Eyeing the Draft Towards Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Depth


Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad wide receiver Mike Davis of Texas (1) is tackled by North squad safety Deone Bucannon of Washington State (20) during the first half of a game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The needs are many for the Dallas Cowboys in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.  I’ve written before that it is my opinion they need to grab two or three defensive lineman and offensive linemen each.  I believe Dallas could use a safety, some linebacking depth, a developmental quarterback in the later rounds, but a need that might be more pressing than at first sight is wide receiver.

Taking a look at the Cowboys wide receiver depth chart; they have one of the best number one pass catchers in the league in Dez Bryant, and in his rookie season, Terrance Williams certainly emerged as a legitimate number two.  Bryant’s and Williams’ combined 137 receptions for 1,969 yards and 18 touchdowns ranked them among the best duos in the league.  The sky is the limit with these two youngsters.  Another high impact receiver was Cole Beasley who’s 2013 raw numbers didn’t dazzle (39 rec. 368 yds. 2 TD), but he made many of the club’s most clutch receptions throughout the season.

Beyond Bryant, Williams, and Beasley, special teams ace wide receiver/kick returner Dwayne Harris is another guy who could be counted on in a pinch to be productive catching tosses from quarterback Tony Romo, but Harris’ emergence as a true special teams difference-maker would might make the club hesitant to pull him out of the special teams role where he thrives.  Many speculate that Miles Austin’s days are numbered as a Cowboy because for the past couple years he has not played worthy of his number two WR salary.  The eighth year player had the worst statistical year of his career with 24 receptions, 244 yards, and 0 touchdowns.

So, even if the Cowboys decide to part ways with Austin, they still have a strong wide receiving core.  I think grabbing a later round developmental draft pick makes sense for Dallas.  While I don’t know that he would last through the fourth round where it might make the most sense for the Cowboys to draft a WR (he’s projected to be a late second to third round pick), the team may take a hard look at local Dallas prospect and University of Texas receiver Mike Davis.  Dallas Cowboys Football Analyst Bryan Broddus wrote here of Davis’ Senior Bowl performance,

"“His routes looked smooth, and against the press, he showed some quickness to release off the jam. Davis caught the ball well, didn’t look like he was fighting it or double catching any of the balls thrown his way.  The biggest surprise about his game was the willingness and toughness that he showed as a blocker. In the one-on-one work with the defensive backs, he was outstanding.  It didn’t matter who he was facing — he stepped up and took on the challenge.”"

What I like about Davis’ game is his physicality because any wide receivers the Cowboys draft will need to play on and excel at special teams.  I do not believe WR is a huge position of need for the Cowboys, but if a player like Davis falls to the third or fourth round, Dallas would be well served in drafting him.

Follow Matt Thornton on Twitter: @MattsCowboys

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