Earlier on Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys traded down from the 10th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to 12th overall with the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles, picking up a third-round selection in the process.
With that pick, Dallas shocked the football world by taking former Penn State All-American linebacker Micah Parsons at 12.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Parsons was an absolutely dominant performer for the Nittany Lions in 2019 before opting out of the 2020 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That season saw the linebacker record 102 tackles (14 for loss), five sacks and four forced fumbles.
We’re talking about an athletic sideline-to-sideline linebacker who fits the modern mold of what teams look for in the inside. Add in plus-level blitz ability and a decent technique in coverage, and he could be an absolute steal. A five-star recruit from Harrisburg High School in Pennsylvania, Parsons has always been considered a potential star on the gridiron.
With that said, there’s some risk that comes with the Dallas Cowboys selecting him 12th overall. He was seen as somewhat of a boisterous personality at Penn State, something that head coach James Franklin allegedly covered up to an extent. If matured from his earlier days, Parsons could star in the NFL for years to come.