2018 NFL Draft: Candidates for Cowboys to replace Dez Bryant

After eight seasons, Dez Bryant's career with the Cowboys has come to an end. Dallas released the three-time Pro Bowl selectee on Friday.

Wide receiver was already widely viewed as one of the top needs for the team with so much uncertainty about Bryant's future. So, with less than two weeks to go until the 2018 NFL Draft, I think it's highly likely that Dallas will address the position at some point in the first two rounds -- the club holds pick No. 19 overall in Round 1 and No. 50 overall in Round 2.

Which of this year's prospects would fit in Dallas? Here are some of the top candidates to replace Bryant.

First-round prospects

Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Ridley's the best wide receiver in the draft, and it's really not a close competition. 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.

Sutton might be the most natural fit if the Cowboys want a player in the same vein as Bryant from a physical standpoint. He has prototypical WR1 size (6-3, 218). Although he lacks plus speed or separation quickness, he's extremely physical and has the ability to make contested catches on a consistent basis. League sources say Sutton's draft stock has improved since coaches and GMs have become more involved in the evaluation process down the stretch. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made the short trip to work out Sutton at SMU's pro day.

D.J. Moore, Maryland

Moore's ceiling might be higher than Sutton's. He has good size and athleticism. Much like Stefon Diggs before him at Maryland, he was used with a lot of catch-and-run stuff underneath during his college career, but he has the potential to become a much better receiver down the field with more experience. The buzz about Moore, who also visited the Cowboys, has grown throughout the evaluation process this offseason.

Second-round prospects

D.J. Chark, LSU

Chark has a rare combination of size (6-3, 199) and speed (4.34-second 40-yard dash at the combine). He uses his acceleration to create vertical separation much like Ridley, but Chark has a longer frame. He had limited college production and is still in need of more polish thanks in part to sub-par quarterback play at LSU. He's helped himself this postseason, standing out at the Reese's Senior Bowl and combine.

James Washington, Oklahoma State

Washington is a vertical threat who had a tremendous win percentage on 50-50 balls in college. He operates with great concentration as he gets further away from the line of scrimmage, but he has some occasional lapses in focus on easy throws underneath. He has the build of a running back more than a prototypical wide receiver, but there are teams that think he's one of the receivers in this draft with the most upside. He has visited and worked out for the Cowboys.

Wild card

Antonio Callaway, Florida

Callaway has WR1 potential, but his path to the draft has been beset by trouble during his career at Florida. He has good size and speed, but he didn't play a down in 2017, as he was suspended after facing charges of credit card fraud. He would be a top-50 pick if not for his issues. We've seen the Cowboys take chances on players with off-field problems in the past, and earlier in the draft than other teams would (Randy Gregory). I think Callaway could go anywhere from Rounds 2-5 this year, and it wouldn't be stunning to see him land in Dallas. The team did host him on a pre-draft visit, per Rapoport.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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