(Editor's Note: The DallasCowboys.com team welcomes Bucky Brooks to the staff. Bucky brings a wealth of experience, not only as a former NFL player of five seasons, but also as a scout and on the pro personnel side for two teams. In the last decade, Brooks has worked in the media, including the NFL Network. Bucky will provide his own analysis and opinions of the Cowboys but also the entire NFL. Today, he breaks down one of the new draft picks in second-round selection Trevon Diggs.)
- Name: Trevon Diggs
- Position: CB
- College: Alabama
- Height: 6-1
- Weight: 205
- Season: Rookie
Diggs is a long, lanky with exceptional instincts, awareness, and ball skills. The former four-star receiver-turned-cornerback finished his career at Alabama with 68 tackles, four interceptions, 17 PBUs, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in four seasons while logging 19 total starts. He also has experience as a return specialist, as evidenced by his solid numbers as a kick returner 15 returns for 357 yards, 23.8 avg.) and punt returner (31 returns for 184 yards, 9.1 avg.)
As a cover corner, Diggs is a bump-and-run specialist with a shadow boxer's game at the line of scrimmage. He feints and flashes his hands while mirroring receivers early in routes. He relies more on finesse than physicality but his patience, footwork and keen understanding of departure angles enable him to maintain hip pocket leverage on receivers down the field. Diggs excels at pinning receivers to the sideline and disrupting their path to the football (in flight) with his low shoulder body positioning.
Although he frequently looks like he is in chase mode when covering receivers, he routinely in an ideal position to defend under-thrown balls while also flashing the length and leaping ability to swat on-target tosses. Diggs' combination of length and leaping ability condenses the windows for quarterbacks and discourages opponents from throwing at him in critical moments.
In coverage, Diggs displays exceptional diagnostic skills and route concept awareness. He frequently works around potential picks and rubs to get into proper position on his assigned receiver. Moreover, he will anticipate the throw on those picks and come down with interceptions. Diggs' overall awareness and understanding of the passing game is certainly impressive for a player with limited experience at the position.
As a run defender, Diggs will hustle to the ball and throw his body around in an attempt to get receivers and ball carriers to the ground but he rates as an inconsistent tackler. He has a handful of missed tackles that show up on the tape and he must improve in this area or runs the risk of being viewed as a liability against the run.
- Exceptional instincts, awareness and ball skills
- Athletic bump-and-run CB with a shadow boxing style that frustrates receivers
- Versatile game that works well in a man or zone-based scheme
- Punt/Kick return skills
- Questionable top-end speed
- Inconsistent tackler
What are scouts saying?
"Diggs has the best ball skills in the draft… He doesn't have great top-end speed but he plays with outstanding instincts, anticipation, and awareness. If plays with better effort and commits to the grind instead of cruising, he could become one of the top cover corners in the game...He's that talented!"
How does he fit in with the Cowboys?
Diggs is a ball-hawking cover corner with the length, athleticism, and instincts to thrive on the island in the Cowboys' new scheme. As a natural press-corner with long arms and outstanding awareness, he could quickly emerge a solid starter and key contributor in a defense that's expected to feature more "Quarters Press" coverage on the outside. Diggs' ability to challenge receivers in bump-and-run while mixing in some bail technique (side-shuffle) will enable Mike Nolan to vary his pre-snap disguises and coverage without tipping off the quarterback. In addition, Diggs' superior ball skills, diagnostic skills, and overall awareness should help the Cowboys generate more turnovers with the frontline pressure resulting in more tipped passes and errant throws from the pocket. If Diggs can become a more consistent tackler and embrace a more physical style, he should be able to make an impact early in his career as a starting corner.