The Dallas Cowboys could go in a number of directions with the 16th overall pick, but they’ve mostly been expected to take an impact player on defense (Aaron Donald, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor, and Anthony Barr come to mind) or Taylor Lewan if he’s available (trading down is also a huge possibility). But the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport raised an interesting possibility today, as he tweeted out that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys were to take a wide receiver in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Last season, the Cowboys offense was a finely-tuned machine led by the big three of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and DeMarco Murray, as all three of them were among the best players at their positions last season and nearly led the team to the playoffs (had Romo not been injured, they probably would have snuck by the Philadelphia Eagles) despite a putrid defense. That defense is priority No. 1, but Rapoport is one of the best insiders around and almost certainly has inside knowledge behind this.
His tweet obviously doesn’t meant that the Cowboys are going to draft a wide receiver, but it’s interesting nonetheless. A report like this coming close to the draft is usually a smokescreen, but it could be something more. Rapoport names Odell Beckham Jr. and Marqise Lee as two strong possibilities for the Cowboys at No. 16, and OBJ would really be an intriguing pick; he’s one of my favorite prospects around. Lee is very talented and has No. 1 receiver upside, but he’s drop prone and too risky for the Cowboys. However, I’d rather take one of those two than reach for Johnny Manziel at 16 when the Cowboys already have a franchise QB.
Wide receiver isn’t a true need for the Cowboys, and they have bigger issues on defense. That said, it isn’t exactly a position of strength either, since they could use a better No. 2 receiver than Terrance Williams opposite of Dez Bryant. It’s a deep draft, though, so the Cowboys can afford to wait on a wideout.