clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A perfect fit? One wide receiver from the draft who could solve the Cowboys slot issue

New, comments

The Cowboys have an open spot in the slot. The draft could be the answer.

NFL: FEB 25 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cowboys have gone through the first portion of free agency where most of the big deals happen. They kept some players and they lost some players. One player they lost that was an impact player last year was Randall Cobb. Given how well he played in 2019, and with his old coach Mike McCarthy coming to Dallas, there was heavy speculation that the Cowboys would re-sign him.

Then the Texans happened. Cobb got a three-year deal worth $27 million from the team based in Houston with $18.75 million of that guaranteed. That was just too rich for the Cowboys in free agency, so now Dallas has a hole at the slot. They need a number three receiver.

There are some candidates already on the roster, but a there is also the draft. The wide receiver class in this 2020 draft is deep. There is so much talent that there is going to be picks past the first round that are going to be impact guys.

ESPN decided to take 16 wide receivers who are in the draft and pick the perfect landing spot for them among NFL teams. Dallas was one of the teams that were chosen as a landing spot. Van Jefferson was the guy.

Van Jefferson, Dallas Cowboys
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 200 | School: Florida
Where the Cowboys could get him: Round 3 (No. 82)

Why he fits: With Randall Cobb leaving in free agency, the Cowboys need a versatile replacement who can play alongside Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Jefferson, one of the best pure route runners in this class, has the skill set to set up defenders and the short-area speed to separate.

While he lacks explosive traits on film, he projects as a slot target for the Cowboys, with the ability to beat coverage inside and produce off play-action and boot with Dak Prescott. Don’t sleep on Jefferson, who has a chance to make an instant impact because of his advanced route running.

The Cowboys and Van Jefferson have been connected before. By who? Way back on January 31st of this year, our own Cole Patterson made the connection.

Playing in a run-heavy offense at Florida, the talented pass-catcher from the state of Tennessee hauled in 84 catches for 1,160 yards and 12 touchdowns. The son of former NFL wideout Shawn Jefferson, he proved to be a critical factor for Dan Mullen’s first two Gators squads, as Florida won ten games in both seasons.

Jefferson is not the flashiest player at the position, but he was still able to average over 12 yards per reception while grabbing a total of 175 balls over his four-year career in two different offensive systems. That isn’t exactly easy to do.

So what are the attributes that Jefferson brings to a team. Our Mr. Patterson broke that down for us, too.

Route-running

Perhaps Jefferson’s best trait in regards to attracting scouts is his route-running ability. Guys like Jerry Jeudy get a lot of the hype in this category, but the Florida Gators product is really impressive in his own right.

Jefferson uses a quick release, along with fluid hips, to create separation off the line. He does this so well that is difficult for the defensive back to stay with him

After the catch

Another aspect of Jefferson’s game that is attractive is his ability to hurt defenses after the catch. While not the dangerous prospect that Henry Ruggs is, Jefferson has the ability to get up field and get yards after securing the catch.

Third round, Van Jefferson. What say you BTB?