NFL Draft

Predicting The Draft: Which Wide Receiver Best Fits the Dallas Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys Targeting WR

Dez Bryant Cowboys

This past Friday the Dallas Cowboys released the long-time veteran wide receiver, Dez Bryant. The Cowboys had hinted at a break-up all offseason and finally pulled the trigger. The big question now is how will the Cowboys address the wide receiver position?

They added Allen Hurns from Jacksonville and Deonte Thompson from Buffalo, but they are not finished. Besides those two, the remaining receivers on the roster include Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Ryan Switzer, KD Cannon, Noah Brown, and Lance Lenoir; an underwhelming group to say the least. So what now in Big D? Address the wide receiver position through the 2018 NFL Draft.

Over the past eight seasons since drafting Bryant at 24th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have not spent anything higher than a third-round pick (Terrance Williams…blah) on the wide receiver position. Before Bryant, the last time the Cowboys took a wide receiver in the first round was in 1991 NFL Draft! Dallas took WR Alvin Harper from Tennessee 12th overall.

GIFs aside, Dallas may not take address the receiver position with the 19th overall pick. If that happens, I do expect from their four picks in rounds 2-4 to have at least one wide receiver selection if not two. Additionally, with no wide receiver in this draft class the obvious number one, I could see Dallas trading down and taking the receiver they like best at a better value at the end of the first/beginning of the second. That receiver, in my opinion, will most likely be Courtland Sutton out of SMU.

Courtland Sutton – SMU

Sutton is a big-bodied 6’3” wide receiver that seems like the most logical replacement for the Dez Bryant-less Cowboys. In his blind NFL comparison article on Courtland Sutton, senior fantasy writer for Gridiron Experts Mitchell Renz compares Sutton to Alshon Jeffery. A great comparison that alludes to Sutton possessing more athleticism, but Jeffery is the more polished receiver. With a tall and muscular frame, the SMU wide receiver would flourish as a red-zone option in the Cowboys run-heavy offense. A big asset to also note is that Sutton is a solid run blocker as well. Drafting Sutton is what I think the Cowboys should and will end up doing, but the draft can be very unpredictable. If they don’t go with Sutton, there are a few other options at wide receiver they have shown interest in that they may target instead.

D.J. Moore – Maryland

D.J. Moore is not as big as Sutton, at 6’0″, but makes up for his size with his speed, athletism and playmaking ability especially after the catch. In a different blind NFL comparison article on D.J. Moore, Mitchell Renz compares him to being Moore athletic than Sammy Watkins. In a Dallas offense that will be run-heavy, having a player that can stretch the field to open up the run game for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot could be very enticing. Then again, having a wide receiver that actually creates separation would also be quite nice for Dallas.

Calvin Ridley – Alabama

Calvin RidleyOne of the biggest strengths of Calvin Ridley is his ability to create separation due to his excellent route running. We know Bryant got the boot out of Dallas because of his inability to create separation so Ridley could be the perfect fix in Big D. For the Calvin Ridley NFL comparison, Mitchell Renz matches him up with Stefon Diggs. At age 24, Ridley is an older prospect, but perhaps that is exactly what Dallas needs at the position. A mature player that won’t go into diva mode. However, I do have concerns about Ridley being able to be a number one wide receiver on a team based on his speed and strength. We saw Dez struggle against tough cornerbacks all last year, and Ridley would wear that burden if he is slotted to be the number one target in Dallas. Dallas could benefit from having a player that can take the top off the defense.

James Washington – Oklahoma State

James Washington is a big play threat waiting to happen on the outside. Averaging over 20 yards per catch in college adding Washington would definitely give Dallas a receiver with a unique skill set to their current wide receiver room. Remember they lost Brice Butler in free agency, so Washington could be the deep threat they are looking for. Could also potentially turn into a number one receiver, that they could easily get in the second round. But if they continue to wait there are still some other options at wide receiver in the later rounds.

Dante Pettis – Washington

If the Cowboys were to take a guy like Pettis, it would be in the later rounds. He visited with the team during his pro day, so it will be interesting to see how much interest Dallas actually has. Pettis will not be a number one receiver anytime soon but he has value as he can play both inside and outside, and return punts. He also has a certain “quarterback’s best friend” mantra surrounding him. At 6’1” Pettis could prove to be an overall more dynamic player than both slot receivers Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer who are both listed at 5’8”. Also, I heard a rumor that Cole Beasley has gotten sick with….the Beasles. The last thing the Cowboys want in their locker room is a sickness. But then again, they have shown in the past they don’t shy away from players that cause headaches!

Antonio Callaway- Florida

Callaway could be a massive steal in this draft. He is a great talent at wide receiver, but his off the field, concerns will most certainly see him drop. I have read reports from specific NFL general managers saying he is completely off their draft boards. If the Cowboys decide to target a wide receiver later on in the draft Callaway could be their guy. After all, Dallas has shown in the past that they are not afraid to add players to their roster with off the field issues if they can produce on Sundays.


Thanks for Reading!


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