Mark Barron has suddenly become the hot property in the NFL draft. The consensus of the most recent mock drafts is that he is the target of the Dallas Cowboys. The New England Patriots have started making noise about moving ahead of Dallas to take him. And now, the San Diego Chargers are looking into trading up for him as well, according to Pro Football Talk.
Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego reports that the Chargers love Barron enough that they have discussed engineering a trade to acquire him.
With the 18th pick in the first round, the Chargers will almost certainly not be able to take Barron without a trade. Many mock drafts, from Evan Silva's to Greg Cosell's to Peter King's, have the Cowboys taking Barron at No. 14. So if the Chargers want to move up and take Barron, they'll at the very least need to move up to No. 13.
The information comes from a tweet, which is the new source for breaking information about the draft.
Is this all just some massive conspiracy to drive the fans of the Dallas Cowboys insane by targeting whoever we show interest in?
More paranoid ravings after the jump, more or less.
Barron seems to be benefiting from being the best safety in a weak draft class. With the general shortage of good safety prospects the past few years, his emergence as a likely day one impact player has started attracting a lot of attention. Add in the somewhat muddled picture in the talent available starting at about the eighth slot in the draft, and teams are beginning to scheme about how to get a player that best fits their needs.
Of course, interest in making a move and actually pulling the trigger are two different things. Both New England and San Diego may just be floating trial balloons. They might find the price too high for Barron and back out of the bidding, leaving Dallas to wait and see if Barron will make it to fourteen. Also, since the Cowboys sit higher than either of them, Dallas could possibly outbid them with any possible trading partner. That would depend on how a putative partner might value what each team has to offer, but the Cowboys could make an attractive offer.
There is also the possibility, almost never mentioned outside of BTB, that Dallas could offer to trade with the Chargers or Patriots. The Chargers would make a particularly attractive partner, if there were four other players the Cowboys were interested in still available. It would pretty much have to be a last minute deal. It would also be dependent on a lot of things falling just right, but it could be something that the teams could work out in advance as a contingency.
The big question now becomes: Just how valuable is Barron? Looking at the situation is somewhat like watching a bunch of dogs fighting over some toys. They always seem to want whatever the other dog has more than anything that is still available. With the last couple of days ticking down to the draft, Barron is the new shiniest toy. He could be the difference maker that he is being perceived as. Or he could be a reach, someone who is legitimately a good value around the fifteenth pick or so, but who is going to get pushed up somebody's board because of the scarcity at his position, much as seems likely to happen with Ryan Tannehill.
Oh, and just in case you didn't have enough to keep you reaching for the Pepto, Mike Mayock, the well respected NFL Network draft analyst, also sees some teams already holding picks ahead of the Cowboys who could be interested in Barron - and Fletcher Cox. As Rob Phillips reports over at the mothership, the Buffalo Bills could see Barron as the perfect counter to New England's potent tight ends, and the Carolina Panthers just might find Cox too good to pass up.
There is still a lot that can change in the last couple of days, including a reevaluation of things by the interested parties that leads them to go another direction. Or it could always be a bunch of smoke and mirrors to throw other teams off. One way or another, the draft is likely to be a nerve-wracking experience for Dallas fans as we wait to see what happens to the players we want to wear the Star. Who knows, maybe the team may find itself in the horrible position of having to take David DeCastro.