The Dallas Cowboys’ lack of play-making wide receivers was evident last season and probably had something to do with them finishing with a 4-12 record.
When Dez Bryant went down with a foot injury the receivers struggled during his absence. Despite never being quite 100%, it was more of the same even when he returned to the lineup.
Dallas even felt the need to try and add depth to the position by making a trade with the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Brice Butler. Although Butler showed flashes of his talent, he too struggled with injuries, thus complicating things even further.
Bryant is a competitor and may have returned a little too quickly from his injury, so the blame for the lack of production from the rest of the receivers can’t really be placed on him. The remaining Cowboys receivers were unable to step up when it was their time to shine and the entire offense suffered because of this.
Many of you will say that the entire carousel of backup quarterback’s didn’t really do anything to help the receivers either, but with Bryant not at 100% there really wasn’t another receiver that struck any kind of fear in the opponent’s defense.
That is why I believe that it is a high possibility that they draft a wide receiver in one of the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft.
It appears as if I’m not the only one that believes in this possibility.
“If I am looking at it positionally, the offensive line is just fine. Tight end will be solid. Would like a running back, because you can find one later in the draft. The one area that needs to be addressed is WR,” said Babe Laufenberg during a chat on The Dallas Morning News’ website earlier this week. “The position held them hostage last year. A lot of blame was laid at the feet of the backup quarterback, but the field really closed in when Dez went out. So what happens if he is out again? Have to have a viable contingency plan.”
~ Babe Laufenberg
Babe Laufenberg definitely has a better understanding of where the Cowboys brass stands on this topic, especially more than any of us will ever know. He has access to information from sources inside the organization, so his opinion could very well be based off of valuable information he’s heard from within Valley Ranch.
So, if the Cowboys are indeed leaning towards drafting a receiver in the early rounds, who would they be interested in?
Well, the Cowboys seem to be mostly interested in wide receivers that fit into a certain criteria. If you look at the receivers on the current roster you will notice a trend. With the exceptions of Cole Beasley and Lucky Whitehead, every other receiver that is currently on the roster is at least 6’2″ and approximately 220 pounds.
If the Cowboys stick to this criteria it helps considerably when determining which wide receivers they would be interested in selecting in the first couple of rounds.
Laquon Treadwell (6’2″, 221), Josh Doctson (6’2″, 202), and Michael Thomas (6’3″, 212) are really the only receivers that fit into the Cowboys criteria and the most likely to be drafted in round one or two.
In fact, the Cowboys coaching staff should already be fairly familiar with all three of these draft prospects.
Treadwell recently ran routes for the Cowboys coaching staff last Tuesday and I’m sure there will be a league of coaches/scouts attending his pro day. Just about everyone is interested in finding out what his 40-yard-dash time will be since he decided to skip the event at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Cowboys should know just about everything they need to know about Josh Doctson since he’s played his college ball just down the road at TCU. Doctson could possibly be the prospect that they are the most familiar with and because of that familiarity he could be the player they are the most comfortable drafting.
Ohio State recently had their pro day and the Cowboys had several members of the coaching staff on hand to get a firsthand look at their prospects, including wide receiver Michael Thomas. It is rumored that the coaching staff put several of the players through individual workouts so it will be interesting to see if Thomas is indeed on their radar.
Personally, any one of these three wide receivers would be an immediate upgrade to the position and would also provide valuable insurance in case Dez Bryant has to miss any time for some reason.
Laquon Treadwell is my personal favorite, but only by a slight margin.
I really like Treadwell’s passion for the game and how he takes pride in blocking down the field. He is just a smooth receiver that is a natural hands catcher. He can go up and snatch the ball out of the air at the highest point, which allows him to win in jump ball situations. I’ve heard him compared to Dez Bryant and I think that would be a fair comparison.
Who do you think would be best suited to join the Cowboys if they decided to go that direction with one of their first two draft picks?