Despite talents like Derwin James, Tremaine Edmunds, and Harold Landry falling much farther than expected and having every single wide receiver in the draft class to choose from, the Dallas Cowboys stuck to its guns last night by selecting the guy that they have wanted all along.
Leighton Vander Esch fills a big need at the linebacker position and should have the opportunity to make an impact on the Cowboys defense right away in 2018. Our own Dave Halprin wrote on the Boise State product’s pros and cons, make sure to check it out.
But by passing on Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore, there is still a need at the wide receiver position. And the need for another pass catcher on the roster only grew today when it was reported that one of the biggest legends in Cowboys history, Jason Witten, will retire and join the Monday Night Football booth.
With every receiver but the aforementioned two still on the board, where will the Cowboys turn to next? Christian Kirk and Anthony Miller are quick, shifty receivers that have a chance of making it to 50. But maybe they prefer a guard or defensive lineman in the second and then grab a wideout later.
Rumors are circulating that the guy that the Cowboys have their eyes on is a local prospect - former SMU Mustangs star, Courtland Sutton.
#Cowboys pick 50th tonight and the belief is theyre targeting SMU WR Courtland Sutton.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) April 27, 2018
Sutton is a big, 6-foot-3 and 218-pound target that has a crazy catch radius and ridiculous hands. We recently wrote a profile on the former hoops star, check it out here.
All-in-all Courtland Sutton is a very intriguing wide receiver prospect that has as much upside as anybody at his position in this draft class. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very high on the former SMU star before digging a little deeper on him to write this profile. Sure, I knew he was a big-bodied target with Alshon Jeffery and prime-Dez Bryant type of potential and ceiling if everything goes right, but I wasn’t sure if he could be a fit in the Cowboys’ scheme.
Though he is not the fastest receiver and he can therefore struggle to get open and create separation, Sutton is a talent that can make any offense better. His big frame and ball skills gives him a much larger catch-radius than his counterparts in this class. His background in basketball — averaged 15.2 PPG and 10.2 RPG in high school, while also playing in three games for the Mustangs in the 2015-2016 season — has allowed him to learn how to “box out” and elevate over opponents on the gridiron. That’s an aspect that has certainly benefited the Antonio Gates’ and Jimmy Graham’s of the world.
The big question, though, is whether or not the Cowboys will look to move up to get their (rumored) guy. After all, there is an argument to be made that he is the best wide receiver prospect remaining now that Moore and Ridley are gone.
I believe the Cowboys are probably going to be aggressive on Day 2. My guess is that they will target Courtland Sutton. How high are they willing to go?— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) April 27, 2018
The Cowboys currently hold the 18th selection (50th overall) in tonight’s second round, but with ten picks, there is a sense that Dallas may try to be a little more aggressive in hopes of landing the prospects that they really want. After all, you’d likely want to get a guy that you believe will impact your team instead of waiting around and missing out.
We definitely know that there is at least some legitimate interest on the Cowboys side of things.
If Dallas decides to move up in front of a wide receiver-needy team like, say, the Packers (pick 45), the Cowboys would likely need to swap second-round selections and part way with a pair of compensatory picks in order to make it work.
But, if they are lucky, Sutton (or another receiver high on their board) falls into their laps without giving up valuable draft capital.