The Dallas Cowboys have quite a few holes to fill on their roster before the 2020 season starts. Defensive tackle, safety, and cornerback would probably top the list of priorities, however, there’s another position that needs to be looked at.
The wide receiver position for the Cowboys, as good as it is, could also use a little boost. Their top pass catcher, Amari Cooper, is looking for a long-term deal to stay in Dallas, and the organization feels the same way. Michael Gallup is a rising young star who just racked up 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns. Randall Cobb, as a third option, totaled 55 receptions for 828 yards and three touchdowns in 2019. However, he’s set to hit the open market which could leave a spot open in the wide receiver room, and the upcoming NFL Draft has plenty of goodies to choose from.
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Justin Jefferson came on the scene in 2017 in Baton Rouge. As a freshman, he didn’t register a single catch, but that would change a year later. In 2018, Jefferson had 54 receptions for 875 yards and six touchdowns. This past season, Jefferson took it to another level with 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns, which was good enough to get him a second-team All-SEC nod.
In the College Football Playoff, Jefferson elevated his game to a different stratosphere. In the semifinals vs Oklahoma, Jefferson had an unreal 14 receptions for 227 yards and four touchdowns. All four touchdowns came in the first half which set a CFP record and tied the record for any bowl game. He followed that up with nine receptions for 106 yards in LSU’s 42-25 beatdown of Clemson to win the national title.
Jefferson’s 6’3 192 pound frame makes him a mismatch for most corners. He is a good route runner who can adjust to the ball in the air with his leaping ability, which helps him high point the ball. His speed gives him the ability to get behind defenders on deep routes. Also, he’s very good at making contested catches. The idea of Jefferson playing alongside Cooper and Gallup is an interesting one.
Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
In 2017, Henry Ruggs III started off his career in Tuscaloosa somewhat quietly with only 12 receptions for 229 yards. However, half of those receptions went for touchdowns. In 2018, Ruggs picked it up logging 46 receptions for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns. This season, he was solid once again with 40 receptions for 746 yards and seven touchdowns.
Ruggs has elite NFL speed being a legit 4.2 guy in the 40-yard dash. At six feet tall, he has great leaping ability and makes contested catches in traffic. He’s good in the red zone due to good hands and contesting jump balls. Also, his ability to play the X, Z, and slot positions boost his stock. A very interesting name to watch in the first round.
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
After a pedestrian 17 receptions for 345 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman in 2017, Tee Higgins made a name for himself in Death Valley. During his sophomore year, Higgins racked up 59 receptions for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns, which got him selected to the second-team All-ACC squad. In 2019, he was even better with 59 receptions for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns, giving him a first-team All-ACC nod.
At 6’4 215 pounds, Higgins is a matchup nightmare. He uses his hands instead of his body to catch passes, huge plus on the pro level. His length and leaping ability allow him to high point the ball, which makes him an ideal red-zone threat. He also possesses good speed, especially for his size. Higgins could come right in as an extremely solid third option at receiver.
There’s definitely no shortage of options in this deep wide receiver class. After retaining Cooper, which is one of the main priorities in the offseason, the Cowboys should try to add one more pass-catcher to join himself and Gallup. April will be very interesting once the Cowboys are on the clock during the first round in Vegas.