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    Cowboys Draft Target: Can CB Mark Gilbert Live up to his NFL Bloodline?

    What if I told you there was a cornerback in this year's draft class with not one, but two relatives with a combined 21 years of NFL experience and eight appearances between them? Would you know who I'm talking about? Does it impact the way you may or may not view a prospect?

    are it probably doesn't, but let me introduce you to former Duke Blue Devils Cornerback Mark Gilbert anyway. Both his uncle and cousin had a long successful careers in the league and Mark is now trying to follow in their footsteps. But, is he capable of living up to his NFL bloodline?

    The blood pulsing through Mark Gilbert's veins has strong NFL ties. His uncle, Sean Gilbert, was the No. 3 overall pick in 1993 and played 11 seasons in the NFL with one Pro Bowl appearance. His cousin, , played 10 seasons in the league with seven Pro Bowl appearances. If he can follow in their footsteps he should have a long successful career as well.

    If only things were that easy. Unfortunately we can't measure a prospects potential success based on what one of his relatives accomplished in the league. If that were the case we'd see a lot more attention paid to sons and nephews of former NFL players. Sadly though, that's just not the case.

    That doesn't mean Mark Gilbert isn't talented though. In fact, he was once considered one of the top prospects at the position until he had a run of bad luck. An unfortunate hip that required surgery caused him to miss most of 2018 and all of 2019. Then he only played two games in 2020 before deciding to opt out to prepare for the after sustaining a foot injury.

    Because of his concerning injury he might not hear his name called at any point in the 2021 NFL Draft. That doesn't mean he's not talented though, because he is. In his lone full season as a starter in 2017 he accumulated 35 tackles, three tackles for a loss, 21 passes defensed, and an impressive six interceptions. It's that kind of talent a team will be willing to gamble on.

    If I'm the this is exactly the kind of late-round or undrafted I'd be targeting. He fits 's prototypical mold for an outside CB at 6'1″, 185 pounds and has some intriguing talent worth on. If he can somehow learn to stay healthy he could be the steal of the draft in my opinion.

    “Gilbert owns the foot quickness, hip flip and speed to attach himself to routes. He has the awareness and ball skills to make plays on the ball with timing, but he must improve his play strength and improve his discipline as a run defender. Overall, Gilbert uses twitch to blanket receivers and shows innate ability to disrupt the catch point, but the durability concerns will be the anchor to his , possibly dropping him to undrafted territory.” –

    Mark Gilbert's got a long journey ahead of himself to live up to his NFL bloodline, but I believe he has a chance to doing just that if he can stay healthy. The talent is definitely there, now he just needs the opportunity and the Dallas Cowboys could be just the team to give it to him. Only time will tell though.

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    Brian Martin
    Brian Martin
    Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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    12 COMMENTS

    12 Comments
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    Ethan L Chazin

    Amusing “side bar” human interest kind of post. I wouldn’t touch him with a 100-foot pole personally but that sort of injury history seems sadly right up Jerruh PT Barnum’s alley. Dude missed 2 seasons with a hip injury then played 2 games? For real???

    ThrowuptheX88

    Interesting post Brian , had no clue he’s Revis’ cousin , as a 7th round flier pick , I’m perfectly fine doing that , you won’t find any starters there anyways , maybe not even a backup , he’s worth a flier pick

    Dave SC58

    Interesting article. I never even heard of the guy until now. Maybe he goes in the 7th round or UDFA. I’ll bet somebody gives him a chance in training camp. The guy is small (170 lbs), and breaks easily. We’ll see what happens. I don’t think any of the so-called draft experts know what to make of him. He doesn’t seem to be ranked in the top 350 prospects that I could find.

    VAM

    I admit, I haven’t heard about Gilbert, but Cowboys don’t shy away from players with injury history. Definitely a UDFA candidate. Draftable? He had a heck of a 2017. It’s a deal where if you draft him and he turns out to be a star, or even a solid player, you look like a draft guru.

    Troy Tucker

    Not trying to be ugly, but when you write these articles about prospects do you have inside information that the Cowboys are looking at him? Just curious.
    Or is this, because of your personal research,just hypothetical pull it out of your butt kind of thing? Don’t get me wrong, he sounds like a quality player. DNA does speak for itself. We’re all just animals. If you know anything about breeding DNA is everything. Plus it would be cool if he could call ‘Mister Island’ Darrelle Revis for advice.
    I like your thought on this particular player. I need to do a little research about him and maybe look at some highlight plays.
    But remember we have the best doctor in the NFL. And arguably the best training staff. And of course to play The Devil’s Advocate you need fluid hips to be a solid quarterback and he has a history of hip problems. He might be worth a 7th and if he’s healthy enough a 6th….
    Just a thought…..

    Troy Tucker

    Thank you. I think the scouting dept. should give you a job. I could be persuaded also