The Dallas Cowboys are returning their top five wide receivers from 2020, but they might squeeze in a sixth man replete with “blazing” speed.
Per The Draft Network’s Justin Melo, the Cowboys were among a slew of teams to meet Auburn WR Anthony Schwartz last month.
Although not a projected Day One selection in the fast-approaching 2021 draft, Schwartz has drawn interest from exactly half of the NFL, Melo reported on March 25.
— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) March 25, 2021
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A three-year contributor for the Tigers, Schwartz totaled 1,433 yards and six touchdowns on 117 catches — averaging 12.2 yards per reception — across 33 games from 2018-2020. He added an additional 323 rushing yards and seven scores on 42 attempts. Surprisingly, he never fielded a kickoff or punt-return at Auburn.
Schwartz (6-0, 186) is a traditional burner or gadget-type not unlike former Cowboys wideout Tavon Austin. He wins with his game-busting speed, solid route-running ability, and plus hands.
“Schwartz is a terrific athlete with a second gear and the ability to break big plays, yet he needs to polish and complete his game,” Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline wrote in his scouting profile. “He comes with a large upside, and if properly coached, Schwartz could develop into a third receiver at the next level.”
The 20-year-old is considered a potential second- or third-round selection in the 2021 draft, which kicks off Thursday, April 29. Due to his reported 4.26 forty-time, he’s unlikely to fall beyond round four, contingent on which team (and its accompanying offensive system) falls in love with him.
“It’s easy to assume that a vertical passing offense offers the best fit for Anthony Schwartz in the 2021 NFL Draft,” Pauline wrote. “However, his offensive versatility means he could be utilized in any offense. Of course, his ability to get behind the secondary as a deep threat is incredibly dangerous. He can also be devastating on underneath routes given his ability to take snaps out of the backfield and contribute in motion on jet sweeps, etc.”
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Fit in Dallas
As mentioned, Dallas made it a point to preserve continuity among its pass-catching group. Under contract for 2021 are Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson, and Noah Brown. The collective boons franchise quarterback Dak Prescott, who was on pace to shatter the league’s single-season passing record prior to last October’s ankle injury.
But, as the saying goes, you can never have enough weapons. Adding Schwartz to the lot would give bag-of-tricks coordinator Kellen Moore a moveable chess piece — from the slot to the backfield — and draw coverage away from Cooper and Gallup, the boundary receivers. This appears to be a concerted effort on the organization’s part.
The Cowboys have also met with Stanford WR/KR/PR Connor Wedington, another prospect with “electric” speed, Melo reported on March 4.
#Stanford WR/KR/PR Connor Wedington is an electric return man in this draft class. 28.1 yards per return in 2019 (Ranked #1 in the Pac-12/#8 nationally).
— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) March 4, 2021
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL