Draft Central | 2021

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Notes: Trade Winds, Lining Up, Numbers & More

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Here are some notes following Thursday's pick for Micah Parsons, including the trade, where he might play and what jersey he might wear.

The Trade Back

Many believed the Cowboys would eye the cornerback position at No. 10 overall: either Jaycee Horn or Patrick Surtain II. Well, both players went off the board at No. 8 and 9 to Carolina and Denver, respectively – a scenario the Cowboys' front office had discussed and prepared for leading up to Thursday.

In the end, Dallas got the best of both worlds. They traded back two spots to No. 12 and picked up a third third-round pick (Philadelphia's No. 84). 

They also drafted the best defensive player on their board: Parsons.

"We were really pleased with what was on our board," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said. "The need stuck out there a little bit with the corners, but we had some players that were rated ahead of the corners on natural grades.

"We were sitting there at 10 and we didn't want to go too far back because we did really like Micah and we didn't want to get in a position where we didn't think we could get him."

Where He Plays?

The Cowboys were excited to get a versatile player such as Parsons, but now begs the question on just where he might line up.

Assuming everyone at linebacker is healthy, which can be a tough assumption considering the last couple of seasons, but the Cowboys will have Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and now Parsons. They also said Keanu Neal "will start out" as a linebacker, although he's played safety with the Falcons.

Trying to guess Dan Quinn's scheme and how he plans on using the guys would be a challenge, but it's safe to say Parsons gives them more depth and versatility.

"I really like what Micah gives us in terms of playing different positions," Mike McCarthy said. "We can use him in multiple spots and play different fronts with him. And I really like what he gives us in the nickel. So he just adds some much flexibility in our defense."

Heisman Either Way

While some Cowboys fans might cringe in having to trade with the Eagles, who took Alabama receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DaVonta Smith, it seemed like he was destined to play in the NFC East either way.

The reasons the Eagles moved from 12 to 10 was to jump the Giants at 11, in fear Smith was going to New York. After Smith was gone, the Giants went back to 20 in a trade with the Bears.

So for the second year in a row, the Eagles drafted a wide receiver in the first round after taking TCU's Jalen Reagor.

No. 11?

If possible, Parsons would like to capitalize on the NFL's new rule allowing linebackers to wear any jersey number from 1-59 and 90-99.

Parsons wore No. 11 at Penn State and said he'd like to keep the same look in Dallas.

"It means everything … to continue that LinebackerU tradition," he said.

There's one catch: wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, a three-year veteran, currently has No. 11.

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