Cincy corners together again

When Dallas selected Cincinnati CB DeAngelo Smith in the sixth round, it looked like he would have to play for the first time in years without being able to look across the field and see fellow cornerback Mike Mickens.

As it turns out, the two won't be separated after all, as the Cowboys grabbed Mickens (5-11 ½, 184, 4.53) in the seventh round.

Mickens was actually the more heralded of the two at Cincinnati, piling up 233 career tackles, breaking up 45 passes and snatching 14 interceptions for 296 return yards in his career en route to earning second-team All-Big East honors three times (in his freshman, sophomore and senior seasons). He slid behind Smith after torn knee cartilage cost him three games in his senior year, but he returned in time to play in the Bearcats' bowl game.

Mickens plays faster than his 40 time, and has long arms and great hands and elusive running ability after making interceptions.. He shows great hips when turning with receivers, and is a physical, aggressive, sure tackler who will only get better as he gets stronger.

Many defensive backs with Mickens' slender build shy away from contact, but Mickens is very aggressive when coming forward to hit ball carriers. He's not strong enough to deliver bone-crushing hits, but he's fairly adept at scraping off blockers to make plays.

Like Smith, Mickens will have to play on special teams, as well, but should be able to earn a spot in the secondary. He has had a reputation as an elite cover corner for a couple of years (10 of his 14 picks came in his last two years), and should grow into a more prominent role as he physically matures.

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