Fan Mock Draft: Whom should the Cowboys select No. 16 overall?

Will the Cowboys make a splash in the draft?

Matthew Emmons/Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It’s draft time! We’ve had our experts tell you who will be drafted where, but now it’s time for you to throw on your GM cap and decide for yourself. Each day we will present an argument for each player and why the respective team should pick him. Then, it’s up to you. You make the pick. The next day, we will compile the results and you can see who is off the board. Disagree with all of the options? Be sure to write in your pick below in the comments section. OK, let’s get into it. The Dallas Cowboys are on the clock.

The Cowboys’ first priority this offseason was getting the team under the salary cap. That included departures by notable veterans such as defensive end DeMarcus Ware and wide receiver Miles Austin. Now that Dallas is set for the NFL draft, the team must determine where it needs to improve most.

Since 2009, the Cowboys haven’t had a winning season. Last year they gave up a league-worst 415 yards a game on defense. It’s important that they address some holes in the defense, as they couldn’t rush the passer consistently or stop the run when necessary.

So whom should the Cowboys select with the No. 16 overall pick?

1. Houston Texans select South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney

2. St. Louis Rams select Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins

3. Jacksonville Jaguars select Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles

4. Cleveland Browns select Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel

5. Oakland Raiders select Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack

6. Atlanta Falcons select Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans

8. Minnesota Vikings select Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr

9. Buffalo Bills select Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews

10. Detroit Lions select UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr

11. Tennessee Titans select Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

12. New York Giants select Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald

13. St. Louis Rams select Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan

14. Chicago Bears select Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

15. Pittsburgh Steelers select Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor

If the Cowboys are looking for a throwback, in-the-box safety, Pryor should be their guy. Since they have an obvious need at the position, Pryor would slide in immediately and be an upgrade. Pryor plays with an unmatched amount of confidence and has a thirst for punishing the opposition.

Auburn defensive end Dee Ford

Ford plays with a very high motor, and his confidence backs it up. His production in the SEC speaks for itself, as he was named first-team all-conference last season. What’s more, he was a difference-maker in the BCS National Championship Game, racking up two sacks against Florida State.

Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin

Right tackle Doug Free has done a serviceable job for the Cowboys, but the team eventually will need to upgrade. Martin started 52 games at Notre Dame, which is a school record. He’s light on his feet and very athletic for his 6-foot-4, 308-pound frame. Adding Martin would give the Cowboys a very dependable lineman. He has the versatility to begin his career at guard, where the Cowboys could use some help.

Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence

Lawrence has been one of the hottest rising prospects in the past month. Several teams including the Cowboys have brought Lawrence in for a visit. The 6-foot-3, 251-pound defensive end is very athletic, but some may consider this a reach.

North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron

While there isn’t an obvious need, Ebron is certainly the best player available. Ebron, who averaged 17 yards a catch during his three-year career in Chapel Hill, has the size and speed combination to excel in the league. Adding Ebron would give Tony Romo another big target in the middle of the field.