Public service announcement. NEVER DRAFT FOR NEED.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the position the Cowboys could get extraordinary value for in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft. No, it’s not defensive tackle, no, it’s not safety, and no, it’s not cornerback. Instead it could be a position the Cowboys may not even view as a position of need, and that’s wide receiver.
With free agency just around the corner, it’s still undecided if Amari Cooper will receive a contract extension, if he’ll play under the franchise tag, or if he’ll be allowed to test free agency. It’s also up in the air, if veteran slot receiver Randall Cobb will return in free agency. These two decisions could change things regarding positional needs leading up to the draft, but as of now, we should expect both Cooper and Cobb back in Dallas in 2020. Even if both players are retained, the Cowboys shouldn’t pass up elite talents at the position because of a one- or two-year deal with Randall Cobb.
Pre-combine, it was hard to imagine a scenario where CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs III were still available when the Cowboys are on the clock in the first round, but after the combine the likelihood of one or more of those players being available is know a very high possibility. Thanks to the great combines from Tristian Wirfs, Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton, and Andrew Thomas, it’s sounding more and more likely that four offensive tackles will go in the top 16. Along with the tackles, the three best cornerback prospects also had very strong combines, strengthening the chances that one of C.J. Henderson or Kristian Fulton could join Jeffery Okudah to go in the top 16. Speaking of the top 16, Justin Herbert and Jordan Love’s chances of going before the Cowboys are on the clock are skyrocketing with excellent Senior Bowl and combine weeks, joining Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. With just those three positions were looking at 10 plays at OT, QB, and CB going in the top 16, and we haven’t mentioned the names of Derrick Brown, Javon Kinlaw, Chase Young, and K’Lavon Chaisson. If these are the first 14 names we hear on the first day of the NFL draft, that’ll leave at least one of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs III staring the Cowboys in the face at 17th overall, and it would be a massive mistake for the Cowboys to not draft one of those three players.
The Cowboys have used the draft for need strategy the last few years, and it has come back to haunt them in one way or another in each of those years, 2019 being the most recent after the team drafted Trysten Hill with Juan Thornhill, Taylor Rapp, and D.K. Metcalf still on the board. Drafting one of the three big receivers will add another dynamic route-runner in Jerry Jeudy, an absolute monster after the catch in CeeDee Lamb, or one of the fastest, yet talented receivers, coming out of the draft in the last decade in Henry Ruggs. Adding any of these players would instantly upgrade the offense, give Mike McCarthy one of the better offensive casts in the league, and give Dak Prescott another weapon to work with as he develops into one of the leagues better quarterbacks.
In Daniel Jeremiah’s 2020 NFL mock draft 2.0, he has CeeDee Lamb going to the Cowboys int he first round, with Henry Ruggs III also available while the Cowboys are on the clock. The word coming out of Indianapolis is the infiltration of offensive tackle and cornerback could allow one or more of these talented receivers to fall into the Cowboys laps.
Cowboys, do the right thing.