With the divisional round of the playoffs completed and the Dallas Cowboys eliminated, the actual value of the 2019 first-round draft pick the Oakland Raiders will receive is officially known. Oakland will get the 27th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
All year we have been scrutinizing the Amari Cooper trade and it’s still going to be a while before we know the true verdict, but we have a better sense of the value now. The trade started off heavily criticized because first-round picks are precious things, but then it started gaining more and more acceptance when Cooper started tearing it up for the Cowboys. Some can say he was this season’s savior as the offense was having all kinds of problems before he showed up. And now, after Dallas finished the season strong, this first-round draft pick has lost a great deal of it’s value as it’s fallen into the bottom six picks of Day 1.
With the value of the draft pick known, what type of player would the Cowboys get if they still had the pick? Better yet, with the team needing a wide receiver, what type of receiver would be available at 27? The Cowboys would likely miss out on the top talents in the draft and have to pick from a different crop of wide receivers. It’s hard to determine who that might be in the upcoming draft, but we can at least look at previous drafts to see who would be available.
Here are the “best available” wide receivers when pick 27 rolls around for each of the last five drafts.
This list has to make you feel even better about the trade. None of these receivers would make you jump for joy to add to the Cowboys offense. Only one of them had a season where they had 1,000+ yards receiving and that was Kelvin Benjamin. That strong season occurred his rookie year and he’s since fallen off the map. The Carolina Panthers traded him to the Buffalo Bills last year and he’s since been released. He’s currently on the Kansas City Chiefs roster, but I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t know that. You wouldn’t have seen him play in Saturday’s playoff game as he was a healthy scratch.
If the Cowboys had the 27th overall pick, they certainly wouldn’t force themselves to take a wide receiver. They’d select the most talented player on their board. But the Cowboys knew they needed help at wide receiver so they did their best to evaluate their options. Being able to land a talent like Cooper was just too good to pass up and based on the actual price they paid - he’s looking more and more like a steal.
Of course, had the Cowboys not made the deal for Cooper, it’s safe to say they wouldn’t have won as many games and the Raiders would be looking at receiving a better pick. But that’s the pick Oakland will get. Even with a lower pick, the Cowboys would be hard-pressed to find a receiver the caliber of Cooper. And it doesn’t hurt that the Cowboys will have an experienced Cooper who already has built some rapport with Dak Prescott versus a rookie whose ability in the league is a complete unknown. That sure seems like a great deal to me.
What about you? How do you feel about the trade now that you know the position of the draft pick?