Former Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley is the Dallas Cowboys’ best option to replace Dez Bryant, according to NFL.com‘s Lance Zierlein.
“Ridley’s the best wide receiver in the draft, and it’s really not a close competition,” Zierlein wrote on Saturday. “Some question whether Ridley (6-foot, 189 pounds) is big enough to be a WR1, but I think he’ll be the latest in the new breed of top-end receivers that lack a little bit of size (Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders). He’s the guy on this list that stands out to me as being ready to contribute at a high level right away, and the Cowboys, of course, are doing their homework on him — they hosted him on a visit, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.”
The Cowboys, who released Bryant on Friday, currently have the No. 19 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, which will take place on April 26 in Dallas.
Ridley is projected to be a mid-first-round selection by NFL.com experts, including former Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who has him falling to the Cowboys at No. 19 overall.
Zierlein also mentioned former LSU receiver D.J. Chark and former Florida receiver Antonio Callaway as potential second and third-round options for the Cowboys, respectively.
Bryan was Dallas’ primary wide receiver before being released on Friday. The former Oklahoma State standout made three Pro Bowl appearances (2013, 2014, 2016) and led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2014.