What a difference a few weeks can make. Early in the draft process it appeared that picking Safety Mark Barron at #14 was going to be a bit of a reach for the Cowboys. But now Barron appears to be one of the hottest prospect in the draft. Perhaps even moving into the top 10 players taken.
On the day before the draft, the Bills at pick #10 seem very interested in Barron. LINK Also the Chargers seem interested in moving up to take him and even Bilichick and the Patriots have been rumored interested in moving up to take Barron, considered the best safety in the draft. PATS
Are the Bills bluffing their interest in Barron in order to orchestrate a trade down? The Bills have expressed an interest in trading down to add picks but to do that, you need a partner. If a team is locked in on Barron, like the Chargers or Cowboys, they just might dance with the Bills to make a deal.
It’s not clear how sincere the Bills’ interest in Barron may be, but most mocks have had the Bills taking a WR or an offensive lineman. Two areas of need for sure. The Bills may actually have their eyes on a WR or OG later in the first round and are willing to trade down.
Will the Cowboys be willing to trade up to get Barron?
I don’t think so. From the start, coach Jason Garrett has made it clear that his approach is to get the best available with their pick. In fact he addressed many of their needs in the off season in order to keep their options open on draft day. So Dallas is not in a position where they must pick a safety, guard or any other position in the first round for that matter.
It’s also not for certain that Barron is the guy Dallas wants to draft the most. They have had several top players visit Valley Ranch before the draft so I don’t get the impression that they are locked in on Barron in the first. I do think they like him a lot but may not be willing to trade up to get him.
If the Cowboys sit tight at 14, it is pretty likely that Barron will come to them but if he doesn’t, there are several prospects in the first round that could impact the Cowboys immediately. In fact, if Barron goes off the board before 14, that means that some pretty darn good players are going to drop farther down than expected.
Locking in on a specific player in the draft can often lead to paying too much to get that guy. Teams will take advantage of that “man crush”. It’s just the way the game is played. I think back to last year when the Falcons were fixated on WR Julio Jones and mortgaged their future in order to move up in the draft to select him.
Jones has been a good WR for sure but I just think the Falcons are going to see the day they wished they had all those picks back. Look how Dallas discovered Laurent Robinson in free agency and he was a highly productive wide receiver that cost them little.
Buckle up Cowboy fan because Thursday night may be a bumpy ride with lots of prime time drama. It may not be for the faint of heart.