The Dallas Cowboys attempted to acquire disgruntled Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline, according to reports. The Cowboys and Texans ultimately couldn’t sort through the financial difficulties in relation to Cooks’ contract in order to execute a deal in time. It indicates the Cowboys realize they have a glaring need at receiver, however.
Secondary pass-catching options have been an issue behind CeeDee Lamb. Michael Gallup continues to round back into form after undergoing knee surgery for last year’s season-ending torn ACL. Starting tight end Dalton Schultz is playing through some injury concerns and has been less effective as a result. Schultz is playing on the franchise tag and may depart in free agency.
The Cowboys’ decision-makers may look toward the 2023 NFL Draft to round out their receiver room. Adding a high-level contributor will be a necessity this offseason. We’ve swiftly identified three receiver prospects the Cowboys must be scouting closely.
RASHEE RICE, SMU
SMU’s Rashee Rice may be the most dynamic receiver in college football. Rice is thriving in coach Rhett Lashlee’s Air Raid offense. Rice has already totaled 62 receptions for a career-high 982 receiving yards and six touchdowns through eight contests. He’s inching towards producing the first 1,000-yard season of his career. Rice is averaging an explosive 15.8 yards per reception and is a natural run-after-catch threat in the open field. He projects as a second-or-third round selection.
SMU counted on Rice to replace the production left behind in the wake of the departures of Danny Gray and Reggie Roberson Jr., who both exited SMU for the NFL. Rice has thus far met those expectations. The North Richland Hills, Texas native is somewhat of a local prospect for the Cowboys, who can make the 30-minute drive to Gerald J. Ford Stadium to watch Rice obliterate opposing defenses on Saturdays.
QUENTIN JOHNSTON, TCU
Sticking with the local theme, TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston has reemerged as one of college football’s most talented playmakers in recent showings. In his last four games, Johnston has exploded for 30 receptions, 536 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. Johnston has averaged 18.7 yards per reception during this ongoing stretch. Johnston has turned his season around after recording just 11 receptions for 114 yards (28.5/game) and zero touchdowns in TCU’s opening four contests.
The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Johnston has surprising acceleration and burst for a receiver of his stature. Johnston possesses the short-area quickness necessary to excel at running short and intermediate routes in Kellen Moore’s offense. The No. 31 overall prospect in our latest TDN100 update, Johnston is beginning to once again gain steam as a potential fringe first-round selection.
XAVIER HUTCHINSON, IOWA STATE
NFL draft prospects can announce their arrival via standout showings against high-ranking programs. That’s exactly what Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson did when he racked up 10 receptions and 154 receiving yards in a three-point loss to Texas in mid-October. Hutchinson followed that performance up with another 10-catch, 72-yard showing against Oklahoma just two weeks later.
Iowa State’s offense is featuring Hutchinson on a weekly basis. He’s already recorded 77 receptions through eight games (9.7 catches/contest). Hutchinson’s pre-draft stock is soaring as a result.
Hutchinson is a nuanced route runner that consistently wins the leverage battle against cornerbacks in coverage. Hutchinson appropriately uses his 6-foot-3 frame to dominate at the catch point. Hutchinson is capable of tracking the ball and adjusting his body to complete acrobatic catches. Hutchinson is projected as a day-two selection.
- Dec 02, 2022
- Dec 02, 2022