The Dallas Cowboys came into the offseason with a question mark at cornerback as Byron Jones was set to hit the open market. He would sign with the Miami Dolphins, and push the need for a cornerback up the Cowboys priority list in the draft. Anthony Brown was re-signed to a three-year deal to give the team some nice depth along with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. However, more value could be added to the Cowboys secondary in the second round in the form of Auburn Cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.
Igbinoghene started his collegiate career as a wide receiver and hauled in six receptions for 24 yards while also serving as the team’s primary kick returner (24 returns, 571 yards, 23.8 average). In 2018, he converted to cornerback and registered 50 tackles, an interception, 11 passes defended, and a forced fumble while continuing his kick return duties (11 returns, 311 yards, 28.3 average, one touchdown). He was solid again in 2019 as he totaled 42 tackles and seven passes defended and had his third consecutive productive season returning kicks (nine returns, 317 yards, 35.2 average, one touchdown).
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He may not be as polished as Jeff Okudah or CJ Henderson but Igbinoghene is very physical and extremely athletic. Very aggressive in press-man coverage and has excellent acceleration which allows him to be a striker as an open-field tackler. He could add instant value on special teams as a returner. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he had a very good workout posting a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, 15 reps on the bench press, a 37-inch vertical, and a 128-inch broad jump.
Noah Igbinoghene career at Auburn:
878 Coverage snaps
3 TDs allowed pic.twitter.com/WJ1hNXSSrZ
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 6, 2020
Auburn's Noah Igbinoghene is still learning the position and needs to improve his play at the catch point, but his match-and-mirror ability and deep speed are rare — he has special movement skills teams will covet early.pic.twitter.com/vOTV9mktKb
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 18, 2020
“Stocky but explosive receiver-turned-cornerback whose play generates both intrigue and concern. He’s extremely physical from snap to whistle with the strength to alter route timing from the press. He’s a good athlete with a plus burst to close. He’s naturally aggressive to ambush catch tries. Staying in phase on the vertical plane is a challenge and pattern recognition is surprisingly average. Improvement is likely with more experience and technique, but playing with downfield poise is not guaranteed. He’s good in run support and offers early special teams help as he continues to learn his craft.”
He may only have two years of experience playing the position, but Igbinoghene is one of the more skilled cornerbacks entering the NFL Draft. The second round seems to be the ideal spot to select him and the Cowboys should definitely consider it if cornerback isn’t addressed in the first round.