boundry, harnesing his RB traits to use the sideline as another defender. Expertly pinning his receiver in man to the line and often running them out with his strong uper body strength. Opposing QB's oft have to throw the perfect ball to complete against him on the sideline. Although he breaks on the ball well, being good playing the ball with his off hand at it's highest point as 26 career passes defended, the most of any Bruin over the duration, atest to; he does need to improve on his ball skills. For soemone from an offensive skill position background, only having 3 career interceptions is a surprising 'must work on' area of his game. Along with continuing to grow in off-coverage. He's fluid, with a great ability to seemlesly change direction at full pace with good bend in his lower body. But he needs to tighten up his technique there in the drops and angles he takes to really dominate at the pro level and complimnent his press-man skills. Which we believe are just correctbale, coachable minor issue's to iron out on his path to becoming what we have little doubt will be the complete NFL Cornerback.
Coach Marinelli has said often he wants the Cowboys secondary to 'Mimick the Seattle secdondary' and for Dallas to get younger at the position. In Fabian, we're confident we're giving him everything he craves and we feel exceptionally fortunate to get an absolute draft day STEAL at the 60th overall pick down to the torn left pectorial muscle he suffered the UCLA pro-day last month. The surgery of which was a success with a short 4-6 month recovery timeframe. Fabian being the guy he is, is aiming to be back for camp.
In the pass happy NFC East, to add the third rated Corner (excluding any injury concerns) on our board, along with the once in a generation first overall take at LE, who also happened to be the BPA on our board at the time of both picks; the Dallas Cowboys couldn't of hand picked a more perfect start to the 2017 NFL Draft if we tried.
The pieces to make a SERIOUS run are falling into place perfectly.