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Role Call: Carson looking to lock down NFL WRs


(Editor's Note: As part of the preparation for training camp, this series will introduce 25 players who are new to the Cowboys' roster, rookies and veterans alike. We continue with Brevyn Spann-Ford.)

How He Got Here: Carson might be a sneaky good pick here for the Cowboys. Though he's not the speediest corner in the class, he's also not exactly pulling a trailer — delivering a 4.48 second 40-yard dash in pre-draft tests (57th percentile). For reference, All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs ran a 4.42 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. What Carson brings is not only experience, having taken the field in 36 starts for the Demon Deacons, but he also has the frame and ability needed to operate on the boundary as a true press corner.

Also a two-way player in high school, there's an added athleticism possessed by Carson, and it also gives him at least a glimmer of what helps make Diggs so special: a former wide receiver converted in college to defensive back.

What's Next: Carson is a player who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, and that's the perfect demeanor when playing on a defense led by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. His build makes him more of a prepackaged boundary corner who can press well, but he also has the ability to move around a bit if needed. He excels at disrupting passes at the point of attack and making life difficult on smaller receivers who attempt to "out-athlete" him, and while he will need work on turning his list of PBUs into INTs, that's something assistant head coach and defensive backs coach Al Harris will likely pull out of him fairly quickly.

As noted, look for Carson to take the majority of his reps on the outside behind the First-Team All-Pro duo of Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland, as Eric Scott looks to compete for reps behind Jourdan Lewis in the slot. The former Demon Deacon will meet competition like Nahshon Wright this summer for the right to get the nod as a boundary backup to begin his NFL career.

Did You Know: He earned the nickname "Seat Belt" as a true freshman at Wake Forest after his teammates saw how talented and aggressive he was in coverage, implying he keeps receivers "strapped up".

Quotable: "The teams that were looking at me in the draft, they wanted versatility, and I think I showed that I can play inside or outside. [I'm] covering somebody, regardless. And when you're in zone [coverage], you're in zone, regardless. There's not too much of a difference [to me]. It doesn't really matter to me. … I can cover anywhere, so I feel comfortable." - Caelen Carson on his ability to play multiple CB roles

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