Instant analysis: Cowboys draft Southeast Missouri State WR Ryan Flournoy at 216 overall

The Dallas Cowboys waited until the 216th overall pick to draft the 31st wide receiver off the board in the 2024 Draft, making Southeast Missouri State’s Ryan Flournoy their sixth-round pick. The Cowboys knew they wouldn’t be adding any of the premier players at either WR or RB when a run on both positions extended through the end of the first round into the start of day two, instead using all of their premium picks to address the offensive and defensive lines.

The surprise of the draft remains Dallas staying put at running back, but here in the compensatory stage of the sixth round the board is all about drafting for coachable traits and Flournoy possesses plenty.

With a 4.44 second 40-yard time and 39.5 inch vertical jump, Flournoy led Southeast Missouri State in catches, yards, and touchdowns. Flournoy averaged 14.7 yards per catch in his final collegiate season, and 16.1 the year before with seven touchdowns.

The Cowboys have the best WR coach in the NFL with Robert Prince ready to work with Flournoy. As second- and third-year players like Jalen Brooks and Jalen Tolbert are expected to go from less of projects to real contributors alongside CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks this year, the Cowboys did well with this pick to keep their receiver depth a strength by adding Flournoy to the room.

NFL Combine

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Flournoy catches the ball well away from his frame, knows how to box out defenders with a thick build, and is fearless going across the middle to make plays in traffic. A lot of Flournoy’s highlight catches came late in a down or on broken plays, an area Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has always been adept at finding his targets. Former receiver Michael Gallup remains a free agent, and was a player Prescott regularly looked to in these situations. Jalen Brooks may have the first crack this offseason at claiming that role in Mike McCarthy’s passing game, but Flournoy will be another player to watch throughout training camp and the preseason as a candidate for flash plays as he fights his way onto the roster.

Flournoy told the Dallas Cowboys team draft show that he started his football journey as a running back, and some of that skill to get upfield is evident with the ball in his hands. As far as receivers he watched for inspiration, he mentioned Jerry Rice and more specifically modeling his game after former Cowboys star Dez Bryant. Flournoy can run Bryant’s favorite route, the back shoulder fade, with a strong ability to highpoint the ball.

The Cowboys will have two picks remaining in the seventh round at 233rd and 244th overall to conclude their 2024 draft class.


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