Cowboys Picked as an Ideal Fit for ‘Electric’ 17-Touchdown Receiver

The Cowboys' draft could yield star WR Brian Thomas Jr.

Getty The Cowboys' draft could yield star WR Brian Thomas Jr.

While most Cowboys draft prospects appear to those who can help sort out the problems on the offensive line, the fact is, they’re going to need a prospect who has a chance to break through as a No. 2 wide receiver on the roster. They will have to pay their clear No. 1 CeeDee Lamb, and they have two uninspiring guys behind him—Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup.

So Pro Football Focus is seeing their “ideal” first-round draft pick going to someone who can take some pressure off of Lamb, rather than a waddling 320-pounder. It makes sense. Gallup is expected to be waived, and Cooks will turn 31 during the season.

The receiver PFF thinks would be ideal for the Cowboys is Brian Thomas Jr, the LSU star who went for 1,177 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns—most in the nation—in an explosive offense last year.

Cowboys’ Draft Could Use a Field-Stretcher

The advantage that Thomas would have coming into Dallas, PFF noted, is that he has already played the deep-threat, No. 2 role next to another top-flight receiver, Malik Nabers, who is also a sure first-rounder in this draft.

Here’s how PFF’s Dalton Wasserman sixed up the impact that Thomas could have next to Lamb: “Dallas’ offense started humming when speedsters Brandin Cooks and Kavontae Turpin threatened safeties enough to give CeeDee Lamb space to operate underneath. Nobody in this draft understands that role better than Brian Thomas Jr.

“Thomas led the nation in touchdowns last season and was a premier deep threat. He allowed Malik Nabers to operate anywhere he needed to. A pairing with Lamb would create the same dynamic and allow Dak Prescott to sustain his production after an excellent bounce-back season.”

Turpin, primarily the Cowboys’ return man, was more theoretical threat than reality, posting just 12 catches all season, though three of them were for touchdowns. At 5-foot-9, he is not a viable long-term deep threat. Cooks, as mentioned, is getting older.

The Cowboys need a field-stretcher. Thomas has the speed to notch a 4.3-second 40-yard dash at the combine, and a number like that could well secure a spot in the first round for him.

Brian Thomas Jr. = Faster Tee Higgins?

The problem for the Cowboys may be that teams picking above their No. 24 slot might be as intrigued by Thomas’s potential as an “ideal” fit as they are. The faster his 40-yard dash time, the more teams will be making note of him.

Seattle at No. 16 and Jacksonville at No. 17 could be problematic. Maybe there will be others. As ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller said, courtesy of, Thomas could evoke thoughts of Bengals star Tee Higgins.

“I compared him to Tee Higgins, but here’s the thing. I think he’s actually faster than Tee was coming out of college. There could be some 4.3 ability here,” Miller said.

“He’s someone in the top 20, once we get past those big three receivers, I think a lot of teams are gonna fall in love with Brian Thomas Jr. this week. I know I have, watching the tape, so I think general managers are going to do the same because he’s an electric vertical threat.”

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