The Cowboys spent two draft picks on wide receivers this weekend and then traded for wide receiver/running back Tavon Austin during Saturday’s fourth-round. Needless to say, something had to give inside the Cowboys’ wide receivers room. Who’s the odd man out?
Well, it looks like we have our answer.
Ryan Switzer, the Cowboys’ fourth-round selection last year, is being traded to the Oakland Raiders, per a report from Ian Rapoport and Jane Slater. The Mothership’s Nick Eatman is reporting that the Cowboys will be receiving 2017 second-round selection Jihad Ward in the deal:
The Cowboys have traded WR Ryan Switzer to the Raiders for DT Jihad Ward #cowboyswire— Nick Eatman (@nickeatman) April 28, 2018
Switzer was drafted to be the team’s kick and punt returner and the eventual successor to Cole Beasley. While the former North Carolina Tar Heels star showed some flashes, it is now obvious that the Cowboys did not see him in their future plans. This makes the trade for Austin make much more sense.
Ward, meanwhile, was the 44th overall selection of the 2016 NFL Draft. The Illinois Fighting Illini product has played in 21 games over his first two seasons, making 32 tackles and one sack. Here was his scouting report coming out of college, courtesy of NFL.com:
Can play both end spots and has bumped down inside to tackle as well. Has room for even more muscle on his frame. Great effort throughout the play and will continue his chase until whistle blows. Length and down-the-line quickness give him expanded playmaking range. Urgent closing burst to the ball. Full force tackler with thump behind his pads. Keeps feet moving and active throughout his pass rush. Can become a quality edge-setter with a little lower pad level. Has some pass rush reps showing ankle flexion to turn corner at 45-degree angle. Wont let tight ends punk him. Better pick man than twister in tackle/end and end/tackle twists. Traits are there and teams likely to be patient with his development.
Has tools to set a harder edge but isn’t there yet. Inconsistent contact balance. Lays on blocks longer than he should. Needs to keep working on controlling the rep with better hand work. Long legs get caught up in trash around the line of scrimmage. Below average at protecting against cut blocks. Instincts very much a work in progress. Could use nasty glass-eater mentality at point of attack. Doesnt flash the mean to impose his will. Not a natural counter puncher as pass rusher once initial try is stuffed. Won’t always accelerate into contact as pass rusher limiting his power potential.