THE VEGAS (SILVER STAR NATION) – With the 167th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Fresno State cornerback DaRon Bland, their second fifth-round pick of the day.
Dallas still has two compensatory picks remaining in the fifth round (Picks 176 and 178) as well as Cleveland’s sixth-round pick (Pick 193) acquired in exchange for their sixth round in the exchange for WR Amari Cooper.
Bland is from Modesto, Calif., where he worked for three years at Central Catholic High School and won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in his senior year.
He played his first three years of college football at FCS Sacramento State, where he also competed in track and field. Prior to transferring to Fresno State and playing his senior year, he totaled 92 tackles, including 9.5 for a loss, 1 sack, 3 forced fumbles, 16 passes defended, and 3 interceptions.
Bland started the final nine games of the 2021 season at Fresno State, making 45 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, one forced fumble, 7 passes defended and 2 interceptions
Bland is the type of cornerback who completely smothers the wide receivers he covers on the outside. His speed and physique stand out.
His length, speed and toughness are all desirable traits for an NFL secondary.
Bland is 6 feet tall with a 4.46 40 yard dash, so it’s rarely raw speed that beats Bland. It’s his ability to plan routes and stick to them.
Scouts said they saw encouraging improvement in the 2021 transition to an FBS school, and the Cowboys must believe the transition and growth will continue professionally.
Bland is rough and needs coaching. Luckily, his defensive coordinator created the Legion of Boom. So don’t count it.