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NFL Draft 2021: With the 12th pick, the Dallas Cowboys select Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons poses on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Dallas Cowboys selected Parsons with the 12th overall pick in NFL Draft on April 29, 2021.
Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons poses on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Dallas Cowboys selected Parsons with the 12th overall pick in NFL Draft on April 29, 2021.
Kyle Heim
ANALYST
Modified 30 Apr 2021
Feature

The Dallas Cowboys traded the 10th overall pick of the NFL Draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 12th pick and landed one of the best defensive players in the NFL Draft in Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.

Dallas also received the 84th overall pick in a trade with the Eagles and now own 10 picks selections in the draft.

ESPN's Anthony "Booger" McFarland said the "Dallas Cowboys got the best defensive player in the draft."

How will Parsons help Cowboys in his rookie season?

Micah Parsons provides the Dallas Cowboys with one of the most athletic defensive players in this year's NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker recorded a jaw-dropping 4.39-second 40-yard dash at Penn State's pro day, leaving scouts wondering if the clocks there were working correctly.

Parsons decided to forgo his remaining college eligibility on Aug. 6, 2020, to focus on training for the draft. The decision paid off after an impressive pro day, where he also recorded a 34-inch vertical jump.

In 2019, Parsons ranked fifth in the Big Ten Conference with 8.4 tackles per game. He was also sixth in the country and third in the Big Ten with 0.31 forced fumbles. He started in 12 games and finished the season with 10 or more tackles in six of the final seven games, including three straight.

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons celebrates after recording a sack against Memphis Tigers quarterback Brady White in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl on Dec. 28, 2019, in Arlington, Texas.
Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons celebrates after recording a sack against Memphis Tigers quarterback Brady White in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl on Dec. 28, 2019, in Arlington, Texas.

Off-field character issues likely caused the slide to the 12th overall pick, but the Cowboys got one of the top-ranked defensive prospects in the draft class.

Prediction for Parsons' rookie season

Micah Parsons will likely slide into a starting role at linebacker in his rookie season, joining Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith.

Parsons is a versatile player who is comfortable playing middle linebacker, outside linebacker and can pass rush.

The Cowboys have 10 picks remaining in the draft: round 2, pick 44; round 3, pick 75; round 3, pick 84; round 3, pick 99; round 4, pick 115; round 4, pick 138; round 5, pick 179; round 6, pick 192; round 6, pick 227; and round 7, pick 238.

Published 30 Apr 2021
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