“I do think obviously when you lose a player like Dez, and what he’s brought to the field throughout his career,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We are remaking our receiving room, if you will, including the coach. There was obviously some focus there, and as we’ve said from day one, we wanted to create a competitive situation there. I do think we wanted to do things as Jerry has said and Jason [Garrett] has said, that are Dak- friendly. We want to surround him with good players in a competitive situation so we can have the success that we think we can have.
Now Wilson is acknowledging that he was out of shape last season, and not mentally strong enough for the rigors of the NFL. Wilson told the Indianapolis Star that he has internalized the coaching he heard last year is going to be a better practice player in 2018.
“You just gotta treat every practice like it’s a game,” Wilson said. “You can’t just go out there and feel like I can be whatever today. Every day, you gotta prove it.”
Interestingly, Wilson said the pre-draft process itself contributed to him being out of shape at the start of the offseason: Wilson said he was being flown around to so many team facilities that he struggled to find time to work out. That might sound like an excuse, but it’s also the reality that the NFL asks a lot of players before they actually get to the league, and much of what the NFL is asking them to do isn’t conducive to being completely focused on performing well when the offseason work starts.
So the Ravens turned their first-round pick in 2018, their second-round selections in 2018 and 2019, and a seven-spot slide in round four into Hurst and Jackson, along with turning a fifth-round pick into a third-round pick, a sixth-round pick into a fourth-round pick.
It’s almost always worth it. If you don’t have a franchise quarterback, you have to be almost perfect everywhere else. If you do have one, it’s a good bet your GM and coach are sleeping better at night. It was a big, big deal looking back on that now. That was an important pick, at an important time in Atlanta. Safe to say, they’re happy with the investment. As for what it means for everyone else, the raw numbers—because, again, they always go up—aren’t that big a deal. Flacco ($22. 1M average per year) topped Rodgers in March 2016.