With less than a week to go before the draft, misinformation is the name of the game. So-called "sources" have been known to purposely hand out false information, rumors are based on little more than anonymous postings on some internet message boards and interested parties regularly disseminate false information. The final days leading up to the draft are ruled by half-truths, lies, outright deceit, propaganda, information poisoning, counter intelligence.
Happens every year. In fact, among the chief sources of late-breaking draft information are rumors spread by NFL general managers - who are lying - and agents, who are lying even more. Keep that in mind as we round up the latest speculations, rumors and half-truths below that coveniently cover rounds 1-3 and free agency.
Trading down in the first round?
Per a report from NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Vikings are looking to trade up in the first round, either from their 23rd or 25th spots, and that they could be targeting corners and receivers with the move. The Cowboys' 18th pick could be a good spot to catch a falling CB or WR.
Reports also surfaced yesterday that the Falcons may be willing to move up if the right opportunity presents itself. The Falcons have the 30th pick, and jumping all the way to 18th may be a stretch, but maybe not entirely out of the question.
Similarly, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated suggested last week that there were several good reasons a 49ers Cowboys trade makes sense.
With all their draft picks (13), the 49ers have plenty of ammo to move up after a player. A couple extra picks (a third and a fourth?) to slide from No. 18 to the 49ers' No. 31 slot could come in very handy for the Cowboys, who never shy away from moving around on draft weekend.
Looks like there may be opportunities for the Cowboys to trade down on Thursday, but will they?
A number two receiver in round two?
We've known for a while that Oregon State's Marcus Wheaton was in Dallas for an official pre-draft visit, and Tony Pauline suggests that Wheaton is ranked fairly high on some draft boards.
Sandwiched in that area is Markus Wheaton/Oregon State, a receiver who was rated higher than Keenan Allen on a few boards around the league as far back as January. Wheaton does not possess the size of Patton or Swope yet his playing speed is slightly better. Wheaton has been on visits to the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys in the lead up to next weeks draft.
OG David Quessenberry on Cowboys' third-round radar?
Our own rabblerousr opined recently that the Cowboys are looking for mobile offensive linemen, especially guards who can pull, trap and are effective in space and on the second level. San Jose State's David Quessenberry fits that profile and has drawn some attention from the Cowboys:
A late-rising prospect whose stock shot up after he played every position on a short-handed offensive line during Senior Bowl practices in January, the 6-5, 302-pound Quessenberry is being projected by many to go as high as the third round. He's had four visits with teams and a handful of private workouts — with the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers among the teams showing the most interest.
Quessenberry joins a growing list of athletic linemen that could be available in the second and third rounds and that have been linked to the Cowboys at one point or another.
Way to hedge your bets
According to Matt Mosley of FOX Sports Southwest, the only way the Dallas Cowboys will consider drafting LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is if he slips to the sixth or seventh round. Taking my cue from that bold prediction, I predict that the Cowboys will draft QB Geno Smith if he slips to the fifth round. Or, in the words of Mike Fisher:
The Honey Badger has already made one more natl-mag cover appearance than he'll ever make on the #Cowboys Big Board— mike fisher (@fishsports) April 19, 2013
The never-ending story at right tackle
Earlier this week, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones mentioned that the Cowboys are looking at free agent RT Eric Winston.
"He’s obviously somebody that we’re taking a look at," Jones said during radio interview on Tuesday, via the Dallas Morning News.
Yesterday, CBSSports Jason La Confora tweeted that there's still a possibility Cowboys RT Doug Free gets a paycut, but that he (Confora) believes Tyson Clabo is the player the Cowboys want, but they'll need to clear some cap space first to get him.