According to many Insiders around the National Football League, the stock of Maryland OLB/DE Shawne Merriman is on the rise. In reality that should come as no surprise.
Merriman's average draft position in many of the most popular mock drafts has gone from around 21 early in February to around 14 at this point. After some impressive workouts, Merriman has been listed as going to the Browns at #3 in a couple of mock drafts, and there is a sense that he might have displaced Derrick Johnson on some draft boards.
For the Cowboys, Merriman's acquisition likely hinges on any potential trades that could bring a veteran defensive end to the team before the draft.
#2 Derrick Johnson's Stock is Falling
One of the fastest linebackers available in this year's draft is quickly falling down the boards of many teams holding one of the top ten picks in the first round.
Many are scared that he lacks the ability to take on offensive linemen, or that he lacks natural linebacker instincts.
Scout.com notes, that Johnson is "not efficient, instinctive or quick in his head. He bites on play action passes and gets caught out of position. Takes a lot of missteps as well as incorrect angles to the action."
A strong performance at the NFL Combine will keep him among the top 15 picks, but we don't see him coming to Dallas.
#3 Cowboys Will Keep Both First Round Picks (Sort of)
Nothing leads us to believe that the Cowboys will trade either one of their first round selections (No. 11 and No. 20) for a player, before the draft.
Despite rumors concerning a potential trade Darren Howard, owner Jerry Jones is still unwilling to part ways with either of his first round picks.
However, it is not out of the question that the Cowboys could trade their second first round pick for additional picks on draft day.
This holds particularly true at wide receiver, where several players, such as Roddy White, Mark Clayton, or Mark Bradley may be interchangeable. The Cowboys like White, but could conceivably could trade down, acquire more picks later on, and pick White or another similar receiver in the second round.
#4 Troy Williamson's Stock is Rising
The South Carolina wide out is the fastest wide receiver available in this year's draft, and he's also the a player that appears to be turning into one of the top 12-15 players selected in the first round.
For the Cowboys, that's bad news.
Williamson's speed would be just the needed skill in the Cowboys' aging wide receiver corps. If Williamson is not available with the No. 20 selection, Dallas could still look at Roddy White, who was interview extensively by Dallas at the Senior Bowl, or Mark Clayton, or others.