Posted on

NFL draft preview: Is No. 19 a prime spot for the Cowboys to find one the best CBs in this class?

Editor’s note: Dane Brugler — senior NFL draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com — will break down all positions of the upcoming draft. A full series schedule can be seen at the conclusion of this post.

NFL DRAFT PREVIEW: CORNERBACKS

Position strength: 8/10

Cornerback is one of the positions on an NFL depth chart that is never complete as teams are always looking to upgrade at a demanding, difficult position. That is part of why cornerback is generally one of the most drafted positions each year, and that won’t be any different this April.

The 2018 crop of cornerbacks is loaded from top to bottom, with blue-chippers in the top 10 (Minkah Fitzpatrick and Denzel Ward), quality depth on Day 2 and intriguing prospects on Day 3. The safe bet is at least five cornerbacks will be drafted in the first round and 15 to 18 will come off the board in the top 100 picks.

SPOTLIGHT PLAYER

Mike Hughes, Central Florida

America loves a redemption story. And Hughes is on the path from disgraced cornerback to potential first-round pick.

After a prolific high school career, Hughes passed on offers from Ohio State and Clemson to stay close to home in North Carolina, where he made an immediate impact as a true freshman for the Tar Heels. However, he was involved in a 3 a.m. fight at a fraternity house that left a victim unconscious with a broken nose. Hughes left UNC after the 2015 season and resurfaced at Garden City Community College, where he earned All-American honors as a do-everything athlete.

Hoping to return to the FBS level, Hughes enrolled at UCF last August and enjoyed a productive five months in Orlando. Despite joining the program just two weeks before the season opener, he quickly found the field and developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the country, posting 15 passes defended and four interceptions. Hughes also shined on special teams as the first player in school history to return a punt, kickoff and interception for a touchdown in a season.

The Cowboys invested premium draft picks in the cornerback position last season, but there is a realistic scenario where Hughes might be the best player on the draft board at pick No. 19. And although he does his best work in press coverage, Hughes has the mentality and athleticism to mirror receivers and be a lock-down corner in zone or man, making him tough to pass up for the Cowboys.

THE BEST

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

Similar to Jalen Ramsey out of Florida State in the 2016 draft, the debate surrounding Fitzpatrick will be his position fit in the NFL. And while scouts appear split whether he is a safety, cornerback or hybrid of both, there is no wrong answer, just like with Ramsey.

The linchpin of the Alabama defense, Fitzpatrick didn’t have gaudy stats in 2017. He had one interception, but his impact is clear on tape as offenses opted to throw away from him. While he has the requisite athleticism to play the position at a high level, his football intelligence and awareness are his two best traits, serving as an extension of Nick Saban on the field.

Playing primarily as a nickel corner in the Tide’s scheme, teams will need to make a projection to play him at outside cornerback, but he has the size/speed combination to mix-and-match receivers anywhere on the field. Fitzpatrick is a top-five player in the 2018 draft class.

SLEEPER

Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee

For whatever reason, there currently isn’t much buzz on Gaulden, but that will soon change. A Swiss Army knife in the Volunteers’ secondary, he was the starting nickel defender at Tennessee, playing an inside cornerback role.

Gaulden is dripping with natural talent, displaying the athletic twitch and coordination to match wide receivers. Although his emotions get the best of him at times, his fearless, infectious energy is received well among his teammates. He needs to improve his discipline, but his playing speed, toughness and heart belong in the NFL, providing pro coaches a foundation worth developing.

BEST OF TEXAS

Josh Jackson, Iowa

A three-sport star at Lake Dallas, Jackson didn’t have many options out of high school and went overlooked by most Texas programs. He signed with Iowa and was buried on the depth chart for a few seasons before blossoming at cornerback in 2017, leading the FBS in passes defended (26) and interceptions (eight).

For a cornerback, it is a fine line between reading the eyes of the quarterback and maintaining spacing, but Jackson is outstanding at this balancing act. Although tackling tends to be optional for him on tape, he has outstanding football intelligence and ball skills for an outside cornerback, and his desire to make plays is his best trait.

Brugler’s top 10
Rk., player School Ht. Wt. 40 Notable 1. Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama 6-0 201 4.52 Cornerback? Safety? Nickel? He can do it all. 2. Denzel Ward Ohio State 5-10 191 4.38 Undersized, but twitchy cover skills with plus speed. 3. Mike Hughes UCF 5-10 194 4.42 Physical press corner with dangerous return skills. 4. Jaire Alexander Louisville 5-11 192 4.45 Gives off Joe Haden vibe with his toughness. 5. Josh Jackson Iowa 6-0 193 4.48 Spotty run defender but great ball skills as a zone corner. 6. Isaiah Oliver Colorado 6-0 190 4.56 Classic press-man corner with his physical traits. 7. Carlton Davis Auburn 6-1 203 4.52 Unrefined, but NFL loves his height, length and speed. 8. Rashaan Gaulden Tennessee 6-1 195 4.53 Playing speed and toughness are on an NFL level. 9. Donte Jackson LSU 5-11 174 4.35 Rare speed and athletic burst help mask other flaws. 10. Anthony Averett Alabama 6-0 185 4.49 Read/react athleticism to play sticky coverage.

Safeties
Cornerbacks
Feb. 25: Linebackers
March 4: Defensive tackles
March 11: Edge rushers
March 18: Quarterbacks
March 25: Running backs
April 1: Tight ends
April 8: Offensive linemen
April 15: Wide receivers

Play Video

Play

Loaded: 0%

Progress: 0%

Remaining Time -0:00

This is a modal window.

Foreground — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Opaque

Background — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent

Window — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent

Font Size 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400%

Text Edge Style None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow

Font Family Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps

Defaults Done

Source Article

Posted on

Home Depot to hire 1,900 new employees in Dallas-Fort Worth

DALLAS – The Home Depot has announced it will hire 1,900 associates in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as part of a push to hire thousands of employees nationwide for the spring season.

Both full-time, part-time and seasonal positions will be available across different departments in the company at more than 20 DFW locations.

Spring is Home Depot’s busiest sales season, the company said in a press release.

Prospective employees can attend any of seven hiring events across the area on Thursday, Feb. 8 and Thursday, Feb. 15 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.:

• 2110 N. Galloway Ave., Ste. 116
Mesquite, TX 75150

• 217 N. 10th St.
Garland, TX 75040

• 5955 Alpha Rd.
Dallas, TX 75240

• 1601 S. Malcolm X Blvd., Ste. 201
Dallas, TX 75226

• 801 South State Highway 161, 5th Floor
Grand Prairie, TX 75051

• 2520 W. Irving Blvd., Ste. 100
Irving, TX 75061

• 7330 S. Westmoreland Rd., Ste. 200
Dallas, TX 75237

Jobseekers can apply on Home Depot’s website, or by texting HOMEDEPOT to 52270 to receive a link to apply for hourly positions nearby.

A hiring “heat map” that tracks job openings across the country can be found here.

The Home Depot has 2,284 stores, and the company employs more than 400,000 people.

© 2018 WFAA-TV

Source Article

Posted on

Texas bullet train developers unveil renderings for Dallas station – Dallas Business Journal

Developers of the Texas bullet train released renderings and maps on Monday morning showing where the proposed Dallas terminal will be.

The passenger station will be built on a largely vacant 60-acre plot south of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in the revitalized Cedars neighborhood, according to Texas Central, the company spearheading the $15 billion high-speed train project attempting to link Dallas and Houston.

The site is near the I-30 and I-35 interchange, in an area that’s undergoing a transition from mostly light industrial and manufacturing facilities to a walkable neighborhood with repurposed and newly-constructed mixed-use developments.

The announcement comes a month after federal regulators overseeing the project said in an environment analysis that the 200-mile-per-hour train “is needed to accommodate growing demand.”

From the Dallas station, passengers will have a 90-minute connection to Houston, along with a midway stop in the Bryan-College Station area. Renderings of the Brazos Valley station, in the Grimes County town of Roans Prairie, were released earlier this month.

Plans call for connecting the Dallas station to multimodal transportation networks, including Dallas Area Rapid Transit services.

The introduction of the bullet train to the Cedars neighborhood will accelerate and enhance economic growth in the southern edge of downtown, bringing in offices, retail, entertainment, restaurants, hotels, apartments and condominiums, Texas Central said in a news release.

Texas Central released renderings – final designs are pending – that show a multi-level station between South Riverfront Boulevard and Austin Street, with connections to DART’s light-rail system, buses and other transit systems.

The project will attract new residents to the area, encourage denser development of the Cedars neighborhood and aid the region’s highway congestion relief efforts, Texas Central leaders said.

“This station will be a magnet for economic activity in an area ripe for development,” Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar added.

Aguilar said the high-speed rail project also is a draw for Amazon’s proposed new headquarters, putting highly-ranked research facilities a train ride away.

"This creates a super economy,” he said. “It’s an amazing way to accelerate transit-oriented development that sets Texas apart from any other state, and provides businesses with unparalleled access to workers, suppliers and other critical needs.”

The development would be comparable to the recent transition of the Uptown area of Dallas, the Federal Railroad Administration said in its Draft Environmental Impact Survey.

The bullet train would bridge Texas’ two largest cities, which together make up half of the state’s population. Last month, the FRA identified the train’s preferred route — a 240-mile path mostly following transmission lines in a utility corridor between North Texas and Houston.

Construction on the rail line is expected to start next year and finish by 2024.

In the environmental report, federal regulators cited the Dallas station’s economic benefits, including increased property values within a half-mile radius of the terminal as a result of the train project. The document also said the station and its support facilities would generate more revenue for property-taxing entities, and station ticket sales would produce more in local sales taxes.

The bullet train could create as many as 10,000 jobs during each year of construction and about 1,500 full-time jobs when operations start.

Texas Central, an investor-owned project, is not taking federal or state grants for construction or the bullet train’s operations.

The company has reached an agreement with developer Jack Matthews, who owns the site picked for the proposed terminal, Texas Central said, but terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Phillip Robinson, president of the Cedars Neighborhood Association, said the area “is ideal for the bullet train station and the many benefits it will bring.”

“Location is everything, and the southern sector of Dallas continues to be one of the hottest spots for the city’s growth,” Robinson said. “The station is sure to help local establishments, continue our organic growth and support our cultural amenities.”

The Cedars neighborhood already is undergoing significant new construction and conversion projects, including Southside on Lamar; Dallas’ police headquarters; restoration of historic industrial buildings to mixed-use facilities; and the opening of a movie theater, Alamo Drafthouse Cedars, and boutique hotel, NYLO Dallas South Side.

The Dallas station concourses would consist of public areas, such as restaurants, bars, seating areas, fast food, concessions, newsstands and rental car counters. Enclosed, elevated pedestrian bridges would connect it to new parking facilities.

Improvements also would be planned for Riverfront Boulevard at Cadiz Street, Riverfront Boulevard at Corinth Street, Belleview Street at South Akard Street, and Hotel Street north of I-30, along with an extension south along the station area. These would be designed in part to alleviate current congestion and improve traffic flow.

Source Article

Posted on

Former First Lady Michelle Obama To Speak In Dallas

DALLAS, TX — Michelle Obama is coming to Dallas in March, and you could have a chance to hear her speak. Her appearance comes as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s #HearHere series, which boasts an impressive lineup of names

Among the personalities speaking at the engagement, which runs from early March to late July, are Steve Wozniak, Rita Moreno, Rob Lowe, Bill Murray & Friends, Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Ira Glass.

Even Neil deGrasse Tyson is slated to make an appearance. Unfortunately for fans, his show has already sold out.

To see Mrs. Obama’s presentation, or that of Ira Glass, attendees must first buy a subscription to #HearHere. Subscriptions start at $186, but a night with either of the personalities comes as an add-on, which cost extra.

You can view details on the #HearHere series on AT&T Performing Arts Center’s website.

Subscribe

Getty Images file photo: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama smiles during a conversation at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is scheduled to speak at AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas on March 8, 2018. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

Source Article