5 Names Every Dallas Cowboys Fan Needs to Know Before the 2014 NFL Draft

Chris Imperiale@@Bleacher_ImpCorrespondent IMay 7, 2014

5 Names Every Dallas Cowboys Fan Needs to Know Before the 2014 NFL Draft

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    The 2014 NFL draft is here. Finally, after months of speculation, we will get to see whom teams will actually select in the spectacle that is the draft.

    With just a day remaining before the first round kicks off on Thursday night, experts are unsure how the pieces will fall. There seems to be a consensus of which groups of players will be taken early but not specifically to certain teams. The amount of uncertainty heading into this draft should make for an incredible show.

    This final list is a group of players the Cowboys are likely to draft, given their needs. Although most of them might not be Round 1 selections, they’re all potential picks for Dallas in the first two days.

Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

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    Ra’Shede Hageman isn’t as highly touted as someone like Pitt’s Aaron Donald, but he can have a serious impact for a team next year. His massive size (6’6”, 310 lbs) will allow him to compete at a very high level.

    The defensive tackle is versatile along the line, utilizing several techniques in college. He has impressive power and creates havoc in the trenches.

    Hageman could be a first-rounder, but along with everyone else, it’s difficult to tell. The Cowboys would benefit from adding him with one of their first few selections.

Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State

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    Another player to keep an eye on is Boise State’s Demarcus Lawrence. Despite re-signing Anthony Spencer, Dallas needs to add another edge-rusher along the line.

    Lawrence is a long defender who has enough speed to disrupt the backfield on the outside. He plays with a lot of effort and effectively uses his leverage to make tackles in the run game.

    Once again, Lawrence isn’t among the top-tier ends like Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack, but he is a solid player who could start on this team. He’s projected to go in the first two rounds and would be a great choice at No. 47 for Dallas.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

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    Someone on the offensive side of the ball to watch is wide receiver Jordan Matthews. The Vanderbilt product is only rated as the ninth best at his position, but that just gives credit to how deep this wide receiver field is.

    Matthews would provide the Dallas offense with another explosive weapon and a true complement to Dez Bryant. He’s also quite flexible on the outside, showing the ability to run a variety of routes.

    The receiver is projected to go in Round 2, and the Cowboys would love to have someone with his talents in 2014.

Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford

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    A different option at the defensive end position is Stanford’s Trent Murphy. He played a lot of outside linebacker in college but can easily transition into a full-time 4-3 end.

    He is an explosive player who uses his hands well to escape blockers and close on ball-carriers. At 250 pounds, he would need to add some muscle mass to be able to play end every week. Fortunately, he has a wide frame and lean body that can easily be built.

    The former Cardinal is anticipated to be drafted in either the second or third round. If the Cowboys haven’t added an end before that point, Murphy could be the guy.

Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

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    Despite all the talk surrounding Jerry Jones’ infatuation with Johnny Manziel, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger could be a better fit later on in the draft.

    He is built much more like a traditional pro quarterback. He’s 6’5”, 224 pounds and is mostly a straight dropback passer. He has good vision of the field and the arm to deliver the football where he pleases.

    He’s projected to be drafted in the fourth round, but it’s very difficult to predict where the quarterbacks will go. If there’s a run on quarterbacks early, Mettenberger could sneak into the second round. That still might be too early for Jones to select one, but you never know.