With Dez Bryant gone, one thing is sure, Dallas Cowboys will select a wide receiver in one of the first two rounds of 2018 NFL Draft. They hold picks no19 and No50. You don’t need to be football smart to conclude that the receiving corps consisting of Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson is not good enough for a shot at Super Bowl.
Drafting for need is not always a smart thing to do especially if the position you want doesn’t have quality or depth in the draft. This draft is not rich in receivers, so it remains to be seen what will Cowboys decide to do when their turn for selecting comes around.
The reason why Cowboys parted ways with Bryant was his declining production and hefty salary. During the last three years, on average Bryant had 50 receptions, 678 yards, and 5.7 TDs per season. Compared to the three years before that, he simply isn’t the same player. From 2012-2014 he averaged 91 catches, 1,312 yards, and 13.6 touchdowns per season.
The decline is evident, and Cowboys lost faith that he can produce another big numbers season. Hence the release. Big D franchise will look to replace him through the draft, but that won’t be easy. During the last few drafts, no receiver managed to put up significant numbers. The class ahead of us doesn’t seem to feature a player that could instantly replace Bryant and offer Pro Bowl figures.
The goal to land a receiver through the draft was obvious from the start of the offseason. In last few weeks Cowboys had visits from numerous college WRs. Just some of the names that visited Star at Frisco include Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore, James Washington, Antonio Callaway, Courtland Sutton, D.J. Chark, and Christian Kirk.
All of these receivers have good and bad sides. They will need to adjust to the league and to be adequately developed by the team. When Bryant entered the league in 2010, he finished the season with 45 catches, 561 yards, and six touchdowns. At best, Cowboys new receiver will need to emulate this. At worst he will have to emulate Bryant’s numbers from last year (69 passes, 838 yards 6 TDs).