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Mailbag: Will McCarthy Use Smaller Receivers?


I have seen Zay Flowers on a few mock drafts and he was a 30-visit player. I noticed in Kellen Moore's offensive system that small, fast wide receivers didn't seem to find a role in the offense (Tavon Austin and KaVontae Turpin are recent examples). With the trade for Brandin Cooks, do you think Mike McCarthy's system will find ways for smaller receivers to have an impact, making Flowers a worthy first-round pick? – Chad Everett/Lexington, NC

Nick: I think that's definitely something to consider. I look at a guy like Randall Cobb, who thrived with the Packers and McCarthy. Then again, he wasn't too bad with the Cowboys and Kellen Moore, too. And Cobb was a first-round pick as well. I think my point is that great players obviously come in all sizes. There's not an offensive coordinator in the world that wouldn't want a player like Tyreek Hill. Not saying Flowers is that kind of guy, but he was very dynamic in college and figures to be really good in the NFL. But this West Coast type of an offense usually has receivers running a lot of underneath crossing routes, which favors some of these shorter, quicker receivers who now how to get open. But like you mentioned, I would like to see Turpin get some work this offseason and have a bigger offensive role.

Patrik: What we know is that they obviously like Flowers, and I think McCarthy will be more open to trading off size for production where and when it makes sense to do so. I think, while I also see a great upside in Flowers, the biggest concern will be can he cut down on or mostly eliminate his issue with drops because what he can do with the ball in his hands (he's a terror in the open field) can sometimes be made moot by a drop that precedes what might've been a big play. The Cowboys are doing their due diligence, as they should, and I could see an archetype like Flowers being a long-term plan (Cooks isn't on a long-term deal right now) as far as smaller, speedy wideouts goes, though I'd be more inclined to trade down if I'm eyeing Flowers, rather than taking him at No. 26. I do believe, and hope, Cooks can remind McCarthy that smaller wideouts do still matter (hi, Tyreek).


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