[Most NFL teams will feed the overused line of best player available but the league is just not setup that way. It’s really more of a best player available at a position of need unless there is something too sweet to pass on. In this series, we’re going to look at each of the Cowboys’ slotted picks in the draft and compare it to their positions of need to see where the two might align.]
So far in this series, the value with this draft class seems very beneficial to a Cowboys’ team with needs at many defensive positions. It’s possible that the Cowboys could bolster their defense by adding three straight defensive picks in the first two days of the NFL Draft.
Pick 123 Analysis:
One of the highlights of this 2020 NFL Draft class is the quality to be had at the receiver position. For teams needing to add options to their offensive arsenal, the depth at receiver will stretch into day three. The Cowboys reached a long-term deal with their stud WR1, Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup emerged into a real star as the WR2 last season. What the Cowboys will be looking for is a replacement for Randall Cobb who left Dallas for Houston in free agency. Replacing your slot receiver is important in today’s NFL but it’s not a need that will force Dallas’ hand early in the draft. Unless a blue-chip prospect fell into their laps at 17, this is an area that the Cowboys will likely address later.
The spot to do just might coincide with their fourth-round pick because after the fourth round, the depth of the class loses a little of it’s shine.
Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
At one time, my Twitter account could have been a burner for Collin Johnson to the Cowboys. However, he just hasn’t developed his game much in the past two years outside of what we already know about him. Johnson is a zone-beater and will still be a valuable X-type of receiver that can go up and come down with the football. You have to like the way he works the sidelines and makes adjustments but there is little value after the catch. What might increase his stock with the Cowboys is his nuanced route-running ability. A guy that can run good routes will always find a job in the NFL.
James Proche, WR, SMU
Proche leaves the Mustangs as the all-time leading receiver and what he lacks in size, he makes up for with impressive playmaking ability. He’s not the most proficient route runner but has continued to grow in that area. What Proche delivers to an NFL roster is a relentless competitor with outstanding hands and ball skills. Proche is a working man’s receiver who is never satisfied with a performance and he’s always looking for more. Maybe his limitations in size will keep him as a slot receiver but the ceiling for him is extremely high.
Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
The better Longhorn option for the Cowboys would be Devin Duvernay, who like Proche, seems destined for underneath duties. Duvernay does a phenomenal job creating after the catch with his top of the line athleticism. He’s not the accomplished route runner that he’ll need to be to take his game to the next level in the NFL but there is too many great traits to pass on with him. One of the more underrated compliments to Duvernay’s game is his ability to continuously make himself available to his quarterback. Duvernay is a hard worker, tough as they come, and keeps his balance after the contact. This guy can really play football and might be one of the league’s best slot receivers in short time.
Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Another prospect that leaves his school as the most prolific wideout is also a personal pet cat, Tyler Johnson. Johnson’s game is all about controlling his body through the contact and snagging some tough footballs in flight. Johnson drew some tough defenders at the collegiate level but was never fazed by physicality. The one piece missing from Johnson’s skill set is the long speed and protecting the football. He can lose focus with 17 drops and four fumbles lost in the past two-years. Tyler Johnson won’t be able to do much to fix his speed but a good coach can repair his ball security problems with a little work. Johnson is a crafty player that can really open up the middle of the field for the Cowboys, making him a solid option this late in the draft.