When it comes to the NFL Draft Day 3 is a crap shoot. There are generally just as many misses as there are hits, but the Dallas Cowboys just so happen to be a team who have been able to find a few hidden gems in the past. Wide Receiver Jaelon Darden could be the Cowboys next late-round steal.
The former Mean Green WR capped off his four years at North Texas as one of the most productive receivers in collegiate football last year. In just nine games he caught 74 passes for 1,190 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. That production alone earned him a draftable grade, but it was his eye-opening Pro Day that solidified Darden's status as a draft prospect.
29 NFL teams here for @MeanGreenFB WR Jaelon Darden's pro day. All-American caught 19 TD passes last season. Ran an unofficial 4.46. Looked very quick running routes — with no drops. @NBCDFW @1053thefan pic.twitter.com/ZkOkVaZlz5
Jaelon Darden measured in at 5-foot-7 1/2 and 174 pounds and ran an impressive 4.46 40-yard dash in front of 34 scouts from 29 teams at his Pro Day. Where he really stood out though was in his position drills, posting a 4.07 20-yard shuffle and a 6.65 three-cone drill.
Darden's numbers when compared to times posted by WRs in previous NFL scouting combines are impressive. Even more so considering he also posted a 35.6 inch vertical leap, 10.2 inch broad jump, and 11 bench reps. For a smaller slot WR these are some eye-popping numbers.
Despite these impressive numbers, Darden's draft projection is all over the place. The consensus is though he will go somewhere on Day 3, which could play right into the hands of the Dallas Cowboys.
Despite popular belief the Dallas Cowboys could stand to add some more depth to their WR corps. Only Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb are under contract after the 2021 season right now, hence the reason why Dallas could look to take advantage of a deep WR draft class.
There's really no way of knowing how much interest the Cowboys could have in Jaelon Darden, but they were at least in attendance to watch him put on a show at his Pro Day. That alone should put him on their radar.
Jaelon Darden would be a Cole Beasley type of WR with the Cowboys. Beasley was once a favorite target by Dak Prescott and Darden could provide that same kind of security blanket as well. He has the same type of skill set, but he's arguably a little more explosive.
Darden could be a really unique weapon in the passing game for the Cowboys. He has outstanding foot quickness and the ability to hit top speed instantly. He'd be really difficult to cover out of the slot because of his speed to threaten the defense deep and his change of direction agility. He could be the chain mover much like Cole Beasley was during his time in Dallas.
If the Dallas Cowboys are indeed looking for such a WR he could be someone they target at some point on Day 3. With five draft picks in the last three rounds they'd have plenty of ammunition to secure his services for the future. Now we just have to wait and see how it turns out.