Blogging The Boys will take a look at some of the NFL Draft prospects that will be in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Some weeks, we will look at potential targets that will be within the Cowboys’ expected draft range. Others, we will highlight some of the elite members of the class.
Many draft experts have the Dallas Cowboys going with an interior lineman in the first round this April. Whether it be the Washington Huskies’ Vita Vea, or the Alabama Crimson Tide’s Daron Payne, or the Michigan Wolverines’ Maurice Hurst, the Cowboys have a lot of options to finally add a quality 1-tech defensive tackle to their improving unit.
As we jump back in to our weekly mock draft tracker for the Dallas Cowboys first-round pick in the 2018 draft, one thing is clear - defensive tackles dominate. Its become a trend recently as interior defensive linemen are the flavor of the month. The interesting part of that is the divide between players who would be considered 1-tech guys like Vita Vea, or 3-tech guys like Maurice Hurst. It is still my contention that the Cowboys have a couple of options in-house for the 3-tech, and that if they are going to spend a draft pick on the tackle spot, they should opt for a 1-tech. Of course there is the theory that you just stake the best player and not worry about need.
In our roundup below, defensive tackles are the first-round pick from nine of our 14 mocks, with Hurst leading the way with five selections.
Another position of need is wide receiver.
Unless Calvin Ridley, the consensus top-rated wideout in this draft class, drops to 19, the Cowboys will likely enter day two without another target for Dak Prescott, but there is still plenty of talent to choose from. We have covered Christian Kirk, Anthony Miller, D.J. Moore, and Michael Gallup, to name a few.
Here is another quality choice for the Cowboys to consider on day two or day three in April.
Cedrick Wilson — wide receiver, Boise State Broncos
Just a few days ago, we covered five under-the-radar wide receivers that should intrigue the Cowboys. One of the five mentioned was Boise State’s Cedrick Wilson. The Boise State wideout began his journey on the JUCO level, but ended his collegiate career as one of the better receivers across the country.
In both seasons in Idaho, the Memphis native eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving — 1,129 yards and 11 touchdowns on 56 grabs in 2016 and 1,511 yards and seven scores on 83 catches in 2017. He quickly emerged as, along with fellow former JUCO standout Michael Gallup, one of the top playmakers in the Mountain West Conference.
Wilson began his collegiate career at Coffeyville Community College — a small school just miles north of the Oklahoma border. Coffeyville, the program that has recorded the second-most wins of all JUCO programs in the country, recruited Wilson to play receiver. The Memphis native led his high school deep into the playoffs as a quarterback, but his 6-foot-3 frame gave him the potential to develop into a quality receiver.
He did just that. In 2015, Coffeyville was led by both Wilson and quarterback Riley Ferguson — who went on to replace Paxton Lynch for the Memphis Tigers. The duo led Coffeyville to a number-one ranking at one point in the season, and Wilson was named a second-team NJCAA All-American after he caught 66 passes and recorded 1,045 receiving yards. His 17 touchdown receptions ranked in the top five across the nation.
Wilson, a three-star prospect, signed with Boise State over Virginia Tech, and he immediately made his presence felt in Idaho. The quarterback-turned-receiver racked up a total of 2,640 yards and 18 touchdowns during his two-year career for the Broncos. He also caught 139 passes, averaging 19 yards-per-reception for his D-1 career. To add to his receiving ability, the Memphis native returned 31 kicks for 742 yards and five punts for 130 yards and a score.
The Boise State star was named first-team All-Conference and went out with a bang in his final collegiate game — catching ten passes for 221 yards and touchdown in 38-28 victory over the Oregon Ducks in the Las Vegas Bowl. Wilson was named MVP of the bowl game, and he was selected to the Associated Press’ All-Bowl Team.
Wilson’s collegiate career wasn’t completely over though, as the talented senior accepted an invitation to compete in the 2018 Senior Bowl. The big time wideout impressed down in Mobile, even named a winner of the week’s third day by NDT’s Jonah Tuls.
My vote for the most improved prospect of the week goes to Boise State’s Cedrick Wilson. He got more and more comfortable against press coverage throughout the week and looked like one of the smoothest route runners on the field. If you ask these cornerbacks who the hardest players to guard in off coverage were, I bet Cedrick Wilson would be one of the receivers on that list. He eats up space fast, and puts the cornerback in a tough spot because he basically forces him to either lunge or move forward or play as a reactionary player.
This is why Wilson is able to create so much separation in space. His unpredictability as a route runner at 6’2 is pretty rare, and I think he helped himself a lot this week.
Tuls wasn’t the only one to come away impressed with the former Bronco.
Cedrick Wilson is smooooooooth pic.twitter.com/ho2g2bSApA— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) January 25, 2018
Josh Allen to Cedrick Wilson. TD pic.twitter.com/abj0cXmPzb— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) January 25, 2018
Despite a strong collegiate career — on both the JUCO and D-1 levels — and an impressive week in Mobile, Cedrick Wilson is thought to be a day three selection. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller currently has Wilson slotted to the Eagles at pick 160 in his most recent seven-round mock draft.
Despite not being thought to be a high draft pick, there seem to be many taking notice of Wilson’s talent and potential. Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling recently named Wilson as one of his top offensive sleepers in the draft class.
You’ll find bigger, faster pass-catchers in this year’s deep class, but Wilson is a smooth route-runner who can create separation and make big plays on a regular basis. A JUCO transfer who averaged nearly 20 yards per catch over his two seasons with the Broncos, this 6-3, 188-pounder had a solid showing during Senior Bowl week. Wilson closed out his career with more than 600 yards receiving over his final four games, and he’ll be riding that momentum to the next level, where he could be a Day 3 steal for the any team.
Cedrick Wilson could be an intriguing and ideal day three selection for the Dallas Cowboys. He has the frame, the history of production, and the overall talent to grow into a quality NFL receiver in the right scheme. He would give the Cowboys a tall deep threat to open up the run game for Ezekiel Elliott and other elements for the offense. With the questions surrounding Dez Bryant, the uncertainty with Terrance Williams, and with Cole Beasley entering the final season of his contract, grabbing a solid target like Wilson — PFF’s third-highest graded receiver in the 2018 NFL Draft class -- in the middle of the draft would be ideal for the Cowboys.
Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson hauled in his fair share of deep passes this past season pic.twitter.com/xlPcLevRd0— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 7, 2018
Cedrick Wilson has to be the most underrated WR so far in the draft process. The CB is sitting 10 yards off and playing for the deep route but Wilson sells hard on the double move and gets even. Then that body control and ball tracking ability take over. pic.twitter.com/62AfrcICZT— Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina) February 12, 2018
Cedrick Wilson is that Jermaine Kearse, and then Paul Richardson this year, type. Penchant for clutch plays. pic.twitter.com/KR26jMvQIF— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) February 4, 2018
Cedrick Wilson is one of my favorites in this draft class. pic.twitter.com/WXvImVmNk1— Eric Elizondo (@EricElizondo8) February 11, 2018
Wide Bunch, Motion RB to 4x1.— Coach Dan Casey (@CoachDanCasey) February 2, 2018
Double Post, Wheel, RB in the flat.
Nice concept, but it helps if you can throw it up to Cedrick Wilson! pic.twitter.com/nzEpKv922N
What do you think BTB?
*Stats gathered from sports-reference.com, unless otherwise noted.
Catch up with our previous installments below!