Blog Entry

Draft Breakdown by Position: Wide Receiver

Posted on: February 9, 2010 7:23 pm
 
Next up in my analysis of the Cowboy's Position by Position is the Wide Receiver Corp. 

No single other position seems to garner more angst than here.  For 2 years running about three quarters of fans have been screaming for a Wide Receiver high in the draft, and 2 years running they have all be disappointed.    

I tried to explain here that Jerry was really happy with the Corp as it existed and I was more often than not, shouted down on the threads.  Well, get ready again.  As far as 'pure wideout' being taken it is doubtful the Cowboys would do this. Let's take a look at why:   


Wide Receiver
   


Roy Williams  6'3 215 WR 
  Texas  6 years 

On October 14, 2008 in anticipation of a Super Bowl bid, the Cowboys acquire Roy Williams and a 7th round pick from the Detroit Lions for Dallas' 2009 first, third and sixth round selections. Williams, a former first round selection ( 7th overall in 2004) came to Dallas after spending his first four and a half seasons in Detroit. Through his 4 year career as a Lion, Williams was seventh in receiving touchdowns (29) and receiving yards (3,884) and 10th in receptions (262). Williams earned a spot on the 2007 pro bowl roster with a 82 catch, 1,310 yard 8 td season in 2006.  He has 15 100-yard games on his pro resume.  

Since being in Dallas, Roy's results have been mixed at best.  Fans who really don't understand the full scope of the game and who only look at the results on the field have been brutal to Roy.  I fancy myself as somewhat of a football aficionado and am not quite so harsh on him.  ESPN and NFL Network are the roots of all evil as it relates to player perceptions.   

Roy was targeted 88 times and caught 38 balls for a 43.2 catch rate.  A thorough review of all the games showed me that over half of the missed balls ( 25 ) were on horrible throws.  Roy had what was called 10 drops. 3 of those would have been great catches with another 5 hitting him in the hands. Most fans tend not to be so discerning. For me its about weather he can play the game.  At every level, he's proven he can. Here, I'm with the owner. Roy will be fine. 

*I wish many of you would stop saying Roy is slow...he ran a 4.37 at his pro day. He is just a long strider.
( Recall what many of you said about Tony Romo, until you decided to stop saying it...fans are a funny lot ) 

Roy Williams signed a 7 year 54 million dollar contract thru 2014 w/ 26 million dollar guarantee.     


Miles Austin 6'3 222, WR Monmouth
   4 years 

What can you say?  81 catches, 1320 yards, 11 touchdowns with a 16.3 avg, and 59 1st downs.  

As one of just three rookie free agents who made the team out of training camp in 2006, Miles Austin thur the 2009 season saw a majority of his playing time on special teams units. He took over as kick returner when Tyson Thompson (ankle) went down for the season in 2006 and again for Thompson in 2007. In 2006 Austin averaged 26.0 yards-per-kickoff return, the second-best average by a rookie in club history. He finished ninth in the NFL in kickoff return average (25.5) on 24 attempts in 2007. He once again took over kick return responsibilities in 2008 after Felix Jones injured his hamstring and averaged 21.5 yards-per-return. The 2008 season also allowed Austin to emerge as a deep threat as he averaged 21.4 yards-per-catch on 13 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns.  

Following the release of Terrell Owens, Austin had a breakout year to earn what we hope is the 1st of many Pro Bowl Seasons.  The future looks bright for Miles. 

Miles is a Restricted Free Agent in 2010.    



Patrick Crayton  6'0,  204 WR  NW Oklahoma State
   6 years  

Touted as one of the most versatile athletes in the country coming out of college, Patrick Crayton continues to display his athletic ability in the NFL, as both a punt returner and wide receiver. In 2007, Crayton secured the team's second wide receiver position before losing his job to Pro Bowl teammate Miles Austin.  

Crayton spent his first three seasons as the club's primary punt returner and as a reserve wide receiver before having the opportunity to showcase his talents on a full time basis in 2007. Starting 16 games, he finished with career highs for receptions (50), receiving yards (697) and touchdowns (seven) in 2007 after he was elevated to the second wide receiver. He has 18 career receiving touchdowns, averaging 25.8 yards-per-touchdown. In 2009, despite only starting 6 games, he finished  with 37 catches for 622 yards with a 16.8 avg and 5 touchdown, and.in the top of the league with 36 returns for 437 yards and a 12.1 yard avg.   

Crayton is a steady tool for the Cowboys.  He does may have the best hands on the team and does yeoman's from the position.  IMO for the money, you could not ask for better return.  

In 2007 Crayton signed a 4 year 14 million dollar contract extension thru 2011.  



Sam Hurd 6'2 208 WR Northern Illinois
   4 years 

In 2007 Sam Hurd caught 17 balls for 314 yards with a 16.5 avg and 17 1st downs.  Though his 2008 season was cut short due to injury, Sam Hurd was expected to make a full recovery for 2009 and had his sights set on an increased role in the offense with the departure of Terrell Owens. He had a great camp; possibly the best of all the wideouts.  We all know how that worked out...Miles beat him to the punch and became a Pro Bowl wideout.  In 2009 Hurd caught 7 balls for 121 yards for a 17.3 avg with 1 td and 5 1st downs. 

Hurd's future with the Cowboys is in question. He is a 4th year player and would be due a 20% increase from his 1.545 million dollar salary.  To me not to much to pay for a guy you have developed over the last 4 years and who is one of your top 3 special teams performers. Hurd reminds me of Jimmy Smith or a smaller Keyshaun Johnson.  Count me in on hoping they give Hurd a contract slightly less than that of Crayton's - perhaps  4 years 10 million.  He would be well worth it for someone of Hurd's skill set. 

Sam Hurd 2010 Restricted Free Agent.   



Kevin Ogletree 6'0 196 WR Virginia
  1 year 

Despite running a 4.30 low forty time at his Pro Day, Kevin Ogletree was an unrestricted free agent in 2009 and simply "out impressed" Cowboys 7th round selection Manuel Johnson and veteran Isaiah Stanback in camp to earn a roster spot.   His stats at Virginia--12.5 yards per catch last season and 11.2 in 2006--certainly didn't tip you off to the 4.36-second time he would run at the Combine. He was rated a low 3rd or high 4th round prospect. 

Kevin caught 7 balls for 96 yards and a 13.7 avg and 5 1st downs. Bottom line here? Jerry likes him and wants to see more of him. 

Exclusive Rights   


_______________  



Again, I'm sure many of you will scream for a Wide Receiver here, and you all now should know how I feel.  The Bust Rate is just to high. That being said, the Cowboys have gone Defense so often, you gotta think its going to be an Offensive player...plus the defense is stacked. 

We currently have 5 wideouts and have traditionally gone with 6 and once even 7, so it is not outlandish to think the Cowboys wont put 11 Offensive Lineman on the roster in 2010 and can pick up a guy here.   

I have said it 100 times and will say it yet again. If the Cowboys take a wideout, he will be a quick, fast guy who is a return specialist as well.  

As you all have seen from my 'mock drafts', I think the Cowboys should move up to take C.J. Spiller.   



Most Likely Pick
 

If they stay put, perhaps they take  Damian Williams out of USC.  He was sixth nationally in punt returns with a 14.2 average. His 2 scoring punt returns were 1 shy of the school season record set in 1952. He was the Emerald Bowl Offensive MVP following his 12-catch, 189-yard performance.  This could be very likely.    


My Pick 

C.J. Spiller  5'11 195  SLOT / RB / KR / PR

BOTTOM LINE

CJ could have the same impact in his first year as Chris Johnson had his first year for the Tennessee Titans or Percy Harvin in Minnesota. CJ will need to improve his ability to catch the ball down the field, or his impact will dissipate in the following years because every time he comes into the game, his opponents will know that he is getting the ball and be able to key on him.  All that being said, CJ is still a 1st round talent because he can impact right away on special teams.   I like this kid a lot because I think he will work on his hands down the field and make himself into an every down player instead of just a specialty player.  He has the talent, work ethic and football intelligence to be something special.  Therefore, if your offense needs a kick in the hindquarters from an impact player who will impact special teams right away and, in the years to come, become a impact every down player, I suggest you draft CJ because he will be just that.  

Category: NFL Draft
Comments
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com