The Dallas Cowboys selected University of North Carolina wide receiver Ryan Switzer in the fourth round, a dynamic kick/punt returner.
The Dallas Cowboys selected wide receiver Ryan Switzer out of the University of North Carolina in the fourth round. At first glance, this pick confused me because the Cowboys already have a slot receiver in Cole Beasley.
Switzer stands 5’8 and weighs 181 pounds, similar to Beasley. However, Switzer is a dynamic player who can not only play the slot position, but is a talented kicks and punt returner. While at UNC, Switzer won All- American and Freshman All-American awards in 2013, first-team All-ACC as a specialist, and he tied the NCAA record of five punt returns for touchdowns.
Switzer continued to return kickoffs/punts for touchdowns throughout his college career. In 2016, Switzer finished 10th in the country with 96 receptions for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns. This diminutive player is explosive and is capable of taking it to pay dirt any time he touches the ball.
I expect the Cowboys drafted Beasley to replace Lucky Whitehead because of a lack of production in the returning kickoffs and punt returns. The Cowboys haven’t had a legit kickoff returner since Dwayne Harris left for the NY Giants. Switzer is the real deal when it comes to a true kick returner. He has the speed (4.51 40 yard time) and is elusive.
According to scouts’ analysis, Switzer is a reliable wide receiver who has a low drop rate. Switzer plays at top speed and doesn’t coast when he runs his routes. He has good feet to shake press coverage, and has good acceleration and separation on speed routes. Also, the scouts said Switzer is good at comeback routes, very effective in option routes, comes out of breaks at sharp angles and is good at defeating inside leverage. Switzer’s shifty footwork and elusiveness is why he a lethal kick returner.
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According scouts analysis, Switzer is limited in some areas, but I disagree. However, a scout says Switzer catch radius is very limited because of his size. The scout says Switzer struggles with throws behind him and needs an accurate quarterback to help him. Further, a scout says he’s not a hands catcher and that Switzer benefited from misdirection in UNC’s offense. Plus, scouts said Switzer is quick but not athletic. Also, one scout said Switzer struggled in wide receiver screens.
I’m not sure what games these scouts attended, but Switzer is a play maker and someone Dallas can add to an already potent offense.
I don’t believe everything scouts say. As someone who lives watched Switzer play on a regular basis, he’s more than a special teams ace. Switzer has good hands and runs great routes. He’s a better receiver than Dwayne Harris was and better than Lucky Whitehead.
Yes, I was surprised by this pick, but the Cowboys can use him in certain packages to go with Beasley, and the two of them will be a nightmare for defensive coordinators.
Instead of asking why the Cowboys drafted him, just be happy to see another dynamic offensive weapon for America’s Team.