ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay published a list of five teams that could play big roles in Round 1 wheeling and dealing during the 2012 NFL Draft.
McShay lists the Browns (#4) and the Redskins (#6) as potential early movers in the draft. Both will be in the hunt for whichever quarterback the Colts do not pick and may try to leapfrog each other on draft day to get themselves a franchise quarterback.
Also expected to play a role in any eventual draft day trade activities are the two teams holding two first round picks, the Bengals (#17, #21) and the Patriots (#27, #31). The Bengals could be looking to move up for Trent Richardson, the Patriots might move up for a pass rusher or wide receiver. Both teams might also be willing to entertain offers from other teams that are looking to move up into the bottom of the first round.
The fifth team on McShay's list of course are your Dallas Cowboys.
The main reason McShay believes the Cowboys could shake up the first round is that (what he thinks are) the Cowboys' top needs, defensive backs and linebacker, are also the top needs for the Eagles, who pick one spot after the Cowboys. McShay believes safety Mark Barron is the right pick for the Cowboys:
Barron can be physical in run support, make plays from the point in coverage, and be the kind of high-character defensive leader the Cowboys need. And safety is becoming a more important position all the time given the increased role of tight ends in the passing game across the NFL. If Barron is off the board and the Cowboys don't take a corner, perhaps Boston College ILB Luke Kuechly comes into play given that Dallas LBs Bradie James and Anthony Spencer are set to be free agents.
Barron and Kuechly are players the Eagles will likely target as well, so there could be a bit of a cat-and-mouse game here.
Of course, without knowing what will happen once free agency opens on March 13, much of this is idle speculation, but I'm not sold on either Barron or Kuechly being top targets for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys may very well be players in draft day trades, but probably not because they're competing with the Eagles for the same players. Then again, nobody has ever called me a draft analyst, and nobody ever will either. So what's your take on this speculation?