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Position Battles: Rookie, Vet Could Vie For 6th WR Spot
(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a 12-part series breaking down the battles and competitions at each spot and analyzing what to expect at each position entering training camp. The series starts with the wide receivers.)
IRVING, Texas – I believe this is going to be the hardest position for a first-year or rookie player to make the 53-man roster because of the depth that is already at the position.
Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris are the locks, in my opinion. Fifth-round pick Devin Street is in the mix because of how much they thought of him in the draft and the opportunities that he has already been given in these OTAs and minicamps.
That makes a total of five receivers, and that might be all they decide to carry. With Tim Benford, Jamar Newsome, LaRon Byrd and rookies Chris Boyd and L’Damian Washington also on the roster, there are a total of 10 receivers vying for spots. If the front office decides to carry six receivers, then I believe it will come down to which player can contribute more on special teams.
Under that thought, keep an eye on LaRon Byrd and L’Damian Washington. Byrd has been getting snaps with the twos and threes while Washington has been sidelined with toe and shoulder issues.
Where Byrd has the advantage over Washington is that he has lined up in this league for the Arizona Cardinals and played in games in this type of role. In studying his game, he’s that type of player you can put on the field in a bunch formation and use as a point of attack blocker. He’s not afraid to do
Washington doesn’t have the physical size of Byrd, but he’s also not going to shy away from the contact. In a game in 2013 against Georgia, he made three tackles, two covering punts as a flyer on the outside and one on an interception.
Where Washington has an advantage over Byrd is his upside when it comes to speed and future development as a receiver. There’s more to his game than Byrd in these areas, so if all things are equal in camp, then this could tilt that roster spot into his direction if the front office decides to keep six on the roster.