Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones won’t go so far as to declare that third round pick Maliek Collins, a defensive tackle out of Nebraska, will step in and start as a rookie. But he fully anticipates Collins making an impact in his first year.
“He’s a guy when we started the second round we look at as someone that could potentially step in here and have those kind of snaps,” Jones said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “I’m reluctant to say starter because I don’t want to do that. On the other hand he’s going to get a lot of snaps. I do predict that now.”
Collins, who had eight career sacks with the Huskers, has been hailed by Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli as more or less a perfect fit for his system. As the Cowboys’ top defensive pick of this draft who is actually expected to play this year, the team believes he could become a household name in short order.
“He’s going to be a cornerstone player,” Jones said.