2016 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Should Take Vernon Hargreaves With No. 4 Pick - CB From Florida

By Brian Neal on Jan 04, 2016 06:14 PM EST

The 2015 NFL regular season is officially in the books, which means the top 20 picks have been set in stone. The Dallas Cowboys landed the No. 3 pick after a disastrous 4-12 season. If a talent like Joey Bosa doesn't fall out of the top three picks, one of the best players the Cowboys could add who would fill a major need as well is cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, and they should not hesitate to take the Florida product.

Offensively, the Cowboys will be fine next season. As long as Tony Romo is healthy -- which he wasn't this year, obviously -- the offense is one of the league's better units. Sure, backup quarterback is something to address this offseason for insurance, but it likely won't be filled by the No. 4 pick (perhaps a trade for Johnny Manziel?).

Instead, defense will be the focus at this pick. Jerry Jones took LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the No. 6 pick in the 2012 draft. That hasn't worked out at all, and Claiborne's been one of the worst starting corners in the league the past few years.

While that may be a cautionary tale for Jones and the Cowboys, it's also a chance at redemption.

Dallas needs a great cover man, because they don't have any right now. The front seven, while not exceptional, is solid still, especially when linebacker Sean Lee is healthy. Bringing in a corner like Hargreaves just makes sense, and ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has even called him the "best pure cover corner" in the draft and ranked the Gator No. 8 on his big board. That's high praise.

Hargreaves isn't a huge corner by any means, but he isn't tiny either at 5-foot-11, 192 pounds. But he plays taller receivers very well, especially on deep routes because he plays the ball and not the receiver like a lot of defensive backs. His ability to read plays by looking at the quarterback and instinctually being able to follow the receiver without staring him down is a special talent that not many players possess. Overall, he just has great timing on playing the ball and knowing when to make contact and try to force a breakup.

In three years as a starter, he has 121 tackles, 10 interceptions and 27 pass deflections. Those numbers are stellar, and he's done it against very good competition in the SEC.

The Cowboys would be getting an almost surefire No. 1 corner which will greatly help their defense moving forward.

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Tags2016 NFL Draft, Dallas Cowboys, Vernon Hargreaves

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