The Dallas Cowboys have an Amari Cooper size hole to fill at wide receiver heading into the upcoming season. It would be an upset if the Cowboys do not address the position in the draft and could do so as early as the first round.
The challenge is the Cowboys sit at No. 24 behind teams like the Patriots (No. 21) and Packers (No. 22) who also have a need at receiver. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine suggested a trade that has the Cowboys jumping both teams to snag the No. 20 pick from the Steelers. The Cowboys move up from No. 24 to No. 20 which enables the franchise to select Ohio State star receiver Chris Olave. Dallas sends Pittsburgh their fourth (No. 129) and fifth-round picks (No. 155).
Olave is one of the top receivers in the upcoming draft posting 65 receptions for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns, the sixth most in college football in 2021. The former Buckeyes wideout notched a total of 32 touchdowns over his last three seasons.
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Olave Is Projected to be 1 of the Top 3 Receivers Selected
Olave is firmly projected to go in the first round but his landing spot could depend on when the first receiver is selected. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has Olave being selected at No. 19 in his latest mock draft as the second wide receiver off the board behind fellow Buckeyes wideout Garrett Wilson.
ESPN’s Todd McShay also has Olave going No. 19 but has other receivers going much higher. McShay’s mock has Wilson going No. 7 to the Giants followed by USC wideout Drake London being selected by the Falcons at No. 8 making Olave the third receiver.
The Cowboys traded away Cooper to the Browns to create cap space and also lost Cedrick Wilson to the Dolphins in free agency. Dallas later signed former Steelers wideout James Washington who is the early favorite to be the team’s WR3 if the season started today.
Former NFL GM on Olave: ‘He Looks Like Keenan Allen’
Two draft picks is a lot to trade just to move up four spots, even if those are day-three selections. The Cowboys would need to have Olave or the player they select have a much higher grade than the prospects available at No. 24 to justify the move. Former NFL general manager and Heavy’s league insider Randy Mueller sees some similarities between Olave and Chargers star wideout Keenan Allen.
“I’m a Chris Olave guy,” Mueller explained. “I’ve watched him for two years a ton. I’ve seen a bunch of film. I can’t find any holes in this guy’s game. To me, he looks like Keenan Allen, only he’s a lot faster. I think the biggest things he brings to the table are trustworthiness, hands that catch outside of his frame. He does a lot of things with detail that veteran receivers don’t do — and it’s easy for him. He’s really instinctive.”
Olave Is 1 of 3 Receivers Who the Cowboys Will Host for Pre-Draft Visit: Report
Teams meet with a number of players at both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. The next step is the more formal 30 visits that the Cowboys are allotted with prospects prior to the draft. According to Locked On Cowboys’ Marcus Mosher, Olave is one of three receivers that is set to visit Dallas along with Arkansas’ Treylon Burks and USC’s Drake London.
Olave did well for himself at the combine posting a blazing 4.39-second time in the 40-yard dash. The former Ohio State star initially was clocked at 4.26 seconds, but the NFL later updated the receiver’s number to 4.39. Either way, the Cowboys would be getting a speedy playmaker to go alongside CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup.