Over the past couple of weeks, in hopes of improving the competition in the wide receivers room, the Dallas Cowboys have added Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson. It looked like the Cowboys were set at the position, but Stephen Jones spoke the other day about the contract situation of three-time Pro Bowler Dez Bryant. His comments indicated that the Cowboys may not be done adjusting the wide receiver position.
Taking a look at the Cowboys’ free agent acquisitions, all signs point to a defense-heavy draft. On top of the two receivers being added, Dallas shored up the depth of the offensive line by re-signing Joe Looney and signing Cameron Fleming and Marcus Martin in free agency.
While it could still be a defense-heavy draft, that does not mean the Cowboys shouldn’t look into drafting an offensive player in the first round to fill a hole. In the event that the Cowboys do release Bryant, which I have stated many times that they should not, it would immediately become a need for the Cowboys to add a receiver. They also could be planning for a Bryant-less offense a year down the road and want a top receiver to groom in 2018.
We discussed the pros and cons of the Cowboys drafting Calvin Ridley a few weeks ago. Today, however, we’re going to discuss the prospects of the Cowboys drafting D.J. Moore. Out of Maryland, Moore has seen his stock rise to a potential first-rounder.
What does Moore do well?
You will not find a receiver who performed better at the combine than Moore. At 6-feet, 210 pounds, Moore ran a 4.42 40-yard dash to go along with a 39.50-inch vertical jump and a 11-foot broad jump. But it was not just his combine performance which helps Moore’s cause. He was also the Big Ten receiver of the year, despite inefficient and inconsistent quarterback play.
Due to the school he played for and his size-to-speed combination, there are going to be some comparisons to Stefon Diggs, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. However, I see more of a complete receiver in Moore. He is spectacular with the football in his hands. He can beat you in the slot and he can beat you on the outside by working in space and finding holes in a defense.
What does Moore struggle with?
At his size, there are areas that Moore is not as efficient in. For starters, he did not show the ability to go up and bring down jump balls. While Maryland’s offense was more conservative than aggressive, there were times where Moore was asked to carry the offense. Because Maryland had below-par quarterback play, it definitely hurt Moore’s chances of showing areas in his game that might help his draft stock.
A large part of his college offense was simplistic. The athleticism is all there, but there is definitely going to be an adjustment for Moore and how he will fit in an NFL offense. He will need to work on getting his hands more consistent and improving his ability at the catch-point.
Pros of the Cowboys drafting him
Moore provides a ton of upside. Athleticism is so sought-after in today’s game. It is something that many collegiate prospects don’t have enough of, and their career dies because of their lack of athleticism. That is not the case with Moore. He looks the part and while there are certainly parts of his game that are raw, his upside is definitely worth it for a franchise to spend a first-round pick on.
The Cowboys are certainly in the process of remaking their receiving corps. Moore would be another piece of that puzzle, and could provide leverage for the front office in their upcoming talks with Dez Bryant about his contract. He could also be groomed to take over for Bryant in 2019 if that is what the Cowboys are planning. Moore would add athleticism to the group and has the potential to be a #1 WR in the NFL.
Cons of the Cowboys drafting him
Wide receivers are usually slow to adjust to the NFL and their first year can be very rocky. Last year’s three first-round selections at the position were not very good in the 2017 season. Because of Moore’s playbook in college, there will be a learning adjustment for him immediately. While there are plenty of talented, young receivers in the league, using a first-round pick on a wide receiver is a huge risk and they simply do not have a great track record.
Dallas has Super Bowl aspirations and they will need as much help as they can get on the both sides of the ball. It goes beyond just Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and the offensive line. Using their first-round pick on a player that might not contribute as much as hoped in their first year is risky.
Should the Cowboys use the 19th overall pick on D.J. Moore?
Would you draft Moore? Tell us why you would or would not in the comments section.