If they want to “win” the 2019 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys are going to have to find some hidden gems in later rounds. Without a first round pick, finding talented players who can contribute immediately in 2019 will be tough, but it certainly can be done.
Of course, the draft is about more than just immediate needs, though, and Dallas will look to fill potential future holes as well. One of those position groups at risk of becoming a need quickly is cornerback, where much of the Cowboys' depth is (or will soon be) entering contract years.
Central Michigan cornerback Sean Bunting isn't much of a hidden gem anymore, but he certainly presents the upside Dallas could be looking for in this year's draft.
Sean Bunting is a 6'1″ 180 pound corner who made a name for himself nationally at the NFL Combine. Running a 4.42 40 yard dash and jumping 126 inches on the broad jump, fans around the country quickly learned of Bunting.
For people like me who had not been keeping a close eye on Bunting prior to the combine the question then became, can he play?
You can see the upside in Sean Bunting's game on tape. Bunting had 9 interceptions and 15 passes defensed over three years in college (two as a starter), with his best statistical season coming when he picked off 5 passes in 2017. This type of production typically translates to the NFL, and Bunting has ball skills on tape that would be much a needed addition to the Cowboys' secondary. He can be a little late in his turns when the balls in the air, but he's a smart player with good instincts overall, especially in zone coverage.
He is very much a work in progress, however. Bunting's ability in man coverage is a bit inconsistent, but his athletic attributes and high-points of play ease my concerns. He clearly has quick feet in coverage and has the traits to project as a sticky cover corner, but you just don't see it on film as consistently as you would hope for.
Bunting is probably a bit below average as a tackler, but I'm not too concerned about that. You aren't drafting Bunting as a blitzer or to stop the run, you're drafting him to be athletic in the backend and cover people.
I can see the Cowboys using Sean Bunting in a variety of different ways. I think he'd be at his best right now as a cover three corner, but his traits and length likely signal a longterm fit in Dallas to Kris Richard.
If the Cowboys were to take Sean Bunting, however, they might need to do it at 58. He's been a riser since his performance at the combine, and I'm not sure he'll make it to 90th overall. 58 is a tad too rich for me when it comes to Bunting, but I wouldn't hate the pick whatsoever.