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Draft Central | 2024

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Coach's Corner: Caelen Carson brings physical mindset


FRISCO, Texas — The eight draft picks for the Dallas Cowboys will make their way to The Star this weekend to officially put pen to paper on their rookie contracts and to participate in rookie minicamp, as their NFL careers sit on the verge of their beginnings.

Entering as a rookie brings a lot of excitement, but also a lot of expectation. Especially for the current Cowboys rookie class, there will be a need for immediate contributions from the majority of the draft picks.

In Coach's Corner, we reached out to each of the draftees' college position coaches to find out more about their development in college on and off the field, their fits in Dallas and how it coincided with their time in college, and what they might need to work on before touching the NFL field.

Next up is Wake Forest cornerback Caelen Carson, who we spoke to Wake Forest cornerbacks coach Chip West about regarding these topics who coached Carson in his final season with the Demon Deacons.

Q: From the beginning of last season to the end of last year, where would you say he saw the biggest growth on the field? How did that help you guys?

A: I thought he was very physical on the perimeter supporting the run. He was a solid tackler. Coverage-wise, I thought he did a really, really good job using his hands at the line of scrimmage. He wasn't afraid to get his hands on you. His off-man coverage skills, I thought he made a drastic improvement on that.

Q: His physicality is something that definitely stands out, is that the mentality he brings to the field that helps everybody around him?

A: Absolutely. Those types of things, when you're physical on the perimeter, it's contagious. I thought he did a really good job this year being physical at the point of attack. I thought he proved that he was a very, very willing tackler. He wasn't afraid to get off blocks as well to make a play.

Q: What would you say his personality and mentality is like off the field?

A: Caelen, in my opinion, is a really good young man. At the end of the day, he's not a very boisterous person. I'm not saying he's shy, but at the end of the day, I think he's a mild-mannered guy and it was a joy to coach him.

Q: Did he do any work for you guys on the inside at nickel or was it mainly on the outside or on the boundary?

A: He played in the nickel. He started at corner, but at times throughout the season, I want to say within a three or four game span, I think he played quite a bit at nickel. He was pretty versatile at it and he did a good job in the times we asked him to play at the nickel position.

Q: Then, would you say he has a pretty good balance of technique and physicality in being able to merge those two things together?

A: Absolutely. I think they go hand-in-hand and he did a really good job with it.

Q: What do you think he still has to work on as he makes the jump into the NFL?

A: I always thought Caelen had really, really good football IQ. I think just keep on improving football IQ and understanding whatever concepts they will run up there in Dallas and understanding the offensive concepts as well. I think he does a good job of it, but as you know, we could always do better.

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