WR, Michael Pittman Jr, USC
The SoCal product burst onto the CFB scene his senior year catching 101 passes for 1,275 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. In a year where the Trojans finally had some consistent quarterback play and an offensive identity, Pittman was finally able to put his route running, great size, hands, and body control on display for the country to see.
In the past, the Dallas Cowboys organization has targeted receivers in the 5’10”-6’2″ height range. The situation was same last season as the only receiver on the roster outside this range was Tavon Austin; Austin is more a “specialist” than receiver. (Look the special teams wasn’t good but that’s how the organization tried to use him)
Obviously with some new people in town, the model for the “ideal receiver” may change and based on history that could hold true.
In Mike McCarthy’s tenure as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, these are the receivers the staff drafted.
2018: J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown
2017: DeAngelo Yancey, Malachi Dupre
2016: Trevor Davis
2015: Ty Montgomery
2014: Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, Jeff Janis
2013: Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey
2011: Randall Cobb
2008: Jordy Nelson, Brett Swain
2007: James Jones, David Clowney
2006: Greg Jennings, Corey Rodgers
On this really long list of 19 receivers, 13 of them fall in the previously mentioned range. However, of these 13 receivers, only 2 are shorter than 6′ tall. (Randall Cobb and Greg Jennings) Ty Montgomery is the only other receiver that came in at exactly 6′ tall; 16 of the 19 receivers listed above are either 6’1″ or taller.
So enter Pittman. The senior is a shade under 6’4″, 220 pounds, and even with below average 9 1/8″ hand and 32 3/8″ arms, shows the physicality and length you’d expect of a tall receiver with the soft hands of a slot receiver. (Measurements courtesy of The Draft Network)
On film, there are some questions about his speed but at Senior Bowl media day, he said he should run faster than the projected “4.6” he keeps hearing. While speed is an important asset to a receiver, it isn’t the only one.
With the way Pittman has practiced this week in Mobile, his stock in a crowded receiver class should rise. Ultimately, his play on Saturday and his combine performance will put the final stamp on his draft ceiling. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, if Pittman does well in both situations, he might go earlier than where the organization would be comfortable drafting a wide receiver simply because of how many needs to team needs to resolve.
However, seeing this on Sundays would be great for the Cowboys as they look to continue their high-octane offense from last season.