As the days grew closer to the meeting between Dez and Jerry Jones, the writing appeared to be on the wall as Cowboys fans will no longer see the “X” being thrown up in the endzone on Sunday’s. Now, I know the move wasn’t popular among Cowboys fans but as a franchise and a fan base, it’s time to move forward. And that begins with the draft.
With #88 out of the conversation, the current WR depth chart for the Cowboys stands as followed:
|Terrance Williams||Allen Hurns||Cole Beasley|
|Deonte Thompson||Noah Brown||Ryan Switzer|
Outside of Williams, Hurns, and Beasley, the rest of the depth chart has yet to truly make their mark on the league. But with Dez out of the picture and Beasley sure to continue his production across the middle of the field with Dak, that moves Williams and newcomer Hurns to the forefront and it’s unclear if they are true WR1 caliber.
That’s where the draft comes in.
Sitting with the 19th pick in the first round, the Cowboys are in a good spot to potentially draft a top wide receiver prospect. For who that prospect is at the 19th spot, there’s two that come to mind.
Calvin Ridley – Alabama
The two-time national champion hit the ground running when he arrived in Tuscaloosa as a freshman. Ridley caught 89 passes as a freshman, collecting 1045 yards and seven touchdowns. Over the next two seasons, he continued the production, catching 135 passes with 12 touchdowns. Though he didn’t play with an elite quarterback, he continued to make plays on the field with whomever was under center. Ridley has the ability to blow by his defender and break open huge gains across the field which was only helped at the combine, where he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash. With his capability to create separation with his speed and crisp route running, Ridley could become a WR1 despite his slender build. If Ridley finds himself still on the board while the Cowboys are on the clock, I’d be shocked if they pass on him.
Courtland Sutton – SMU
The Texas native may not have played in a Power-5 conference, but Courtland Sutton definitely left his mark on the college game over his three years at SMU. The redshirt junior charted 195 catches over his career as a Mustang with over 3200 yards and 31 touchdowns, including 12 touchdowns in 2017. Sutton might as well have lived in the endzone as much as he was targeted in the redzone. With his 6’3″ frame, Sutton is an ideal redzone target who can use his body and physicality to his advantage against opposing corners. Though he may not have the elite explosiveness in what you’d want out of a WR1, Sutton can be a trusted possession receiver for years to come that can snag down jump balls in the endzone.
Whether it’s Calvin Ridley, Courtland Sutton, or another wide receiver later on in the draft, I’d expect the Cowboys to bring in a rookie wideout. Filling the shoes of the overall talent Dez holds is unexpected and unrealistic for a rookie receiver or even for Terrance Williams and Allen Hurns, but the chemistry built with Dak Prescott could exceed what the third-year QB had with #88.
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