By Jeremy Martin @Jmartin1982 on May 7, 2014
Fans of the Dallas Cowboys get an uneasy feeling around this time of year. The reason is because the NFL Draft is one day away and there is a fear that Dallas will make a draft day mistake. Despite past failures, Cowboys fans have to hope that this year might be different. With that in mind, here are my top five most likely candidates to be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.
Aaron Donald is the player who the Cowboys covet the most, but he is the least likely to be there at No. 16. If Aaron Donald was there, the Cowboys would sprint to the podium to turn in their card and Jerry Jones would be dancing like he did in his Papa Johns commercial. The only way I see Dallas getting Donald is if they trade up, and the price might be too steep.
Offensive line is not Dallas’ biggest need, but drafting Zach Martin wouldn’t be a bad move. Martin might not move the excitement meter of the average Cowboys fan, but Dallas needs to protect their quarterback who is coming off two back surgeries. With all that said, I do not think Zach Martin will be available.
Dallas likes Anthony Barr and if he is available at 16, then Dallas will have a decision to make: do they take Barr or do they trade back in order to accumulate extra picks? I feel like Barr would be too intriguing for the Cowboys to pass on, but I also feel he will be gone before Dallas goes on the clock.
So if Dallas’ top three targets are gone, then what do they do? Simple, they do what Jerry loves to do: wheel and deal. Jerry loves making trades in the draft and if his player is gone, he will not hesitate to trade back in the draft. If Dallas trades down, one likely candidate will be Ryan Shazier. Dallas needs another linebacker and they could combine Shazier with Sean Lee.
Early in the draft process, one name that everyone had as a fit with Dallas was Missouri defensive lineman Kony Ealy. His draft stock has fallen, but I still think Dallas has interest. Much like last year, I think Dallas trades down into the bottom of the first round and the player they pick will be Kony Ealy.
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