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Pro comparisons for wide receivers the Cowboys could draft in the Top 100

The top WRs in the draft, and receivers they play like that are already in the NFL.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 03 Big 12 Championship - TCU vs Kansas State Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just like fingerprints, no two players are alike. We as human beings are individuals and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. That individuality is fine and dandy for the average person, but when it comes to professional sports we are forever comparing players to one another.

Today, we’re going to attempt to find pro comparisons for wide receivers who are ranked in the Top 100 of “The Beast”, Dane Brugler’s 2023 draft guide. The Dallas Cowboys currently have three picks (26, 58, 90) in the Top 100 and one of those selections could very well be one of the below mentioned WRs. It wouldn’t even be all that surprising if one of them happened to slide into their lap at No. 129 as well.

(18) Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State - Julian Edelman

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.

From a size/speed/athleticism standpoint, both Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Edelman compare pretty favorably to one another. Smith-Njigba might not have that Edelman feisty attitude or physicality to his game, but their skill set out of the slot is similar.

(25) Jordan Addison, USC – Jerry Jeudy

Per Dane Brugler:

Addison’s lack of ideal size and play strength are legitimate concerns, but he is a loose athlete with crafty routes and vertical speed to work all three levels. Projecting best in the slot, he has NFL starting talent from day one.

Addison is a smaller version of the 15th overall pick in 2020 by the Denver Broncos, Jerry Jeudy. Like Jeudy, the former USC WR is a three-level threat with Pro Bowl potential. His lack of size is a little bit of a concern, but his upside is as good as any WR in the draft this year.

(31) Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee - Will Fuller

Per Dane Brugler:

Hyatt isn’t a well-rounded receiver and won’t become one overnight, but is exceptional in two key areas (easy speed and confident ball skills), and his potential for an explosive play at any moment changes the way defenses prepare. In the right role, he can be a productive home-run hitter for an NFL offense.

Much like Will Fuller did after being drafted by the Houston Texans 21st overall in 2016, Jalin Hyatt should be able to immediately establish himself as a legit deep threat in the NFL. Hyatt’s overall game still need some work, but is upside as a complete WR is undeniable.

(32) Zay Flowers - Desean Jackson

Per Dane Brugler:

Flowers is undersized and doesn’t have an ideal skill set for outside work, but he is a savvy and sudden competitor with the play speed and route pacing to create space. He projects as an early NFL starter who is at his best in the slot.

The only noticeable difference between these two WRs is Desean Jackson has a little better straight-line speed than Zay Flowers. Other than that, both players are eerily similar to one another and have the same kind of electric, game-changing big-play ability.

(34) Quentin Johnson, TCU A.J. Green

Per Dane Brugler:

Johnston requires polish with his route-running and ball-finishing skills, but he offers legitimate big-play potential with his size-speed athleticism and catch radius. He has NFL-starting traits with upside as he continues to develop.

Quentin Johnston is an unrefined version of A.J. Green. Both players have have the rare size-speed combo, ball skills and catch radius as perimeter receivers. If Johnston can continue to develop parts of his game he has the same type of upside as the seven-time Pro Bowler.

(41) Josh Downs, North Carolina - Tavon Austin

Per Dane Brugler:

Downs’ lack of size will face more resistance vs. physical NFL coverage, but he is tough to cover in the slot one-on-one thanks to his gear changes and shifty route running. He projects as a three-level slot weapon for an NFL offense and adds punt return value.

Josh Downs measures up pretty closely to Tavon Austin from a size and athletic standpoint. Downs, however, is already arguably a better WR prospect coming out of North Carolina then Austin was coming out of West Virginia. As such, might have a better NFL career.

(48) Tyler Scott, Cincinnati - Tyler Lockett

Per Dane Brugler:

Scott is a work in progress in a few coachable areas, but high-in 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.

Tyler Scott isn’t there yet, but if he can continue to fine tune a few areas of his game, he could be a legit three-level threat in the passing game like Tyler Lockett has been throughout his career. If he can put everything together he has Pro Bowl upside.

(57) Cedric Tillman, Tennessee – Jordy Nelson

Per Dane Brugler:

Tillman might be limited to a linear route tree, but he is a big target with the acceleration, play strength and ball skills to exploit perimeter matchups. He has NFL starting traits as an X and should develop into a solid No. 2/3.

From a size/speed/athleticism perspective. Cedric Tillman is almost identical to that of former Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl WR Jordy Nelson. If Tillman continues to develop his craft, his career could follow the same kind of trajectory as Nelson’s did as well.

(76) Marvin Mims Jr., Oklahoma – Brandin Cooks

Per Dane Brugler:

Mims must prove himself vs. press-man coverage and expand his route-running inventory with improved stem balance/footwork, but his bread and butter will always be field-stretching speed and finishing skills. He will add an explosive element to an NFL offense as a rotational rookie receiver and punt returner.

The size/speed and athletic scores matchup almost perfectly for both Marvin Mims and Brandin Cooks. Right now the former Oklahoma WR is more of a vertical threat than three-level one like Cooks, but in time he has the same type of talent to become more versatile.

(80) Jayden Reed, Michigan StateJahan Dotson

Per Dane Brugler:

Reed will have a tougher time overcoming his slight size vs. NFL defensive backs, but his speed, route tempo and down field ball skills are the ingredients of a potential NFL playmaker. With a few technical tweaks to his game, he has NFL starting ability (slot and outside) and adds value as a return man.

Jayden Reed and Jahan Dotson look to be nearly identical both physically and athletically. The even matchup favorably on the field as well. Despite that though, Reed is unlikely to hear his name called in the first-round like Dotson did last year when he was the 15th pick.

(82) Rashee Rice, SMU – Chris Godwin

Per Dane Brugler:

Rice must prove he has NFL-level consistency (in all areas) to compensate for his average speed, but he is a ball winner with the natural instincts after the catch. He can be a quality contributor early in his NFL career.

Rashee Rice has some more work to do before he can become a Pro Bowl-level WR like Chris Godwin, but he does possess the toolkit to do just that. Both physically and athletically he has all the desired traits to have a long and productive NFL career.

(86) Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss - Dez Bryant

Per Dane Brugler:

Mingo has only average deception and separation quickness, but with his size, spacing 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.

Dez Bryant in his prime was arguably unmatched as far as ball skills, physicality, and picking up yards after the catch is concerned. Jonathan Mingo possesses those same qualities both physically and athletically. In the right situation he could have the same type of potential.

(95) Trey Palmer, Nebraska – Calvin Ridley

Per Dane Brugler:

Palmer needs more route polish and consistency through contact to be useful on a down-to-down basis, but he is an inside/outside field stretcher with speed that defenses must respect. He projects as an NFL rookie return man and WR 4/5 who can move up the depth chart over time.

Trey Palmer has the upside to become a Calvin Ridley type of weapon in the passing game at the next level. If he can put the work in two further develop a few areas of his game he he has the potential to be just as good, if not better, than Ridley.

(98) A.T. Perry, Wake Forest - George Pickens

Perry doesn’t have elite speed, and I worry about his ability to make plays through contact at the next level, but he is a polished route runner with above-average tempo and ball skills to consistently give his quarterback a target. He offers outside starting potential in the NFL.

A.T. Perry is George Pickens 2.0. Pickens is coming off a fantastic rookie season (52 catches, 801 yards, 4 TDs) after being drafted by the Steelers 52nd overall in the second-round last year. Perry’s talent and physical traits suggests he can have the same early success.

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