2012 NFL Draft Order: Dallas Cowboys and Teams That'll Trade Up in First Round

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2012

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Baylor Bears runs during a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Trading up in the 2012 NFL draft will not be easy, especially with the pool of talent coming out this season being less spectacular than in many other years.

With that said, there is always a team like the Atlanta Falcons that will trade everything for a chance to grab the man who best fits its future plans. Just ask Julio Jones and the Browns.

All of the following teams will be looking to trade up. But whether they can pull it off or not is really unknown as of now.


Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins are already picking at the No. 6 spot in the draft, but head coach Mike Shanahan wants Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III bad enough to move up to No. 2.

While many experts feel that Griffin has a strong upside along with some clear weaknesses, the Redskins coaching staff sees no flaws and will mortgage the house on that wager.

Griffin is a fine player and Shanahan’s devotion will mean surrounding him with the right weapons and schemes that will make the transition easier. As fine as that all is, there are still questions about the former Baylor star’s power, accuracy and decision making.

If Griffin busts at No. 6, it’s a catastrophe. if Shanahan and the Redskins trade up to No. 2 and he turns into a dud, the team will once again be looking for a coach.


Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys draft day depends on which of the coaches has Jerry Jones' ear the most.

If Rob Ryan does, the Cowboys will sit back and take a linebacker at No. 14.

If Jason Garrett wins out, Dallas will move up to take an offensive lineman.

A team like the Miami Dolphins could be looking to move back with no QBs left on the board and will jump back a few spots for some smaller trade pieces. This will allow the Cowboys to move up and grab Riley Reiff.

The versatile Iowa lineman is the second best tackle in the draft. But it is his ability to play both sides and even slide in as a guard that makes him the best offensive lineman on my board.

With the Cowboys selecting another lineman in the first round, they would be sending a clear message that protecting Tony Romo is the number one priority.


San Diego Chargers

TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 17:  Guard David DeCastro #52 of the Stanford Cardinal during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. The Cardinal defeated the Wildcats 37-10.  (Photo by C
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers were relegated to first-round purgatory because of their mediocre 8-8 season. While No. 18 is where they sit now, they can’t afford to pick there. They need to trade up.

While there are many options, the team wants to move up to secure some offensive line help in order to protect Phillip Rivers and give him time to make plays. Injuries and a lack of talent up front had Rivers on the run all season.

If the Chargers want to make the playoffs, they need to trade up to the No. 12 spot where the Kansas City Chiefs are picking and take Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro.

DeCastro is the kind of difference maker that could become the lynchpin for the line and allow the other players to just do their jobs. It could be a revolution in the trenches for the Chargers.


Here's the full 2012 NFL draft order:

Team W-L SoS
1. Colts 2-14


2. Rams 2-14


3. Vikings 3-13


4. Browns 4-12


5. Buccaneers 4-12


6. Redskins 5-11 .477
7. Jaguars  5-11 .500
T8. Panthers 6-10 .504
T8. Dolphins 6-10 .504
10. Bills 6-10 .520
T11. Chiefs 7-9 .512
T11. Seahawks 7-9 .512
13. Cardinals 8-8 .469
14. Cowboys 8-8 .473
15. Eagles 8-8 .488
16. Jets 8-8 .500
17. Bengals (from Raiders) 8-8 .504
18. Chargers 8-8 .516
19. Bears 8-8 .527
20. Titans 9-7 .461

—Picks 21-32 determined by when playoff teams lose

—Browns hold the Falcons’ first-round pick

Patriots hold Saints’ first-round pick


Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s NFL Page to get your fill of all things football.


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