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Cowboys Must Look to the Draft for Slot Wide Receiver Solution

There are two things that are true about this offseason. First, the wide receiver group in free agency this year was and still is very underwhelming. That’s one of the reasons it was so important for the Dallas Cowboys to re-sign Amari Cooper. Finding any semblance of a replacement for Cooper was going to be near impossible in free agency. Second, the 2020 NFL Draft class is incredibly deep at wide receiver with players as late as round four that could potentially step in and help the Dallas Cowboys right away.

Therefore, if those two things are true, it’s pretty much time to quit looking at free agency as a way to reinforce your wide receiver group by solving your slot wide receiver problem. There isn’t a player in free agency that would make you feel so comfortable that you’d forgo selecting one in the draft.

Interestingly, the Dallas Cowboys have some flexibility with how they attack the draft when it comes to the wide receiver position. Because of Amari Cooper’s route-running ability and size, he could be utilized in the slot when the team utilizes three and four wide receiver sets if the Cowboys wanted to draft a wide receiver that was more of an outside guy like a Ceedee Lamb out of Oklahoma or Michael Pittman out of USC.

If they wanted a guy that had some inside-outside flexibility similar to Cooper, they could go after a player like Jerry Jeudy in the first round of the draft. Jeudy, like Cooper, is a quick and savvy route runner who is able to create separation and make plays with the football after the catch. Jeudy’s ability to play in the slot would allow the Dallas Cowboys to mix and match their wide receiver personnel, keeping defenses off balance and finding mismatches in the secondary.

K.J. Hill out of Ohio State in the second or third round or Devin Duvernay out of Texas in the fourth are guys that could be starting slot receivers for the Cowboys. With holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball, it seems all but unlikely that the Cowboys use a first on a wide receiver. They would need to look deeper into the draft to find players that can be effective slot receivers. Hill and Duvernay both fit that mold. if you didn’t want to expend a first-round pick at the wide receiver position.

Generally, I’d be much more inclined to look to a veteran to fill a need, especially at wide receiver where the transition from college to the NFL can be a difficult one. However, with the lack of talent available in the free agency pool at this point, I’m much more inclined to go into the draft looking to fill out my wide receiver corp or see what the guys on the roster have.

With Devin Smith, Noah Brown, Cedrick Wilson, and Vontrelle Bryant, the Cowboys have options similar to the talent you can find in free agency this year. So, if they’re looking to add a wide receiver to this mix, they’d be much better served doing so in the draft.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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  1. What about big slot receivers like Claypool, or Tyler Johnson in the 3rd or 4th, or James Proche (hometown boy) in the 5th. I would be ok with trading down in 1st and getting Jalen Raegor.

    • I think Proche would be fine, but from what I can tell he has a difficult time separating. Claypool sounds more like a future Tight End to me.

      I’m still looking for players who can create separation.

  2. One thing is for certain. Reaver, Judey, Lamb, are special. They would all be top ten talents in any draft. One must consider one of them If he is available. Dallas would be fortunate to have one of them at 18. Anthony.

  3. I keep seeing KJ Hill listed in the Cowboys mock drafts. But the stats and descriptions for Texas WR Duvernay really jump off the page for me. Admittedly I didn’t see much of either in college. Just wondering why Hill generally seems more highly regarded than Duvernay?

    • KJ Hill performed better at the NFL scouting combine Duvernay performed better at the Senior Bowl . If Duvernay is able to catch the ball on a daily basis he will have a productive career

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