We have covered a ton of wide receivers leading up to next week’s draft. For good reason — it is a position of need, and it seems reasonable that Dallas may want to add another offensive weapon to continue Dak Prescott’s development, especially under the offensive-minded Mike McCarthy. It does seem unlikely that the Cowboys will look at taking a wideout in the first-round — especially if they are not named CeeDee Lamb, Jery Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs. Adding the best available pass-rusher (such as K’Lavon Chaisson) or cornerback (like a C.J. Henderson) appears to be the most likely route, but it is important to at least look at different options for the Cowboys.
Along those lines, the well-respected Daniel Jeremiah brought NFL Network’s Peter Schrager on his Move The Sticks podcast and the two went through a round-one mock draft. Often, we have seen the same three or four names linked to the Cowboys, but Jeremiah — who was drafting for the Cowboys in this scenario — decided to bring a new name to the mix.
I’m going to get somebody to help my quarterback. I’m going to take Justin Jefferson from LSU. Give Dak Prescott another weapon in this offense. You bring back Amari Cooper, now you have Justin Jefferson. You know you are going to find yourself in some shootouts, once you get into the postseason especially. Let’s get some more firepower here. I’m going to switch it up and go Justin Jefferson to the Cowboys.
This is an interesting choice that has not been discussed much. Many assume that the Cowboys will go defense on the first night of the draft, but is it possible that they want to add to an already dangerous offense?
Jefferson had a huge 2019 season with the LSU Tigers. He caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 (eighteen!) touchdowns from Joe Burrow on the way to a perfect 15-0 season and national championship during his junior campaign in Baton Rouge. Newly hired Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady did an excellent job in using Jefferson inside to attack defenses while the Tigers moved from a pro-style to a spread scheme.
Huge fan of LSU WR Justin Jefferson. Big, fast & tough. He has outstanding hands & he’ll attack the ball in traffic. He also has the ability to separate on the outside. Love his yac too. Big time player. pic.twitter.com/ysoi1jRWxO— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) November 13, 2019
Jefferson had a strong sophomore season — catching 54 passes for 875 passes and six touchdowns — but LSU’s 2018 offense was nothing like its 2019 version, so many overlooked the Louisiana native. During his third season though, Jefferson truly took the next step in his development in a major way.
The former three-star recruit was obviously helped out by having a great quarterback throwing the football and a dynamic receiver (2021 prospect Ja’Marr Chase) that kept defenses from keying in on only stopping him. That said, Jefferson was very, very good in his own right.
Justin Jefferson, WR, #LSU:— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) April 3, 2020
• Middle of the field assassin (++)
• Iverson-like crossovers in route stems
• Second level releases
• All coverage destroyer (++)
• YAC strength (+)
• Short area burst/creativity
• Weaving through traffic (+)
• Ultimate seam-to-seam winner pic.twitter.com/3hnBsDFAYm
Interestingly enough, the LSU wide receiver has been heavily linked to a different NFC East squad, the Philadelphia Eagles, who pick 21st in this year’s draft. Many believe that the Eagles will look to add an offensive playmaker for Carson Wentz, and Jefferson will likely be the best pass catcher on the board.
Having to defend Jefferson twice a year would not be fun, especially if the Cowboys are unable to grab a defensive back such as Henderson in the draft.
The Cowboys have a need in the slot, and Justin Jefferson put up amazing numbers once he moved to the slot in the LSU offense a season ago. While receiver is unlikely to be the pick in round one for various reasons, Jefferson would seem to be a good fit in the Cowboys offense.
Should the Cowboys listen to Jeremiah and add “firepower” to the offense by drafting Jefferson?