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1 WR the Cowboys could target in each round of the 2023 NFL Draft

Which wide receivers should the Cowboys target in each round?

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Iowa at Ohio State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have made no secret about their interest in some of the top wide receiver prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. They’ve hosted a number of them as their allotted 30 pre-draft visitors and have privately worked out or met with several others. Because of that, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they drafted one at some point this year.

With the help of Dane Brugler’s 2023 draft guide, The Beast, we will identify one wide receiver prospect the Dallas Cowboys could target in each round this year in the 2023 NFL Draft. Opinions will vary of course based on a number of factors, but that’s part of the fun in these exercises.

Round 1 (26) - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One Venture X - Ohio State v Utah Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

“Smith-Njigba isn’t an elite size/speed athlete and won’t be an ideal fit for every role, but he is a crafty route runner with smooth short-area quickness and tracking talent to be a sure-handed target. He projects as an early NFL starter who is at his best in the slot.”

Cowboys fit:

Smith-Njigba is the most pro-ready and QB-friendly wide receiver in the 2023 draft class. He projects best playing out of the slot, which can make his fit with the Cowboys a little more difficult to project. With CeeDee Lamb’s usage in the slot over the past few years Mike McCarthy would have to find a happy marriage between the two. As a rookie, JSN could thrive in the role of a chain mover on third downs due to his precise route running.

Round 2 (58) - Tyler Scott, Cincinnati

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 05 Navy at Cincinnati Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

“Scott is a work in progress in a few coachable areas, but high-end speed and short-area suddenness allow him to consistently create his own separation. He adds immediate value as a gunner on special teams and has Tyler Lockett upside as a starting NFL receiver.”

Cowboys fit:

“Tyler Lockett upside” is probably all you need to know about Tyler Scott’s potential fit with the Cowboys. He’s a three-level threat in the passing game who can add a lot of versatility to Dallas’ aerial attack. He’s not only a legit vertical threat opposing defenses have to account for, but he’s also someone who excels in the short to intermediate part of the field. And if that wasn’t enough, his value on special teams is also an added bonus.

Round 3 (90) - Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss

Ole Miss v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

“Mingo has only average deception and separation quickness, but with his size, pacing and competitive ball skills, he has the body control and upside that has the attention of NFL teams. He has starting potential in the right situation.”

Cowboys fit:

Jonathan Mingo is much like his fellow Ole Miss alum and current Philadelphia Eagles WR A.J. Brown. From a size/length/speed perspective to their skill sets, both players are nearly identical to one another. Mingo would excel as a big, physical slot receiver, but also has the versatility play on the outside as well with the Cowboys. Early on he could take on Noah Brown’s role as a depth WR/special teamer before transitioning into a larger offensive role.

Round 4 (129) - Kayshon Boutte, LSU

SEC Championship - LSU v Georgia Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

“Boutte is a confounding evaluation because he shows the athletic talent to be an NFL weapon, but his effort level doesn’t always match his ability, and most scouts view him as a slot-only prospect. Though he has NFL starting skills, the unpredictable nature of his game complicates his pro projection.”

Cowboys fit:

Kayshon Boutte is one of those players where you have to determine whether you trust his tape or his testing numbers. His tape shows a versatile, dynamic weapon in the passing game, but his testing numbers suggests he’s a player who could struggle to earn a roster spot. If you trust the tape he’s a similar player to Randall Cobb and can be utilized in the same way. Just get the ball in his hands and let him eat up the yards after catch.

Round 5 (169) - Andrei Iosivas, Princeton

Princeton v Brown Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

“Iosivas has the long speed and body control worth developing, but he is currently limited and requires a patient coaching staff while he adds branches to his route tree and learns how to be a more complete receiver. Though he is a project for an NFL team, he can add a vertical element for an offense why he develops at the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart.”

Cowboys fit:

Andrei Iosivas is much like Christian Watson who was drafted 34th overall in the second round last year by the Green Bay Packers. He is a better athlete than football player right now, but is a size/length/speed WR who can provide a vertical threat to the Cowboys offense early on while he continues to develop the other areas of his game he needs to improve. With better NFL coaching he could battle for a starting role in a year or two.

Round 6 (212) - Michael Jefferson, Louisiana

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

“Jefferson is a role-specific pass catcher, but he has the acceleration, body control and vertical tracking skills to compete for a fourth or fifth receiver spot on an NFL depth chart. His skills as a gunner will boost his chances of staying off the cut list.”

Cowboys fit:

Michael Jefferson’s game is reminiscent to that of CeeDee Lamb. With the same type of tall/slender frame (6’3”, 199), speed, and length with similar ball skills as Lamb, Jefferson is an intriguing developmental WR prospect. The fact he is a gunner on special teams only adds to his value. He possesses all the qualities teams look for in depth wide receivers and could end up being a steal for the Cowboys in the sixth round.

Round 7 (244) - Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia

TCU v West Virginia Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Per Dane Brugler:

“Ford-Wheaton must develop better confidence in his hands and routes to matchup in the NFL, but he is a rare height/length/speed athlete with potential to be a ball winner. He has a high-level developmental NFL prospect.”

Cowboys fit:

Bryce Ford-Wheaton is similar to that of a wide receiver the Cowboys already have on their roster, Simi Fehoko. Both players are nearly identical as far as size/length/speed is concerned. If Dallas is looking for another developmental type of WR this late in the draft, Ford-Wheaton could be someone they target. He has the potential to be a Chase Claypool type of receiver with some better NFL coaching.

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