Cowboys Draft Blasphemy: The First Round Wide Receiver

One topic that has split the Cowboys fan base recently was the #3 wide receiver position. Losing Laurent Robinson was a tough blow, but we need to move on. I have discussed the possibilities of mid-round draft prospects, but we have not discussed potential higher draft picks at the position. Former Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen basically made his team the laughing stock of the league because he devoted four first-round picks ('03, '04, '05 & '07) on the wide receiver position. This is why discussing the possibility of drafting a wide receiver at 14 is not a highly talked about scenario.


Related: Does Wide Receiver Become A Priority For The Cowboys?


The Cowboys would probably be better off using the 14th pick on a offensive lineman or defensive player. We shouldn't rule out the possibility of drafting a wide receiver like Michael Floyd because of the front office continuing to push the best available player approach down our throats.

It is also wise to start taking a look at some different draft scenarios. We all know about David DeCastro and Dre Kirkpatrick, so maybe it is time we start broadening up the prospect search. Anything can happen with Jerry Jones, so we should never rule out any possibility.

So what if they are truly dedicated to drafting the best player available in the first round? Many have openly supported this theory and have backed the Cowboys public stance of the BPA. What if that player were a wide receiver? Would the support still be so overwhelming?

Take the jump for more...

Cowboys Wide Receiver Misconceptions

Often I hear fans from other teams laugh and suggest that Jerry Jones will draft a wide receiver in the first round. I have never understood this joke because honestly, Jerry has not dedicated a lot of draft picks on the position. Of course there is the disaster that was the Roy Williams trade, costing us first, third and fifth-round draft picks. But the draft history at wide receiver isn't too extensive.

  • Dez Bryant 24th overall selection in 2010
  • Antonio Bryant 63rd overall selection in 2002
  • Kevin R. Williams 46th overall selection in 1993
  • Jimmy Smith 36th overall selection in 1992

In the past twenty years, that is only four wide receivers taken within the first two rounds. Fans of opposing teams should begin to do the draft research of their own teams before they make a joke about Jerry Jones being Matt Millen.

Two #1 Wide Receivers?

The Cowboys are lucky enough to have what most teams wish they had, two #1 wide receivers. Miles Austin is 27 years old and will turn 28 this summer. He signed a six-year extension back in 2010 worth over $54 million dollars. Miles has the talent to be a number one option in our offense, but since 2009 he has dealt with inconsistency issues, drops and staying on the field.

I love Miles Austin and I don't want to make it sound like I am bashing him. If not for him, we would have lost a lot more games than we won. He is a playmaker and the RKG. I am very thankful to have him on this football team.

Dez Bryant is only 23 years old and has some of the best hands I have ever seen. He has the skill set to become one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Dez is the type of wide receiver that can take over games, but that just hasn't happened yet. The third year for a wide receiver is typically the time they breakout. If he can continue to develop as a route runner and learn the playbook, nothing will hold him back.

The only person that can hold him back is himself. The Cowboys knew what they were getting into when they traded up for him on draft night back in 2010. There were some maturity issues that prevented him from going in the top ten. There have been some minor off the field incidents that have also held Dez back from becoming a superstar. He needs to clean this stuff up and I have faith he will. We forget sometimes that this is just a 23 year old kid who has a whole lot to learn about life.

Having two #1 wide receivers should do great things for this offense, but both of them have had problems staying on the field. We definitely need some depth at wide receiver as an insurance policy in case one of them goes down. Obviously we cannot be stocked up at every position, but we will require a better prospect at the position.

Three # 1 Wide Receivers? Are You Serious?

Michael Floyd is currently the 17th overall prospect on my recent big board. Jerry and Stephen Jones have been selling the idea of taking the best player available when they go on the clock with the 14th overall pick in the draft. What if Floyd is the BPA at 14? Personally, it wouldn't bother me at all, but hear me out first.

Adding another premier talent at the wide receiver position will make this offense one of the best in the NFL, assuming the offensive line can hold up for Tony Romo. I see instant firepower with the combination of Austin, Bryant and Floyd. That three wide receiver set, paired with Jason Witten at tight end and DeMarco Murray in the backfield would give defenses fits all game long.

I know this is not a popular idea, but I am trying to think outside of the box here. The numerous formations we could run with this type of talent are endless. Since the league is developing into a passing one, why not jump ahead and continue that trend with three #1 wide receivers? Remember not everyone felt that Bill Belichick was brilliant for drafting two tight ends until it actually worked. Sometimes you have to take chances and go against the grain.

Michael Floyd Positives

Let's take a closer look at the Notre Dame wide receiver. Floyd is one of the best wide receivers in a very good receiver class. His size, 6-3, and 220 pounds, allows him to be extremely physical with cornerbacks. His body is very well built with a thick frame and he can continue to add more muscle. Size is important in the NFL because you want to see wide receivers who can take a hit and keep on going.

Floyd isn't just big and strong, he is also very athletic. He ran a 4.47 40 yard dash which is very good for a receiver his size. It isn't game breaking or dynamic speed, but it is still very good. This is the type of speed that can be used vertically, deep down the field. That is where he will be a big problem for secondaries in the NFL. If you have size and speed, you can be a legitimate deep threat every time you step onto the football field.

He doesn't just have straight line speed, but Floyd is also very quick. He can get great separation off the line because of his quickness. Receivers must be explosive off the line now with many teams employing physical man to man cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage. This is an area he will have no problem with at the next level.

His route running is another positive aspect of his scouting report. He is clean in and out of his breaks, and he can cut on a dime. Floyd maintains proper balance due to his excellent footwork. He is fearless across the middle and some receivers absolutely hate catching passes there because that is where they take the hard hits. This is another area he will have success at in the NFL.

Catching the ball naturally is not a problem for him and he has great hands. He always knows where the football is and is very similar to Dez Bryant when going up for the football. Once Floyd makes the catch, he doesn't go down easily. He will make arm tacklers pay because of his size and strength. Because he is so dynamic with the ball in his hands after the catch, it makes me believe that he will be a dominating force for a long time.

Negatives

There really isn't too much wrong with Floyd as far as football goes. He was a little inconsistent at Notre Dame, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt here because it seemed like he had a new quarterback throwing him the ball every week. Notre Dame wasn't exactly stacked with talent opposite of him, so sometimes it was easy to double and triple team him.

Injury concerns are one of his few red flags. He had a broken left collarbone in 2009, knee injuries and hamstring injuries during his college career. I don't believe that he is injury prone or fragile. Football is a tough and physical game, people are going to get hurt.

The real concerns with Floyd are the off the field stuff. There have been three alcohol related arrests during his college career. College kids make many mistakes, most of them involve alcohol, so none of this looks to be too serious besides the drunken driving arrest.

  1. 2009- Cited for underage consumption of alcohol
  2. 2010- Cited for underage consumption of alcohol
  3. 2011- Arrested for drunken driving on campus

I am willing to give him a another chance and not write him off as the wrong kind of guy. Humans are not robots, we make mistakes. Clearly the second chance didn't work out so well for Floyd, and he will need a fourth chance to prove to a NFL team he is the RKG. If the Cowboys are interested in him, which we don't know yet, they will need to do their homework on him.

They will need to ask the type of questions and hear the RKG answers. Jason Garrett is looking for hard working football players who practice hard and are good teammates. Just because Floyd had some issues with alcohol, that doesn't mean he is the WKG. If he practices hard, is a good teammate, plays hard, is passionate about the game of football and cuts out the illegal activities he would be a good fit for the Cowboys.

NFL Comparison: Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson

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