The Dallas Cowboys did the right thing the last couple of years by letting both Cole Beasley and Randall Cobb depart via free agency, but it does leave a void to be filled regardless. There are rumors the Dallas Cowboys and Emmanuel Sanders show a mutual interest in one another, but I wouldn’t rule out going the cheaper/younger route.
With such a deep wide receiver draft class available for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2020 NFL Draft, it makes sense to go that route to find Randall Cobb’s replacement. That’s what I want to discuss today. Below I’ve identified several players the Cowboys could target in each round to become their new slot WR.
Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)
Adding Jerry Jeudy with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup would be a dream come true for the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott. It’s probably a luxury to take a WR this early with so many defensive needs, but this trio could be magical.
Jalen Reagor (TCU)
Jalen Reagor is somebody the Dallas Cowboys could target in a trade down scenario. He is someone you want to manufacture touches for. He can play out of the slot, be a gadget player, and be a dynamic weapon the return game as well.
Justin Jefferson (LSU)
Justin Jefferson is another potential trade down target. He is more of a traditional WR and produced some crazy numbers out of the slot at LSU. He catches a high % of his targets, which would be really refreshing considering how much the Cowboys WRs struggled with drops in 2019.
Laviska Shenault (Colorado)
Laviska Shenault is a better athlete then wide receiver right now, but in time he could develop into one of the best WRs to come out of the 2020 draft class. I think early on he should be used a lot like Cordarrelle Patterson – runner, receiver, gadget player – until he can develop his craft more.
Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan)
Donovan Peoples-Jones’ production was hampered due to poor QB play at Michigan, but his blend of size, athleticism, and ball skills are pro-ready. He has the versatility to play outside, but is probably best utilized as a big-slot WR until he can prove he can beat press coverage consistently.
K.J. Hamler (Penn State)
I’m personally not as big of a fan of K.J. Hamler as others due to his small stature/catching radius, but his short area quickness and ability to separate are intriguing. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands if he can catch it cleanly, unfortunately he’s a bit of a body catcher.
Bryan Edwards (South Carolina)
Bryan Edwards is a lot like his former teammate Deebo Samuel, who the Dallas Cowboys seemed pretty interested in last year. Edwards has the same kind of versatility to play inside or out and be utilized in the short passing game or as a runner out of the backfield. He’s a BEAST with the ball.
Chase Claypool (Notre Dame)
Chase Claypool is a potential mismatch wherever he is utilized in the passing game in the NFL. He can be a big-slot, red zone threat, move TE, or play on the outside as well. Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore could get really creative with this kind of versatile weapon.
Michael Pittman Jr. (USC)
Michael Pittman Jr.’s addition would likely move Amari Cooper into the slot more often, but that’s not a completely terrible idea. He has some snap to his route running and can be a threat vertically as well. He would also bring some much-needed size to the Cowboys WR position.
Van Jefferson (Florida)
Van Jefferson isn’t the best athlete or most dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands, but is one of the more nuanced route runners in this year’s draft class. He can play all three WR positions (slot, Z, X), which could come in handy considering Cooper’s struggles remaining healthy.
Quartney Davis (Texas A&M)
Quartney Davis is someone I’m probably higher on than most people and as such would probably consider drafting him a round earlier. He is a quick footed, nuanced route runner who will excel in the slot in the NFL. He has struggled with injuries, but the reward far outweighs the risk.
Antonio Gibson (Memphis)
Antonio Gibson is another player I’m probably higher on than others. Some view him as a RB, but his film shows he’s just as capable of being a dynamic WR as well. He is a bit of a one-year wonder and will need time to develop, but the foundation is there. He’s also a dangerous return man.
KJ Hill (Ohio State)
KJ Hill’s not the biggest or fastest WR in this year’s draft class, but he is one of the better route runners. Because of that he was highly productive during his time at Ohio State and that productivity should translate to the next level. He could be just a chain mover/3rd down option in the NFL.
Quintez Cephus (Wisconsin)
Quintez Cephus is in the mold of Michael Gallup as far as size/speed are concerned. He’s explosive off line of scrimmage and physical in and out of his breaks and at the catch point. He should be able to out muscle any CB who tries to cover him out of the slot.
Devin Duvernay (Texas)
Devin Duvernay is built more like a running back and kind of moves like one in the passing game. There’s a tightness to his game due to his compact, muscled frame and it hurts him consistently gain separation. With that said, he is a versatile weapon with sticky/vice grip like hands.
Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)
Oddly enough, Tyler Johnson has gone from a potential first-round talent to a Day 3 prospect in a short amount of time. He is a limited athlete with poor speed, but he has a good understanding of how to use his body to create separation in the passing game.
James Proche (SMU)
The Dallas Cowboys found success in a former SMU WR (Cole Beasley) and could do so once again in James Proche. He is a little undersized and not the best athlete, but he has an outstanding catch radius and makes the difficult catches look easy.
Lynn Bowden (Kentucky)
Hello Randall Cobb 2.0! Like Cobb, Lynn Bowden is a former QB/WR/RB and is a threat to take it the distance any time he touches the ball. He of course will need time to develop as a full-time WR, but this guy is a playmaker in every sense of the word.
Aaron Fuller (Washington)
Aaron Fuller is one of the more frustrating wide receiver prospects in the entire 2020 draft class. His route running is absolutely crisp, but his inconsistency catching the ball is maddening. If he can somehow become more consistent catching the ball, he could be an absolute steal.
Jeff Thomas (Miami)
Jeff Thomas is another WR whose production was hampered by poor QB play. He is explosive and can stretch the field vertically and has good short area quickness. He also has very good hands with a wide catch radius. The talent is there, but there are some character concerns.
John Hightower (Boise State)
John Hightower is a tall, wire thin WR prospect who will need to add some muscle to his frame at the next level. He is a smooth accelerator and is able to change directions on a dime. He has good run-after-catch and kick-return ability, which is probably his ticket to stick around in the NFL.