Michael Irvin: drafted #10 overall by Dallas in 1988
Alvin Harper: drafted #12 overall by Dallas in 1991 (the exact same distance in years as 2014 and 2017)
Excellent pull and kudos to you for that. I'd just counter with a few points.
1) as someone else said, it was 30 years ago. Not exactly a trend.
2) Irvin went 11 and Harper went 12. That is much less of an investment than A wr at 10 and Watkins at 4 and another 1st rounder.
3) the Cowboys hit rock bottom with Irvin and got their franchise qb at #1 overall when they drafted Harper.
4) the Cowboys were flush with draft picks from the awful Herschel Walker trade. We are not and already paid a premium for a wr.
5) given the offenses in college, the transition from college to the pros seems easier than ever. Gone are the days of Eric Moulds doing nothing for 2 years. A very physically average guy like Jarvis Landry and come play with a very average qb and be productive right away. Why spend a high 1st round pick on that?
Again, I just think it's such a dependent position that you can't invest 3 high 1st round picks on in 5 years. I poised the question before but would you bet big money on Corey Davis/ Mike Williams having a better career in the Bills or a guy like Josh Reynolds, a 4th rounder or so from Texas A & M, if he got drafted by the Saints or Packers?
At 10, I want a player who can make an impact no matter what. Receivers can't always do that and it's not their fault. But that was a definite good piece of history I did not know.
And for the record, I played wr in high school and college and love the position. I just know that when our oline was crap and the qb couldn't get us the ball, we were pretty pointless.
The Falcons traded up while having Roddy White in his prime. He was a 1st team All-Pro coming off of 115 catches, 1389 yards and 10 TDs when they traded up for Julio.
But White was #27 and they had Matt Ryan. If we had a franchise qb, I won't love it, but I'd understand it more.
Again if the Bills draft a wr, they would have spent a 4 overall, 10 overall, 1st round pick, & 2nd round pick on a receiver in 4 years! That's kinda crazy. And the reason those WRs haven't reached their full potential is because of the Qbs we had more than their talent.