After every NFL draft, there are a handful of players selected that are designated as “steals of the draft”. This usually means a player who analysts thought would go much higher in the draft than they did, and the team that finally landed them “stole” them. Of course, not all “steals of the draft” pan out, sometimes the reason they slid so far is legit and the outside draft analysts were just overrating the player.
Still, it makes teams and fans feel better whenever they get one of the “steals of the draft” designations. That certainly happened for the Cowboys in 2021 when linebacker Jabril Cox was labeled as such. The LSU linebacker excels in pass coverage, a highly sought after ability in today’s NFL. The Cowboys got Cox in the fourth round, a spot that much later than he was predicted to go.
But in the fifth round, maybe the Cowboys also scored. They took wide receiver Simi Fehoko, and he’s got at least one admirer calling him a steal of the draft.
Fehoko was one of my biggest sleepers entering the 2021 NFL Draft. Though he didn’t have elite college production, there just aren’t many players that have his combination of size and athletic traits. At his Stanford Pro Day, Fehoko measured in just a hair under 6’4” and weighed in at 222 pounds.
To go with his terrific size and massive 10 1/4” hands, Fehoko is a remarkably good athlete. The big receiver blazed with a 4.44 40-yard dash to go with an incredible 6.78 3-cone drill. This is incredibly rare for a player his size. According to Mockdraftable.com, Fehoko’s best player comparisons from a size and athletic standpoint are Larry Fitzgerald and Demaryius Thomas.
The latter is actually not a bad comp (albeit, that’s probably much too high of praise). In terms of his film, Fehoko is actually a pretty natural football player despite his lack of college production. He has the speed to win down the field or crossing the face of the defense, and he moves like a much smaller player with the ball in his hands.
In some ways Fehoko might have gone overlooked among the Cowboys draft choices because he plays a position where he isn’t going to see the field much in 2021 unless injury strikes the receiver corps. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb are going to eat up the lion’s share of reps at receiver in 2021. There is an almost 0% chance Fehoko would supplant any of those three.
Then there’s Cedrick Wilson who currently occupies the number four spot on the Cowboys depth chart. That is someone who Fehoko will be competing with for a roster spot, a depth chart spot, and potentially special teams reps. But that’s for this year.
In 2022, the Cowboys will have to make decisions on Gallup’s and Wilson’s futures with the team. Depending on what Fehoko is able to accomplish this year, he could greatly influence those decisions. The rookie wide receiver has very rare size/athleticism traits. If he can translate that into on the field production, than just maybe he is a “steal of the draft.”
We broke down Simi Fehoko during an episode of our Film Room series on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!