2012 NFL Draft: Should Dallas Cowboys Draft a Tight End or Wide Receiver?

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IIApril 3, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 3: Orson Charles #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with a catch against the LSU Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys lost a couple of pass catchers in the offseason. Martellus Bennett, the second pass-catching tight end, went to the New York Giants. Laurent Robinson, the Cowboys' No. 3 wide receiver, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Some Cowboys fans may wonder if it's worthwhile to draft a pass catcher.

Is it a Draft Priority?

The first thing to inquire before trying to find out whether the prospects in the draft are worth drafting is whether it's a priority worth drafting.

The Cowboys have at least a few needs to fill in the draft.The interior offensive line needs another solid starter. Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau were decent signings, but they're not standouts.

Another addition in the secondary is needed. Jerry Jones purged players like Terence Newman and Abram Elam, as he seems inclined to reconfigure both the cornerback and safety positions.

Even after franchising Anthony Spencer, the Cowboys may draft a pass rusher.

That the Cowboys aren't drafting for a starting wide receiver or tight end further diminishes the importance of drafting someone at either position. A lack of weapons at tight end didn't keep the Cowboys from making the playoffs.

Besides, just because the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots had multiple threats at the position doesn't mean that the Cowboys have to copy that.

Kevin Ogletree re-upped with the Cowboys, and Jones might feel alright having him try out for the position.

The first two or three rounds will likely see the Cowboys draft players for the secondary and the offensive line, and perhaps even a pass rusher.

Thus, Dallas could wait until the fourth round to consider a pass catcher. They have big needs on the offensive line and secondary, forcing them to focus on those areas in the first few rounds.

Who's a Suitable Pass-Catching Prospect?

Wide receiver is difficult to draft for in the later rounds, especially if a team isn't looking for a kick return man who plays the position. A few impressive names come up in the later rounds. Nick Toon is big, strong and fast, but he sometimes drops the ball and doesn't have high-end speed.

T.Y. Hilton of Florida International would be a nice draftee. He's fast, has good, strong hands and is nimble. His speed allows him to get the separation to make up for his lack of size.

Jairus Wright of Arkansas is fast, steady and reliable, but sometimes doesn't match up well since he's only 5'10".

The tight end offerings are impressive. Orson Charles is the kind difference making tight end who could make the Cowboys think twice about following priorities in the third round. He has great hands, is a strong pass catcher and is fast.

Ladarius Green also turns heads.He's very tall at 6'6" and rarely drops the ball. His lack of girth makes him a primary pass catcher.

Conclusion: Drafting a Tight End in the Middle Rounds Could Be a Nice Move

The Cowboys don't really have to draft a pass catcher. Wide receivers are interchangeable. The Cowboys have shown they can develop receivers with guys like Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin.

Tight end isn't a priority since the Cowboys have Jason Witten as a pass catcher and John Phillips as a blocking specialist. Drafting a tight end like Charles or Green in the middle rounds could be a good move. They could find a secondary player to draft later if they find it feasible. Both are guys who make a team stop and think.

It's a move that could pay off for the passing game.


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