Cowboys Potential Starter CB Joseph Signs 4-Year Rookie Contract

With Kelvin Joseph signing with the Dallas Cowboys, here's our NFL Draft grade on the second-round selection.
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The Dallas Cowboys have signed second-round Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph - selected with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft - to his standard four-year rookie contract.

For now? Joseph needs to get on the field following a COVID quarantine that sidelined him for minicamp. But …

From a Mike Fisher source from inside The Star: "He can be an immediate starter.''

And from our scouting buddy Jeff Cavanaugh of 105.3 The Fan: "He's a kick-ass cornerback.''

Below we provide our instant grade on the selection.

CB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky, 6-foot, 197 pounds

NFL Draft Bible Scouting Overview: Joseph arrived at Kentucky as a transfer after playing in 11 games as a true freshman at LSU. After sitting out 2019 due to the NCAA transfer rules, Joseph burst onto the scene in his one year starting at Kentucky in 2020. Active feet in press coverage that move with excellent quickness on a lateral plane to mirror the release of the wide receiver. Impressive movement skills away from the line of scrimmage when watching him flip his hips on vertical routes to get back in phase. 

Noticeable burst out of his breaks when driving downhill on the ball whether he is in zone or man coverage. Displays beautiful ball skills that teams will covet to go along with his impressive length at the catch point. 

Lacks twitch in the short to intermediate area of the field playing away from the line of scrimmage. Inconsistent in his route recognition leads him to be susceptible to double moves and blown coverages, showing his inexperience up to this point in his career. A late Day 2 cornerback prospect who has room to grow into a top-tier starting cornerback as he develops with more playing experience.

How he fits: The Cowboys’ most experienced returning corner is sixth-year pro Anthony Brown. Then there’s Jourdan Lewis. The rest are young players or free agents. The ONE player in this group that you’re certain will be a starter in 2021 is Trevon Diggs. After that, there’s room for Joseph to carve out a role as a starter or consistent contributor right away.

What the Cowboys passed on: The Cowboys attempted to trade up ... and later missed out on TCU safety Trevon Moehrig by one pick, as the Raiders traded up in front of them. Our guess is, that must have hurt.

Grade: B. All players taken in the second round have something that scouts don’t feel totally great about. In the case of Joseph it is probably his lack of experience as a starter (just one year at Kentucky). 

Oh, and then there are some behavioral whispers as well.

But based on NFL Draft Bible’s scouting report, it sounds like Joseph has a base of fundamentals to build from. If he’s going to start this year, he’ll need to have a great training camp and preseason. It’s more likely he’ll track like last year’s second-round pick, Diggs, who by season’s end was the Cowboys’ best cornerback. 

If Joseph is that type of player by the end of 2021 - a "kick-ass starter''? - then this grade goes up to an ‘A.’

You can follow Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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