3.18 Dallas Cowboys J. J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern (6-0, 213)
With the eighteenth selection (80th overall) in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select safety J. J. Wilcox from Georgia Southern. Wilcox only played safety for one year at Georgia Southern, moving from the offensive side of the ball (wide receiver and running back). So, there will be a big learning curve just from the lack of experience at the position and even more by going up from the Football Championship Subdivision to the NFL after only a year of experience.
Wilcox is a solid reader of the quarterback’s eyes and uses his experience on offense to position himself in coverage. He can make solid reads for deep coverage, but needs to improve his transitions to stay with offensive players. He has the range to stay deep in coverage and erase mistakes from the rest of the defenders. He needs work on staying disciplined in his coverage techniques in order to stay in the correct position. In run support, he is willing to stick his body in there to make the stop. He needs to improve on his tackling techniques and the use of angles.
This pick by the Cowboys is all about the potential of Wilcox and not really his full capabilities right now. They are banking on his physical tools and their coaching staff to develop him into a reliable safety. For me, Wilcox looks like he will become an outstanding special teams player and reserve safety in the NFL.