Cowboys could draft a receiver, though they have high hopes for Harris and Beasley

Posted Monday, Apr. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Overview

This class is lacking an A.J. Green or a Calvin Johnson, but it offers some intriguing talent. It is a rare sight but the first receiver drafted could be a slot receiver in West Virginia’s Tavon Austin. There could be a run on receivers late in the first round, with potentially five going on the first day. Like the running back position, excellent value exists in every round, especially the second and third rounds. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is the most intriguing prospect.

Cowboys’ needs

Dez Bryant, who struggled to stay healthy his first two seasons, came into his own the last half of 2012. In the final eight games, Bryant had 50 receptions for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns, scoring at least once in nine of the last 10 games. Bryant should have earned his first Pro Bowl, but if he does what he hopes to this season, he won’t go unnoticed. Bryant recently said he is capable of being the NFL’s first 2,000-yard receiver. Hamstring tightness continued to dog Miles Austin, who had only two 100-yard games in 2012. Dwayne Harris stepped up enough in the final seven games, catching 17 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown, that the Cowboys are comfortable with him as the No. 3 receiver. Kevin Ogletree, who lost the No. 3 job each of the past two seasons, left for the Tampa Bay Bucs. Dallas thinks highly of Cole Beasley, but they could draft a receiver in the mid to late rounds.

Top five

Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, 6-2, 216, 4.42: He set an SEC single-season record with a combined return average of 27.6 yards, and gained 1,858 all-purpose yards.

Tavon Austin, West Virginia, 5-9, 174, 4.34: His size is a concern, but he was one of the most exciting players in college football with 2,910 all-purpose yards last season.

DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson, 6-1, 214, 4.51: He topped the ACC with 1,405 yards on 82 catches and scored 18 touchdowns.

Keenan Allen, California, 6-2, 206, 4.53: He made 61 catches for 737 yards and six touchdowns before missing the final three games with a knee injury.

Robert Woods, USC, 6-1, 201, 4.42: He had 252 career catches for 2,930 yards and 32 touchdowns, and averaged 24.8 as a kickoff returner.

Sleeper

Denard Robinson, Michigan, 5-11, 199, 4.34: A quarterback at Michigan, scouts are unsure what he’ll play in the NFL.

Top Texas ties

Terrance Williams, Baylor, 6-2, 208, 4.48: Projected as a second-round pick, he led the nation in receiving yards (1,832) and receiving yards per game (140.9).

Ryan Swope, Texas A&M, 6-0, 205, 4.34: He could be a third-round steal after making 233 catches for 2,948 yards and 23 touchdowns the past three seasons.

Marquise Goodwin, Texas, 5-9, 183, 4.27: The Olympian, projected as a third-round pick, averaged 62.1 all-purpose yards per game last season.

Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas, 6-2, 212, 4.50: The Texas High product, projected as a fourth-round pick, set UA records with 90 catches for 1,335 yards last season.

Josh Boyce, TCU, 5-11, 206, 4.38: He is the school’s all-time leader in touchdown catches with 22 and is second in receiving yards (2,535) and third in receptions (161).

Source: Heights, weights and 40 times were compiled from NFL Draft Scout.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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