Even before the Dez Bryant arrest made headlines, the Cowboys' wide receiver position was something that I was concerned about. Laurent Robinson took his talents to Jacksonville for a cool $32.5 million, and his departure leaves the Cowboys with a bunch of unproven wide receivers fighting to make up for Robinson's production. A healthy Miles Austin should pick up the slack, but there is the possibility that Dez Bryant could face a suspension, and there is a lack of proven depth at the receiver position.
Another off-the-field incident has put cloud over Bryant's future with the Cowboys, but I believe that he will be a big part of this team for a long time. What the Cowboys lack is depth, but another legimate receiving prospect would really open up the Cowboys' offense and put them into an elite category.
If one of the Cowboys' young prospects already on the roster steps up this season and produces, then drafting a wide receiver may become an afterthought, but regardless of what happens this season, it may be a good idea for the Cowboys to consider adding a receiver via the 2013 NFL Draft.
So what receivers are headlining the 2013 NFL Draft? Take the jump for the prospects...
Allen came to Cal as a highly sought after safety prospect, but made the move to wide receiver. The Cowboys look for wide receivers with a certain skill set and size, and Allen fits their criteria. Cal lists Allen at 6'3, 206 pounds, and he is a physical wide receiver with the body type that would definitely interest the Cowboys.
After having a great season as a freshman, Allen showed that he was going to be a playmaker early into his college career. He had his breakout season as a sophomore, collecting 98 receptions, 1,343 yards and 6 touchdowns. Teams are beginning to double-team him, so Allen will have to figure out how to beat double coverage. His combination of size, strength, speed and hands will make him one of the top receivers in the 2013 NFL Draft, but he is only a junior and could decide to stay in college another year.
Cal Football: Keenan Allen - WR Highlights 2010-2011 (via calbearsgobig)
Tennessee features a potent offense this year led by Tyler Bray at quarterback and two dynamic wide receivers in Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers. Hunter was a track star in high school and his athletic ability is off the charts. He has a long and lanky frame (6'4, 200) in the mold of Roy Williams and Placixo Burress, but his speed and athleticism allow him to gain separation from defensive backs. Hunter is also very smooth as a route runner, and that is impressive for a receiver of his size.
After a promising start to his college career as a freshman, Hunter was poised to be one of the best wide receivers in college football last year. Unfortunately for Hunter, he suffered a torn ACL just three games into the 2011 season. Entering his junior season, Hunter will look to come back strong from the injury and show that he didn't lose any of his athleticism. Even though he is only a junior, Hunter is considered to be one of the best wide receiver prospects who qualify for the 2013 NFL Draft. If he has a huge year, he may consider forgoing his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
Justin Hunter 2011 Tribute (via BlazerChronicles09)
Da'Rick Rogers is the other dynamic wide receiver from Tennessee. Rogers is a freak athlete, but his size (6'3, 206) is NFL-ready material. Rogers is a physical wide receiver who can make amazing catches, and he is dangerous in the open field.
Rogers stepped up and produced for Tennessee when they lost Hunter for the season with a torn ACL. Even though he is only a junior, Rogers is also considered to be one of the best wide receiver prospects eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft. If he has another great season, he could forgo his senior season and enter the draft.
One red flag that needs to be considered is his character. Rogers was arrested when he was a freshman for a bar fight, and he was nearly kicked off the team for that incident. After missing a practice in March, there was some concern that Rogers was going to transfer to Georgia State. Apparently, Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley and Rogers had some sort of argument. While Rogers is a uniquely gifted wide receiver, there are some character concerns that come along with his talent.
Da'Rick Rogers 2011 Highlights (via natea831)
The Cowboys were obviously interested in former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon. While the Cowboys have used some resources scouting the local football program, they haven't drafted a Baylor product recently. Terrance Williams should be on the Cowboys' radar because he is close enough to them that they can get a really good look at him to see if he should be a player they target in the draft.
Baylor lists Williams at 6'3, 205 pounds, and he has the type of body the Cowboys look for in wide receivers. Williams wasn't a highly recruited prospect in high school coming out of Dallas, but he has earned his playing time at Baylor. He is a good deep threat with a physical game, and he is dangerous with the football in his hands. Williams is a good route runner who finds ways to get open, and that is something the Cowboys could definitely use.
Terrance Williams vs Texas,OSU,Oklahoma,Missouri (via JmpasqDraftjedi)
The Type Of Wide Receiver The Cowboys Really Need
The Cowboys have simply not drafted a Percy Harvin or DeSean Jackson type of wide receiver recently. They have ignored the idea of drafting a versatile receiver who can have an impact in the return game. Their scouting department has shown a preference for receivers with size. For a long time I have desperately wanted this team to draft a "burner" at wide receiver who could contribute in a variety of ways.
I will leave you with two more prospects, and they are Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. Goodwin is a track star and he is one of the fastest players in college football, and after watching this video, he reminds me a lot of Felix Jones.
Austin reminds me a lot of Percy Harvin. West Virginia uses him in their offense in a similar way to how Florida did with Harvin. The Cowboys don't have a player on the wide receiver depth chart that can be used all over the field and on special teams. In my opinion, they should take a look at either Goodwin or Austin because they would be great values in the middle of the draft.
With the success that Darren Sproles and Percy Harvin have had in the NFL, I believe that adding a player with similar ability would bring an added dimension to the Cowboys' offense. The Cowboys should look to add a wide receiver who could play on the outside and start if needed, but the idea of adding a versatile receiver who could do a variety of things is also very tempting. With the focus on the passing game, you can now find wide receivers throughout the draft.