One position that isn't a need right now is wide receiver. We have two number one wide receivers in Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. The problem the Cowboys faced for many years was the #3 WR spot. They struggled to find a talented slot wide receiver, who could also provide depth.
The Cowboys thought they had their #3 in Kevin Ogletree, who was an UDFA out of Virginia in 2009. Ogletree has the physical ability to be a good player in the NFL, but he lacks the mental aspect of the game. We all know Ogletree has legit 4.4 speed and can stretch the field. But in his three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys he has never lived up to his potential.
Laurent Robinson was a gift from the football gods in 2011. The former third round pick has bounced around the league and has had injury issues that have prevented him from playing to his talent level. If not for the injuries and inconsistency, Robinson would have found a home earlier.
Robinson has always had the physical ability.
- 4.38 40 yard dash
- 39 inch vertical jumo
- 10'07" broad jump
The size and speed make Robinson a dangerous deep threat on the Cowboys offense. The problem we face is that Robinson is an unrestricted free agent. Of course we have all heard what Robinson has had to say about the Dallas Cowboys and wanting to stay here. I honestly believe he does love it in Dallas and wants to remain a Dallas Cowboy.
The issue is money and Robinson's agent understands this. Fortunately for the Cowboys, it is a deep wide receiver class in free agency. Let's take a look at some of the names that will be on the market with Robinson.
*This list comes from Footballs Future and may not be 100% accurate. I apologize in advance if anything is incorrect on this list, but it is so hard to find accurate information on NFL free agents.
- Reggie Wayne
- Wes Welker
- Vincent Jackson
- DeSean Jackson
- Dwayne Bowe
- Marques Colston
- Stevie Johnson
- Brandon Lloyd
- Robert Meachum
- Mario Manningham
- Early Doucet
- Pierre Garcon
- Eddie Royal
That is a pretty deep list full with talent. This is the one edge that Dallas will have once free agency starts. Robinson will receive interest from multiple teams, that is guaranteed. Hopefully Laurent Robinson, his agent, and the Dallas Cowboys can come to a fair agreement that works for all the parties involved.
I want Laurent Robinson back on this team. He is a match up dream for Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan. Having a 6'2 wide receiver with speed as the #3 WR presents a lot of opportunities to stretch the field. I totally see Robinson as the RKG and comes across as a genuine person with high character. He is a great fit for this offense and already has great knowledge of this system from his time in San Diego and 2011 season in Dallas.
With Robinson on the field with Dez and Miles at the same time, it basically gives you three legit receiving options. I won't go too far and say Robinson is a #1 WR, but he does have that type of quality to his game. He benefits from facing #3 cornerbacks in the slot and he can line up at any wide receiver position.
Robinson had a breakout year with the Cowboys in 2011 and in 14 games produced at a very high level.
- 54 receptions
- 858 yards
- 15.9 yards per reception
- 11 TD
Those are great numbers for a #3 WR and I just like his overall game. But there is the fear we could lose him in free agency and you should always prepare for the worst. I believe losing Robinson would present a huge hole at the wide receiver position. It's hard to replace his production and Robinson has great chemistry with Tony Romo. Losing Robinson would mean going out and getting another wide receiver.
That leaves us with two options. Signing a wide receiver in free agency, or drafting a wide receiver in the NFL Draft.
With so many needs on the defense, it would really hurt spending money in free agency on another wide receiver. It would also hurt to spend a draft pick on a wide receiver. We just have so many needs on the offensive line and defense that we need to devote every resource we have to those areas.
If we opted to draft a wide receiver, I do have one prospect in mind. I was tempted to write about Arkansas WR Joe Adams, but he may be too high of a draft pick for us. Adams has tremendously helped his draft stock the past couple of weeks and could go in the third round.
Instead of writing about Adams, I decided to write about a lesser known wide receiver that looks like a great prospect in my opinion.
Marvin Jones is one of the many talented wide receivers in this years draft class. The wide receiver class this year is stocked with talent and may be one of the deepest positions in the 2012 NFL Draft. I have been following Marvin Jones for the last couple of years. He popped up onto my radar when I was scouting Cal defensive lineman Cam Jordan and I remembered to keep track of Jones throughout his career.
Most NFL teams have a certain criteria they look for at each position. The Cowboys are very detailed in this area when it comes to draft prospects. They like certain types of players, with distinguishing athletic characteristics and body types.
At wide receiver, for whatever reason the Cowboys usually don't go after smaller guys. They like the taller wide receivers with a lean, muscular frame. This is why I believe Marvin Jones would be an interesting prospect for the Cowboys to keep their eye on.
Marvin Jones stands in at 6'2 and 198 pounds. He has long arms, 32 7/8 and a big wingspan of 79 1/4. When you look at Marvin Jones physically, he just looks like the type of wide receiver prospect the Cowboys would like.
Jones looks like a pretty good athlete and has good burst/acceleration. He may not be a blazer who will run a 4.3 or a 4.4 40 yard dash, but he has good speed. His acceleration is definitely better than his top speed and that is fine with me. Not every wide receiver has to be a speed demon, sometimes acceleration is more important.
What I really like about his game is that he has great hands. I have seen some amazing catches by Marvin Jones and he is really good at tracking the football. We all know how good Dez Bryant is at going up and getting the football, Marvin Jones isn't as dynamic as Dez is, but he is very good at going up and getting the football. Jones isn't the same caliber of athlete Dez is and isn't as physical as Dez, but Jones is similar to him when the ball is in the air.
Marvin Jones is a very good route runner and is well polished in this area. He has fluid hips and can make sharp cuts. He will use his size to his advantage when facing smaller cornerbacks and box them out, similar to a basketball player. Jones will benefit from good NFL coaching to improve his route running, but he is already pretty solid in that area.
As for his character, he totally appears to be the RKG.
Football photoshoot with #1 Marvin Jones, father (via thedailycal)
Marvin Jones Cal - All of My Life (via ThaStylz)
Let's take a look at his college production.
- 2011- 62 rec, 846 yards, 3 TD
- 2010- 50 rec, 765 yards, 4 TD
- 2009- 43 rec, 651 yards, 6 TD
He really doesn't have the eye popping stats that I know some of you were looking for. You can place some blame on the quarterback play at Cal. Cal really hasn't had a dynamic quarterback in a long time and that will drive down some of the stats. Marvin Jones is a big time player that shows up in big games and key moments. He has made tremendous catches over the years and has performed in the clutch.
I usually like to compare a prospect to a current or former NFL player, but in this case I don't have a comparison for Marvin Jones yet. I have seen some Donald Driver and Mario Manningham comparisons. Those might be fair comparisons and I really like the Manningham comparison.
Jones had a great week at the Senior Bowl and performed really well against Alfonzo Dennard. Right now I would say Jones is in the 4th-5th round, he could raise his stock with a good combine performance. In the 4th-5th round, Marvin Jones would be a great pick for the Cowboys, especially if they lose Laurent Robinson. Marvin Jones would provide depth and be a solid #3 WR. There is also a lot of upside with Jones and he could potentially one day become a starter.
Marvin Jones 2010 Highlights (via HANDSOMElifeOFswing)
Marvin jones 2009 season highlights (via HANDSOMElifeOFswing)
Marvin Jones Feature (via calathletics)