LAS 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 selection 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-rounder in the trade for WR Amari Cooper.
Bland is from Modesto, California, where he was a three-year letterman at Central Catholic High School and earned league Defensive Player of the Year honors his senior year.
He played his first three years of college football at FCS Sacramento State, where he also competed in track and field. Before transferring to Fresno State and playing his senior year, he totaled 92 tackles, 9.5 of them 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, a forced fumble, 7 passes defended and 2 interceptions
Bland is the type of cornerback that completely smothers wide receivers he covers on the outside. His speed and physically stand out.
His length, speed and toughness are all desirable traits for an NFL secondary.
Bland stands at 6-foot tall with a 4.46 40-yard dash, so it’s rarely raw speed that beats Bland. It’s his ability to predict routes and stick with them.
Scouts said they saw encouraging improvement in the 2021 transition to an FBS school, and the Cowboys have to think that transition and growth will continue at the professional level.
Bland is rough and needs coaching. Thankfully, his defensive coordinator created the Legion of Boom. So don’t count him out.
Dallas Cowboys Picks in the 2022 NFL Draft
- Round 1, Pick 24 — Tyler Smith, OG, Tulsa
- Round 2, Pick 56 — Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss
- Round 3, Pick 88 — Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
- Round 4, Pick 129 — Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
- Round 5, Pick 155 — Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota
- Round 5, Pick 167 — DaRon Bland, CB, Fresno State