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Cowboys Draft Pick Analysis: Ryan Switzer Will Pump Up The Slot & Special Teams

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The Cowboys pick a player who can help as a slot receiver, and be a weapon on special teams.

NCAA Football: Sun Bowl-Stanford vs North Carolina Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys got down to brass tacks in the first three round selecting their top defenders. To start off the fourth round, the organization moved in a different direction. They opted to upgrade a special teams unit that is in need of some revitalization. Not only did they do that but they also got a solid receiver. For as fast as Lucky Whitehead can be, he’s an inconsistent receiver and makes more negative plays than positive ones. It’s about time the Cowboys add a new gadget-player who is elusive but strong, and someone who has vision. This is what the War Room was deliberating about but Dallas wanted to make sure they’re getting a receiver too which is why Scott Linehan and Rich Bisaccia were making the arguments.

Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina

5’8, 181 lbs, 4.51 40-time, 32 Vert

Where He Fits: The Cowboys don’t only believe in Switzer as a potential special team’s ace, they’re looking at him as another feather in the cap for Dak Prescott. As powerful as the offense has been, their special teams unit hasn’t been able to find someone that can demand the return man job. One of his drawbacks though is that some of his own teammates were rumored to not like him according to a scout, he’s got a little of that Randy Moss attitude, very cocky. Switzer’s best option is to unseat Lucky Whitehead, who has had his fair share of fumbles and mistakes. He’s also a more-than-reliable receiving option that became second-overall pick Mitchell Trubisky’s number one target. He made Trubisky look pretty darn good.

Production: In 2016, Switzer had 96 receptions, 1,112 receiving yards, and six touchdowns. He was first-team All-ACC as a freshman with five returned punts for touchdowns, 24 returns, 502 yards, and a nation’s best 20.9-yard average. He improved every year as a receiving option too with 32 receptions, 341 yards, and three touchdowns that year. He had 61 receptions for 762 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore. As a junior, he returned two punts for touchdowns and had six receiving touchdowns.

Value: He’s valued as a fifth-round selection by most pundits but the Cowboys don’t own a fifth-rounder currently. For Dallas, they really believe in all phases of the game and being able to flip the field can be important. We don’t mean to diminish what he can do as a receiver either because his numbers speak volumes. He gets some favorable comparisons to guys like Wes Welker or Julian Edelman, not for his size, but for his style of play.

Dak Prescott can toss it deep but he, like the Tom Brady’s of the world, prefer to carve you up until you can’t take anymore. Switzer is a playmaking receiver that can be on the field in four-wide-receiver sets. Can you imagine Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams on the outside with Cole Beasley and Switzer in the slot? I know I sure can and it’s dangerous. Let’s venture in saying that the third-down pass attack just got incredibly hard to stop.

Conclusion: All in all, special teams are important to the Cowboys and Switzer could be one of the best options because of his inner understanding of how to play multiple roles. He’s also another wrinkle and slot receivers have become huge in the NFL these days. Cole Beasley is the Cowboys’ true third-down demon but playing teams aren't his strong suit. By drafting a guy that can flip fields and is a reliable receiver, this may spell goodbye to Lucky Whitehead in training camp.