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Helman: This WR Class Is Too Good To Ignore


INDIANAPOLIS – This year's draft cycle is reminding me what a fiscally irresponsible idiot I really am.

It's one of my biggest flaws. Journalism is not exactly a lucrative industry, but don't try telling me that. On a routine basis, I spend money I don't have. Funds that should be going into my savings account turn into sneakers and airline tickets.

What does this have to do with the NFL Combine? It's really simple – I cannot help but be enamored with this wide receiver class.

Receivers and quarterbacks took center stage on Tuesday, the opening day of this annual job fair. And while we won't see any on-field workouts until Thursday, the full assortment of this loaded receiver class took to the podium to speak with the media.

You name the prospect, he was here. The top prospects were on hand, from Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs to Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb and Clemson's Tee Higgins. There were the local guys, like TCU's Jalen Reagor, Baylor's Denzel Mims, Texas' Devin Duvernay and SMU's James Proche. There were speedsters, slot specialists, big-bodied guys and Day 3 sleepers.

What's my point in bringing all this up? If you haven't heard, this group of wide receivers is absolutely silly-stacked, and Tuesday was a tangible reminder.

Why does that make me a fiscally responsible idiot? Because I want the Dallas Cowboys to draft one, desperately.

I know. On the surface, it doesn't make a ton of sense. The Cowboys already have a Pro Bowl receiver, Amari Cooper, who they're trying to lock up long-term, and they still have a 1,100-yard receiver under contract in Michael Gallup. And yes, Randall Cobb is a free agent, but he should be a fairly inexpensive guy to re-sign.

I don't particularly care. One way or another, the Cowboys are about to commit an absurd amount of money to Dak Prescott, and the best way to ensure his success is to surround him with talented playmakers.

It's so easy to imagine. Turn on the tape of Lamb or Ruggs, and you see absurd speedsters who can line up in the slot and on the outside. Pair that with Cooper and Gallup, who are both equally versatile, and you've got yourself one of the best receiver trios in the league.

That decision could also help the Cowboys sort out their Cooper decision. The four-time Pro Bowler is rapidly approaching free agency, and there's no avoiding the fact that he either needs to be tagged or signed to a new deal. Either option would hit the Cowboys' salary cap for quite a bit of money.

A rookie receiver, on the other hand, would give the Cowboys four or possibly five years of club control at a low cost. If they were to hit on the pick, it could potentially help them move on from Cooper down the line without hurting their offense. Or if they were to sign them – well, there are worse problems than having three star receivers for Prescott to work with.

I know, I know. It's all so irresponsible. The Cowboys' biggest concerns all come on defense. They have next to no defensive linemen under contract, they have underperformed at safety for two decades and they're probably about to lose Byron Jones to free agency.

This team needs to bolster its pass rush and overhaul its secondary, and they only have so many picks to do it.

But at the same time, it just feels like there's too much talent to pass up – and it doesn't even have to be a first-round pick. With the amount of depth in this receiver class, the Cowboys could find a difference-maker in the second, third or maybe even the fourth round. Throw me a Lynn Bowden Jr., a K.J. Hill, a Bryan Edwards or a Justin Jefferson. All of them could make an instant impact, and all of them could likely be had outside the first round.

So, yeah – it's a little irresponsible, but it's awfully enticing. And if the Cowboys are about to commit their financial future to Dak Prescott, it'd make the future that much more exciting.

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