The Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2022 NFL Draft with a few specific needs. At one point in recent seasons, they had the best offensive line in the NFL. Injuries and defections in free agency have derailed that a little bit, so they could look to add some depth.
On the other side of the ball, they could also use some help in the trenches. At the second level, linebacker has been a need for a year or two as well. Coming away with Micah Parsons in last year’s first-round certainly helps, but they could use a little more around their do-it-all linebacker.
Ultimately, the Cowboys are in a position to select the best player available on their board when they go on the clock at No. 24. There aren’t any glaring holes, but there is one potential under-the-radar weakness; wide receiver.
The Dallas wide receiver depth chart is going to look a lot different in 2022, especially at the beginning of the season. Because of some salary cap restraints, Amari Cooper was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Cedrick Wilson, who played a big role after some injuries occurred, signed with the Miami Dolphins.
The team was able to sign James Washington, but are they going to be comfortable with him as their No. 2 receiver to start the season? Eventually, that will be the spot that Michael Gallup holds down, as he was re-signed. But, there is a chance he misses a large chunk at the start of the season as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in a Week 17 touchdown reception against the Arizona Cardinals.
Could that lead to the Cowboys looking to draft a wide receiver in the first round should the board fall that way? They used a first-round pick on CeeDee Lamb just two years ago, but if Treylon Burks is still on the board at No. 24, Dallas should think long and hard about selecting him.
There isn’t a prospect in this year’s draft class that possesses the combination of size and speed that Burks brings to the table. Standing 6’3”, he can be a versatile weapon in the Cowboys’ offense, taking the top off of the opposing defenses or a weapon in the red zone.
Last season at Arkansas, Burks caught 66 passes for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. There is real star potential there, as you can line Burks up anywhere in the formation and he will present a mismatch and produce. He possesses natural athleticism that cannot be taught and while his testing numbers weren’t as strong as some had predicted, his game tape does not lie.
For a team like Dallas, he would fit right in and have a role instantly. The Cowboys used three-wide receiver sets on over two-thirds of their offensive plays last season. As things currently stand, with Gallup recovering, they would be using Lamb, Washington and possibly Noah Brown.
That is something that the team will have to address between now and the start of the season. Even when Gallup is back, it could take some time for him to get going again. Knowing you have a player with the capabilities of Burks to rely on opposite of Lamb until then would put Dak Prescott and the offense in a much better position to succeed.