There are a lot of things that could play into who is the choice at 16 when Dallas makes their 1st round selection. Despite how badly BTB nation members want that selection to be Mr. Donald unfortunately it is out of our hands. Could we still have a successful draft if Donald is not the pick? I believe so if Dallas is able to make smart choices with each pick and upgrading the roster as a whole.
REASONS WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE DONALD:
Hatcher is resigned: Bringing back the veteran 3 tech could bump Donald from the spot simply due to need. Dallas has the luxury of going BPA in this draft because just about every position is a need for this roster. Bringing back Hatcher could push the need for a 3-tech down to a later pick moving Donald down the list in Dallas.
Henry Melton: It's completely possible given his impending free agency, recent statements by the bears, his familiarity with Rod Marinelli and the Tampa 2 and Being a Native of the DFW. Depending on the amount of money Melton is after it is entirely possible.
Dallas is after more picks: This is probably the deepest class in quite some time and it wouldn't hurt to add more depth to the team in the event of (more like inevitable) injury. Dallas could move back to a later part of the round and grab a few more players to improve the roster even at the sacrifice of missing out on Donald.
Donald is not Available: Also a likely scenario considering his Senior bowl, Combine and Pro Day. With teams like the Bears and the Giants in front of us and in need of a 3-tech he could simply not make it to the boys at 16.
So lets look at a potential draft for the Cowboys that could be Donaldless...
1st round - Zac Martin OT/OG Notre Dame - Martin can play tackle or guard and play them both well. Upgrades are needed at both considering the play at both guard spots and the up and down career of Doug Free. Martin is a plug and play starter right away we will just have to decided where but for this mock we'll say guard.
2nd round - Dominique Easley DT Florida - Easley is the quick twitch DT that Marinelli covets. If Easley is able to recover from the knee injury he will be an instant impact on the pass rush in Dallas.
3rd round - Dezmen Southward S Wisconsin - A surprise to some but Southward is a guy who's moving up the draft boards rapidly. Southward has the ability to play both corner and safety but will be a deep middle safety for the cowboys. Southwards ability to play man and zone make him an asset in the secondary and running a 4.3 at his pro day helps too
4th round - James Hurst OT N. Carolina - Hurst would be a 2nd to 3rd round pick if not for breaking his leg in the bowl game. Hurst will have time to move into his role backing up free to start and allowing Dallas to get rid of Parnell. Hurst will eventually take over for Free in 2015 allowing Dallas to create more cap space.
5th round - Michael Sam DE Missouri - Whether or not Sams same sex announcement will be a distraction is still to be determined. The one thing I can say is Sam is going to pressure the QB and that's what's most important. Sam will have the opportunity to enhance those skills and hopefully be learning from Ware how to get to the QB at the NFL level.
7th round - Aaron Colvin CB Oklahoma - Colvin is a guy who certainly would have been projected higher if not for the injury so to Dallas taking a flyer on a guy like him in the 7th is a win. Colvin will have the 2014 season to redshirt and in 2015 compete for a starters role.
7th round - Ethan Westbrook DE WTAMU - Westbrook has big potential despite his small school team. Westbrook is another guy who will get after the QB and Dallas can't have enough of them.
7th round - George Atkinson III RB Notre Dame - Atkinson is a big back with some shiftiness to him. Dallas is in need of a back that can pound the rock on short yardage and when Murray misses a game handle the load.
Leaving off the compensatory picks until we know for sure where they are. Welp that's all I got!