If you’re an undrafted wide receiver of a certain size, there are worse things for people to do than compare you to Wes Welker.
Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley wasn’t drafted out of SMU and is 5’8″ and 182 pounds, facts that make Welker a natural measuring stick although it is one that Beasley prefers people not use when talking about him. The issue isn’t humility about comparisons to a guy with 111 or more catches in four of the last five years, it is because Beasley thinks he brings more to the table than the Patriots wideout.
“I get tired of it a little bit because I feel like I have a little bit more speed than Wes Welker does,” Beasley said on 105.3 in Dallas, via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s got a little bigger frame than me but I feel like I’ve got a little more versatility to my game than he does. I do have similarities with him but I feel like I can play a little bit more outside, as well as inside.”
While there’s certainly nothing demeaning about a Welker comparison — Beasley credits Welker with opening a door into the NFL even as he chides him for not reeling in a pass late in the Super Bowl — it’s become a common shorthand to compare receivers who project to the slot to Welker. Such comparisons ignore the fact that there have been plenty of other receivers of smaller stature that have made it to the NFL.
Percy Harvin isn’t much bigger, for example, but Beasley doesn’t draw that comparison even though his description of himself that sounds similar to what the Vikings receiver does on the field. We’ll cop to not knowing enough about Beasley’s game to say what comparison, if any, is more apt, but going right to Welker feels like taking the easy route.
Race certainly plays a role in that because looking at Beasley, who is Caucasian, calls Welker to mind more than it does an African-American receiver. The same thing happened when Cam Newton was getting compared to JaMarcus Russell before he was drafted by the Panthers and across all sports it is rare to see players compared to those of other races. It’s a lazy habit that doesn’t serve anyone all that well.
Regardless of who he reminds you of, Beasley’s confidence can’t hurt him as he tries to earn a spot on the Cowboys roster this summer.