In this series, we’re going to go through all the needs the Cowboys currently have and find the candidates in the 2018 NFL Draft that fit the bill. We’ve looked at tackles and guards but the Cowboys also need help at skill positions.
One of those important spots to look at is wide receiver. The passing game that the Cowboys’ boast is in need of some revamping. Dez Bryant’s contract is an issue, Cole Beasley had a poor year, and Terrance Williams has consistency issues. It’s time for the Cowboys to upgrade the talent around Dak Prescott, and finding guys that make plays after the catch should be a prerequisite.
Calvin Ridley, 6’1, 190 lbs, Alabama (Brugler: 15th, 1st WR)
Ridley is the perfect “Z” receiver to have opposite of Dez Bryant and a player they would have to seriously consider if he fell to them. He’s a dynamic-type of receiver who’s play speed is fantastic. The NFL is moving into a league where route running is a lot more important and Ridley is one of the best route runners in this draft. He’s explosive and his footwork is outstanding. Ridley gets favorable comparisons to Stefon Diggs of the Vikings and that’s because when the ball is in his hands, he’s a threat to score. Of Ridley’s 17 touchdown catches last season, half were 30 yards or more.
Where you get him: First round, maybe a trade up
Christian Kirk, 5’11, 200 lbs, Texas A&M (Brugler: 18th, 2nd WR)
Kirk is an incredible athlete and has amazing acceleration and gets to top speed with seamless effort. He’s got great body control and can track the ball better than a lot of receivers coming into the NFL. He’s shorter but not small and has a very well-built frame and length in his limbs. Kirk is an impact player that puts the work in on and off the field to reach his potential. He’s a dynamic receiver that would upgrade the Cowboys’ depth chart and make an immediate impact.
Where you get him: First round, maybe early second
D.J. Moore, 5’10, 215 lbs, Maryland (Brugler: 62nd, 7th WR)
For what the Cowboys are looking for, Moore is my pet cat receiver to go after. He’s an overachiever and one of the best route runners in the class. He doesn’t need a great quarterback to make him as he had eight different passers at Maryland and still produced at a high level. Moore is a balanced athlete that plays with aggression as he’s out to show that he may be sub-six feet, but you better bring your best coverage or he’ll eat you up. He’s extremely quick and agile with an elite ability to create his own separation. He may not have the length and leaping ability of the bigger targets but Moore wins his battles rather consistently.
Where you get him: Second round
Michael Gallup, 6’1, 198 lbs, Colorado State (Brugler: 99th, 12th WR)
Gallup is a solid receiver with good hands and outstanding route running abilities. He’s played equally well whether inside or outside for Colorado State. He’s a very fluid athlete that has that ability to pluck the ball outside of his frame and make spectacular catches. He’s strong and elusive but has a tendency to not focus on the catch first. He often bobbled a few before the catch and will need to understand that the NFL won’t allow the freelancing he did. Gallup is a very physical receiver but will need to learn to protect himself better at the next level.
Where you get him: Late-second to third round
Daurice Fountain, 6’2, 210 lbs, Northern Iowa (Brugler: 201st, 26th WR)
Whoever ends up drafting Fountain is going to be happy they did, he’s an underrated talent in this draft pool. Fountain was extremely productive at Northern Iowa and actually won MVP of the East-West Shrine game several weeks ago. Fountain has size and solid knowledge of the route tree even though he still needs to master it. Fountain will likely run in the 4.4’s and could be even faster than that. Just last season, Fountain had 66 catches, 943 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns. Again, he’s a sleeper pick with tremendous upside.
Where you get him: Fifth or sixth round