American Football

Cowboys draft analysis: Why the Cowboys selected wide receiver Jalen Brooks in the seventh round


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 South Carolina at Arkansas
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The Cowboys pick the only receiver of their 2023 draft class in the seventh round.

The Dallas Cowboys spent their final pick of the 2023 draft on South Carolina wide receiver Jalen Brooks. The Cowboys, a team expected to show significant interest in the wide receiver position throughout the draft, didn’t select one until they drafted Brooks with their seventh-round pick.

Brooks had 33 receptions, 504 receiving yards, and two touchdowns with the Gamecocks in 2022. He spent time as a rotational receiver in the South Carolina system, and made his presence felt in special teams as well. had this to say on their prospect overview for Brooks:

Brooks was not granted eligibility by the NCAA until the fifth game of the 2020 season and he stepped away from the South Carolina program for the second half of the 2021 season. Those missed games help explain his limited college production, but his 2022 game film — when he started 12 games — failed to stand out. However, his play strength and ball skills are clearly noticeable on tape. He’s a high-cut, leggy route runner who struggles to outmaneuver coverage getting in and out of breaks. He’s highly competitive on 50/50 balls and has run-after-catch talent to have his moments in the open field, but his poor speed testing at the NFL Scouting Combine could be tough for him to overcome.

Jalen Brooks best strength is his ability to come down with 50/50 balls. This is something the Cowboys could use more of in their receiving room heading into 2023. Brooks will look to compete for a roster spot among other receivers already in the locker room, such as WR’s Dennis Houston, Simi Fehoko, and Jalen Tolbert.

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