With most of the big-named free agents now signed, the Dallas Cowboys will most likely turn to the NFL Draft to find a solid third wide receiver.
For the past few offseasons, the Dallas Cowboys have opted not to make a splash in free agency and instead rely on the draft to fill out their roster. With the departure of Randall Cobb, who signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Houston Texans, the Cowboys were left with a hole to fill at wide receiver.
Multiple receivers have been linked to the Dallas Cowboys via free agency, the most notable being Emmanuel Sanders. Things were sounding positive with interest seemingly coming from both sides, but the former San Francisco 49ers receiver wound up signing with the New Orleans Saints. Robby Anderson went to the Carolina Panthers, Breshad Perriman to the New York Jets, and Nelson Agholor to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Just like that, most of the big-named wide receiver free agents have been snatched up, leaving the Cowboys with really only one option remaining; they’ll have to turn to the 2020 NFL Draft to find a replacement.
Thankfully, Dallas signed Amari Cooper to a five-year, $100 million deal. They’ve also got third-year receiver Michael Gallup returning, and he’ll look to improve upon his surprising sophomore season in which he caught 66 passes for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns.
Still, Dallas is in dire need of a legitimate third wide receiver. With Cooper and Gallup, it isn’t the team’s most pressing need right now, but the position will need to be addressed in the draft at some point.
I wouldn’t expect them to spend their first round pick on a receiver, so you can probably cross guys like Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee CeeDee Lamb of your list. Those are top-15 picks at worst and I can’t envision the Cowboys trading up from No. 17 to go after a position in which they already have their starters for.
That said, there’s still plenty of talent in this year’s draft at the receiver position and the Cowboys should be find waiting until the second or third round, or possibly later, to address the position. Speedsters like Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III or TCU’s Jalen Reagor could be viable targets for Dallas.
Pro Football Focus’s Mike Renner even pointed out how Reagor could be “a steal” for whatever team drafts him in the second round, should he drop that far. In a round-up highlighting eight elite receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft, Renner wrote of Reagor:
“Reagor’s lack of production in 2019 could drop him into the second round. That’d be a steal for the team that gets him at that point.”
After their first-round pick, the Cowboys have the following picks:
- Round 2, pick 19 (No. 51 overall)|
- Round 3, pick 18 (No. 82 overall)
- Round 4, pick 17 (No. 123 overall)
- Round 5, pick 18 (No. 164 overall)
- Round 5, pick 33 (No. 179 overall)
- Round 7, pick 17 (No. 231 overall)
CBS ranks Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson as the No. 81 overall in the draft, but PFF’s Renner has him as a late second round pick. Last year for Minnesota, Johnson had 75 receptions for 1,113 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s considered one of the best route runners in the draft, which could be a huge plus for Dallas.
Another possible target is USC’s Michael Pittman Jr., who has drawn comparisons to Michael Thomas and Kenny Golladay. What Pittman Jr. lacks in speed, he makes up for with some amazing hands. He hauled in 95 receptions for 1,216 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Trojans last season. It’s hard to predict where he’ll go in the draft exactly but most have him pegged for rounds two or three.
With the 2020 NFL Draft as deep as it is for receiver, Dallas can probably even afford to wait until day two or three of the draft to address the position. They’ll find talented receivers like UCF’s Gabriel Davis, South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards and Florida’s Van Jefferson available in the middle rounds.
Replacing Cobb’s production (55 receptions, 828 yards, three touchdowns) won’t be easy, but there’s certainly enough talent in this year’s draft that the Dallas Cowboys could find a suitable replacement for him. Who would you like to see the Cowboys draft at wide receiver?