So here we are, mere hours away from the 2014 NFL draft, and the Johnny Manziel to Dallas mentions gain steam. I've already stated my theory here and that is Manziel will not make it to #16, there are too many QB-needy teams ahead of that pick that will grab him up. Even if he makes it to #16, I would hope the Cowboys resist the urge and either trade the pick or grab someone else. It's not that I think Manziel is a bad choice, I just think he's an unpredictable choice, and the Cowboys have been putting together solid round one picks lately (cross fingers on Mo Claiborne). They have managed to stay away from shiny objects recently. Jerry Jones has made solid financial decisions this offseason; he's gone away from his natural instinct of embracing risk. I applaud the Cowboys organization for that. I think Manziel is a risk pick.
But, I understand the counter-argument. Tony Romo is aging and he's got back issues. In one more year the Cowboys could start thinking about a future without him based on his contract, even though it would still be expensive. Manziel could be the answer, and if he falls in your lap at pick 16 do you pull the trigger? Mike Mayock and Todd McShay think so.
I really respect Mayock's football acumen, but his mock draft that was just released makes no sense to me. He has Aaron Donald sliding all the way to #24! I just can't see that, and I can't see the Cowboys passing on him. But Mayock has Dallas passing on Donald and Anthony Barr (pick #20) for Manziel.
Pick No. 16 Johnny Manziel Texas A&M QB
If it's my pick, I'd upgrade this defense with Donald or Clinton-Dix. But this is Jerry's world. Tony Romo is 34 and coming off his second back surgery, and I think this team is further away from winning a championship than people think. Can Jerry Jones pass up on this kid? I don't believe so.
So, would Dallas pass on Donald for Manziel?
Todd McShay's draft, on the other hand, has Donald and Zack Martin off the board before the Cowboys pick. In this scenario, drafting Manziel would make a little more sense if the Cowboys rate him high, which McShay believes they do. But they could also pick up Anthony Barr.
16 Johnny Manziel Dallas Cowboys (8-8) COLLEGE: Texas A&M Class: Soph HT: 5-11 WT: 207 POS: QB
Analysis: I said on TV this week that if the Cowboys draft Manziel it will break Twitter, and that's what happens in this scenario. We've had more than one person in the league tell us that Manziel is believed to be the No. 1 player on the Cowboys' board, and it wouldn't surprise us if they took him here is he's still available. If Manziel is gone by this point, or the Cowboys choose not to take him, linebackers Anthony Barr, C.J. Mosley and Ryan Shazier are all possibilities with the No. 16 pick.
Kiper's draft has Dallas going with a player I really like, someone who I could see as being the fallback guy if Donald, Barr and Martin are all gone (which they are in this mock, as is Manziel) and they can't trade back.
16 Ryan Shazier Dallas Cowboys (8-8) COLLEGE: Ohio State HT: 6-1 WT: 237 POS: OLB
Analysis: Aaron Donald isn't available, and this might be a little rich for the other first-round safety option, Calvin Pryor. And while Shazier might not seem like an obvious fit, that weakside linebacker position is hugely important in a Rod Marinelli defense, and with Henry Melton up front, I think the Cowboys could look to the second level and go for a player who will come in and fill a big role and doesn't need to come off the field.
Okay, so I'm still on record as saying Manziel will not be a Cowboy. I'm sticking with that. Do you agree? Vote in the poll and hit up the comments.