Cowboys draft Kelvin Joseph: Scouting report, what to know about Dallas’ second-round pick

University of Kentucky

Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are feeling frisky in the 2021 NFL Draft. After trading with the Philadelphia Eagles and selecting superstar Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons — a player with undeniable physical traits but question marks off the field — they doubled down on their willingness to roll the dice by grabbing mercurial cornerback Kelvin Joseph with the No. 44 pick. The team attempted to trade up in the second round with the New York Jets but couldn’t strike a deal, and ultimately saw a top target in TCU safety Trevon Moerhig go off the board when the Las Vegas Raiders traded up to steal him away. 

Still having several impact options when they eventually went on the clock, they gave the nod to the Kentucky ballhawk who is known for his level of aggression and ability to take the ball away. What the Cowboys are up against is his character, but they’re banking on his time to come in Dallas ending better than it did when he had run-ins with his collegiate coaches. Joseph leaves Kentucky after transferring from LSU due to those issues (alleged confrontations with coaches), but his talent is comparable to touted first-round talents like Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain, II — two players the Cowboys were eyeing with the No. 10 selection. 

If the 20-year-old can bottle his fiery demeanor and unleash it between the white lines only, he could be a destructive force opposite former second-round pick Trevon Diggs and in front of a hard-hitting safety in Donovan Wilson (a ballhawk himself). Joseph led the Wildcats with four interceptions in 2020, and that’s the kind of takeaway moxy that drove the Cowboys to overlook all else. Also similar to Parsons, he requires refinement stemming from lack of overall experience — only 12 collegiate starts combined between LSU and Kentucky — putting a lot of pressure on Dan Quinn and secondary coach Joe Whitt, Jr. to get him where he needs to be.

This is a bang or bust pick, and there will likely be no in-between. Dallas is banking on the former, and Joseph has more than enough physical prowess to make good on their investment.

Kelvin Joseph, CB: NFL Draft profile

NFL comp: L’Jarius Sneed
Best trait:


5′ 11 1/2″


4.34 seconds


10′ 8″


  • Locating the football
  • Physicality
  • Very confident


  • Decision-making
  • Consistency
  • One-year starter after transferring from LSU

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