The second day of on-field workouts in Indianapolis for the 2017 NFL Combine is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys were front and center to watch the top quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends in the class. With both Terrance Williams and Brice Butler set to test the market in free agency next week, the Cowboys will have a big need at the wide receiver spot opposite of Dez Bryant. The tight end position is not as big of a need, but with Jason Witten getting closer to retirement, the Cowboys need to look towards the future. The future could very well be Rico Gathers, but he is too much of a wild card to bank on right now. So without further ado, here are some of the potential wide receiver and tight end targets who worked out in Indianapolis on Saturday.
Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech
– One of the biggest risers leading up to the Combine was Louisiana Tech’s Carlos Henderson. The hype is real on Henderson, and his talent and athleticism were on full display Saturday in Indianapolis. He ran a faster than expected 40-yard dash at 4.46 seconds. In addition, he had excellent jumps in both the vertical and broad jump with 36 and 131 inches respectively. Some believe he is a slot receiver only, but I am convinced he can fit perfectly in this offense as the “Z” receiver. The combination of his quick feet, ability to find the open area, and athleticism to blow by the defense after the catch makes him especially valuable as a receiver. The buzz on Henderson is only going to get stronger after this week, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is mentioned as a possible candidate for the 28th overall pick.
Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
– Considered as one of the best receivers in contested situations, Penn State wide receiver Chris Godwin needed a reasonable 40 time to quell concerns about his ability to separate from defenders. On Saturday, he surpassed expectations in a big way with a 4.42 40-yard dash, making him one of the fastest receivers in Indianapolis. Godwin is known for his hands and reliability in traffic, but on Saturday, he made money with his athletic ability. This type of performance puts him squarely in the mix for the Cowboys’ second round pick, 60th overall.
Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
– Another wide receiver who made money this week was East Carolina’s Zay Jones. If you remember, Jones was the receiver who also dominated the Senior Bowl game last month in Mobile. Even then, draft analysts were still concerned about his deep speed and ability to separate. I think it is safe to say that Jones made it a priority to quiet those concerns in Indianapolis, as he ran an impressive 4.45 40-yard dash. On tape, Jones won more with his cerebral skills and ability to find the open area, as he rarely ran vertical routes at East Carolina, but any concerns about his deep speed are now null and void. Jones has been one of the biggest pre-draft risers thus far, and I expect him to go off the board early on the second day of the draft.
KD Cannon, WR, Baylor
– KD Cannon has easy speed, as he ran a 4.41 40-yard dash on Saturday. I thought the 6’0 receiver played even faster than that on tape. He had a lot of drops on film, but I thought he caught the ball fairly well during the drills. Dallas needs a deep threat to take the top off of a defense, and I think KD Cannon could fit that role for this team. The Cowboys have already showed interest in Cannon, as they brought him in for an interview in Indianapolis. If Dallas wants him, they may have to pull the trigger in the third round.
Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State
– I have to admit that I have not seen much of Georgia State wide receiver Robert Davis, the cousin of Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, but he arguably had the best day of any wide receiver in Indianapolis. He ran 4.44 in the 40-yard dash, jumped 41 inches in the vertical jump, and jumped 136 inches in the broad jump. In addition, he displayed natural hands and looked outstanding in the drills portion of the workout. If Davis wasn’t on the radar before, the 6’3, 219 lb. receiver is definitely on it now. With his size, speed and talent, Davis could become a hot commodity once teams start scheduling individual workouts.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International
– Jonnu Smith is a natural athlete at the tight end position, and he showed that on Saturday in Indianapolis. He jumped out of the gym with a 38 inch vertical jump and 127 inch broad jump. Along with those outstanding numbers, he put up 22 reps on the bench press and ran an impressive 4.62 40-yard dash. Smith didn’t show natural hands on film, but you wouldn’t have known that by just watching the drills portion of his workout. He is also a better blocker than people give him credit for. I think he is one of the more complete tight ends in this class, and given the fact that he has a higher ceiling than most, he could be in play for the Cowboys’ third round pick.
Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
– Another tight end prospect with a high ceiling is South Alabama’s Gerald Everett. He had nearly identical numbers to Smith in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press. As a receiver, I think he brings more to the table than Smith with his reliable hands and ability to create separation over the middle on a consistent basis. He is a bit raw on the mental side of the game, specifically in terms of route running, but I think he is an instant playmaker who can fit perfectly in this offense as the second tight end behind Jason Witten to stretch the middle of the field. In terms of his draft position, I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes off the board at the top of the third round.