Back when I was trying to figure out the Cowboys’ pre-draft depth chart, I reached out to Raf over at Cowboys Nation for his thoughts on which wide receivers were most likely to stick. Here was his feedback:
1. Raymond Radway — had the team made, but his injury was ugly. Don’t know if he’ll play this year. He’s number one if he’s close. He’s what they want, tall, smooth, a good leaper and eats up CB cushions. At least he did. He had the equivalent of the Joe Thiesmann injury, so we’ll see.
2. Kevin Ogletree — he’s one of the top “black hats” entering 2012, guys the fans hate. Was not ready to start when Austin and Bryant got injured last year. Ran crappy routes. Ego the size of Montana but no work ethic. That’s a lethal combination. Still, he has skill.
3. Dwayne Harris — Good route runner. Good hands. Not explosive, however. That’s not good for a slot guy. Needs guys ahead of him to go down or somehow needs to shave a tenth off his 40 time.
4. Don’t know anything about Andre Holmes, but…
5. Teddy Williams — I have no idea how this guy sticks. Converted track athlete, which is probably why Dallas has been patient. Still, I have seen nothing to advocate for him.
Since then, the Cowboys drafted Danny Coale in the 5th round, and signed 4 undrafted free agents: Cole Beasley, Tim Benford, Saalim Hakim, and Donavan Kemp. Williams is now listed on the Cowboys’ roster as a CB.
I think the general consensus (or hope) among Cowboys fans is that Danny Coale will step up and be that #3 guy. However, if recent history is any indicator, that’s unlikely to happen. Over the last 5 years, 18 wide receivers have been drafted in the 5th round. Only 2 provided significant contributions in their rookie season:
More after the jump…
Radway, Harris, and Holmes have zero combined receptions in their careers. Ogletree, in 2011, was beaten out for the #3 spot by a guy they picked up off the street 4 days before the season began. Ogletree finished the 2011 season with 15 catches for 164 yards and no TD’s.
The #3 WR has become a position in the NFL that has grown in importance, as most teams have at least one reserve that can play. By my count, there are 25 teams that will likely head into the 2012 season with a veteran player as their #3. Here’s that list, and where Ogletree would rank yardage-wise in comparison:
|Jordan Shipley (2010 numbers)||Bengals||52||600||3|
The other 7 teams could potentially have a rookie as their 3. Here are the rookies that could see significant action in Year 1:
Adam Caplan of The Sideline View recently listed the top available free agents. Jacoby Jones could be a decent option, but the rest of the list of WR’s is crap du jour.
The Cowboys were extremely fortunate last year when the Chargers cut Laurent Robinson. They swooped in quickly, and Robinson had a breakout season as the team’s #3 WR, catching 54 balls for 858 yards and a whopping 11 TD’s. That production is not going to be matched this year from their 3, and the Cowboys may need similar luck from the scrap heap this season to even come close.