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Mailbag: Rico's Next Step; Late-Round Surprises?


What do you guys think it will take to get Rico Gathers on the field to see what he's really made of? It seems like every year he's been on the team it's "wait and see, he needs to work on blocking." Even with that it seems like he should have been used as a receiver, especially in the red zone last year. - DEVON DAVIDSON

Bryan: This will be Gathers' year to shine. The excuses of not knowing what he's doing due to lack of technique are all behind him now. He's either going to force his way onto this roster or he'll do it somewhere else.

Rob: You mentioned Gathers' blocking, but I thought he gave the offense some production in that area. He has such a massive frame (6-6, 285) that it's almost like having an extra offensive lineman on the field. The Cowboys saw him play faster last year even as he made mistakes. The issue in the red zone is they've got a lot of options ahead of him: Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and now Jason Witten again. And there's added competition at tight end with Witten back and the other young guys getting experience last year.

In general, across the NFL as a whole, what position has the most success (ending up as starters, Pro Bowlers, etc.) with lower-round draft picks? What position surprises you most that even Day 2 and 3 picks end up not only starting but playing at a high level? - TRACY SANDERS / NEW BRAUNFELS, TX

Bryan: Has to be wide receivers. There are guys that for some reason or another don't get drafted high enough and every year they're making big plays to win games.

Rob: Running back stands out to me. Look at last year's Pro Bowlers. Alvin Kamara (Saints), James Conner (Steelers), Phillip Lindsay (Broncos) and Lamar Miller (Texans) were all Day 2 and 3 picks. DeMarco Murray had a lot of success in Dallas as a third-round pick. That said, Ezekiel Elliott is a transcendent talent and has been worth every bit the fourth overall selection in 2016.

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