(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2020 NFL Draft isn't until April 23, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins.)
- Name: Tee Higgins
- College: Clemson
- Height/Weight: 6'3/215
- Honors: First-team All-ACC, Preseason All-American
- Key Stat: Recorded 59 catches for 1,167 yards, fifth-most in a single-season in Clemson history.
Where He's Projected:
Higgins is one of the bright and shiny options at the top of the receiving-class' second tier.
Just a bit shorter than 6-foot-4, the Oak Ridge, Tennessee native has one of the more consistent resumes in the draft during his time at Clemson. Higgins burst onto the scene in 2018 as a sophomore who helped lead the Tigers to a National Championship with three receptions, 81 yards and a touchdown against Alabama in the title game. His catch radius and ball skills were tools that made the jobs of quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Kelly Bryant easier.
Higgins' did not run at the NFL Combine, and put up some pedestrian numbers at his pro-day like a 4.59 40-yard-dash and 31-inch vertical. Both numbers are towards the bottom of the board for receivers. However, he did not finish the complete workout due to a pectoral strain that he seemingly performed through. While the medicals could be a tad bit concerning, his potential is still there to be a productive receiver in the NFL. The back-half of the second round seems like the spot to take a chance on Higgins, right in the middle of a loaded receiver class.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
With Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup listed as the top receivers on the current roster, there is an obvious need for a number-three target for Dak Prescott. Sure, there are some in-house options to replace the departed Randall Cobb, but none have a skillset and potential quite like Higgins. It's been speculated throughout the offseason that the replacement for Cobb would be a true slot receiver and that Cooper and Gallup out wide. But the fact that the Cowboys are talking to a different type of receiver lends me to think they are open to shifting Cooper to the slot and forcing defenses to adjust accordingly.
With some of the longest arms in the receiver class, Higgins is a consistent deep-threat receiver who is more than capable of making a contested catch. Littered all over his college tape, especially in 2019, he showcased the ability to beat man coverage and make a play in traffic. His release off the line of scrimmage needs a bit of work and he could use a tune-up in his physicality, both of which could come with NFL coaching.
The presence of Higgins opens a world of possibility for Kellen Moore and the entire offense. Depending on how the board falls, I wouldn't rule out Higgins at pick 51 in the second round.