FRISCO, Texas -- While plenty of voices and factors go into the drafting process, NFL coaching staffs tend to have positions they are more comfortable evaluating than others. This often stems back to the head coach, his history in the league and what positions are most highly valued within his systems and schemes.
Picks 15-32 in the draft are often where you see this dynamic most prominently. It's a range of picks that successful NFL teams have to get right, but it's usually void of the few no-brainers that are available at the very top of the draft. If you're a head coach, you don't draft a player at No. 17 unless you know he'll be successful under you.
A high majority of expert mock drafts predict the Cowboys will draft a defensive back in the first round. If safety Jeff Heath and cornerback Byron Jones end up elsewhere in free agency, the chances of this prediction ringing true only increase. Along those same lines of thinking, head coach Mike McCarthy's Packers drafted three first-round defensive backs in his final five seasons in Green Bay.
In 2014, the Packers drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix out of Alabama with the 21st overall pick. Clinton-Dix was a Pro-Bowler with the Packers by 2016. Another Alabama safety, Xavier McKinney, is considered by some to be a great first-round fit for Dallas in the upcoming draft.
The next season, McCarthy and the Packers drafted another safety, Damarious Randall, out of Arizona State with the 23rd overall pick and converted him to cornerback. He started 30 games for Green Bay before being traded to Cleveland in 2018.
In 2018, the Packers drafted Jaire Alexander, a cornerback out of Louisville, with the 18th overall pick. In two seasons, he's started 27 games in Green Bay. He intercepted Dak Prescott in a Week 5 matchup against the Cowboys.
History might not mean everything, but it's certainly an indicator that McCarthy isn't afraid to address his secondary early on.