Posted: 2:19 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014

Texans could deal pick (Clowney, anyone?) 

By Jeff Schultz

Jadeveon Clowney will fly off draft board early, but maybe not to Houston. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Jadeveon Clowney will fly off draft board early but maybe not to Houston. (Getty Images)

I’m tired of waiting for the draft.

I’m tired of sifting through bad rumors about the draft.

I’m really tired hearing about debates over Johnny Manziel. Seeing video posted everywhere (and below) of him throwing a football to a guy on a Jet Ski and people saying, “Wow!” – as if that mad skill will somehow translate to playing in Cleveland in December – didn’t help.

But while we’re waiting for the draft to finally get here (May 8-10), here are a few things I’m 100 percent certain of (at least until tomorrow).

1. HOUSTON IS STUCK: I’m more convinced than ever that the Texans are looking to trade the first overall pick. Here’s why: They desperately need a quarterback. There is no quarterback worthy of being the first pick. There may not be a quarterback worthy being selected in the first round. The potential downfall of taking a quarterback so early is the significant financial commitment that comes with that. If a mistake is made on an offensive or defensive linemen, a team can hide or protect the player to some degree. It’s just not as high-profile of a miscue. But a quarterback is center stage for all to see, usually for at least three seasons because his contract mandates it. The best player in this draft is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, but because Houston isn’t as desperate for defensive line help – and Clowney isn’t a perfect fit for its defense – the Texans probably would rather trade the pick. Until then, they’re creating rumors like they make take Khalil Mack over Clowney. It keeps everybody guessing and stirs trade interest. Because of the uncertainty at the top, I don’t believe it would be as expensive as some fear for the Falcons (or anybody) to trade up to that spot. And ultimately, I believe the Texans want out of that spot.

2. FALCONS’ PLANS: If the Falcons get to draft day and a trade hasn’t been made yet, general manager Thomas Dimitroff  will have a number of contingency deals in place. For example: He’s willing to trade “X” for a certain player at No. 1, “Y” for a certain player at No. 2, etc. I’m convinced there are three players Dimitroff would be willing to trade up for: Clowney, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack and Auburn tackle Greg Robinson. And my guess is he ranks them in that order. The defensive and offensive lines both are significant needs and the Falcons can’t go wrong drafting either way. But it’s more difficult to get a difference maker on defense. Offensive lines operate as a unit and a team can get a solid tackle or guard later in the draft. A great pass rusher is going to be a great pass rusher regardless.

3. FALCONS’ PLANS, PART II: The Falcons’ might be content to stay at sixth and see who falls to them, but it would be the first time Dimitroff didn’t significantly explore moving up for a player they’ve targeted. But if they make a deal, there’s way too much concern about the potential of “mortgaging” their draft. Going from sixth-to-wherever wouldn’t be a Julio Jones type of trade. Because this draft is considered so much stronger, Dimitroff also could be willing to trade higher picks from the 2015 draft than this year’s.

4. FALCONS’ PLANS, PART III: I know the Falcons are saying publicly they remain confident in running back Steven Jackson and this doesn’t rank as their biggest need. But don’t they need to come out of this draft with a running back? My ranking of the team’s draft priorities: 1) Defensive line/pass rusher; 2) Offensive tackle; 3) Safety; 4) Running back; 5) Tight end. Agree or disagree?

5. MANZIEL FATIGUE: I’m really tired of the Manziel debate. I think I’m more tired of him than I was Tim Tebow, only because in Manziel’s case I’m convinced a greater percentage of the hype has been instigated by him. The video below is exhibit A. And yes, I guess I’m a part of the hype machine because here we go:

 

50 comments
HonestInformed
HonestInformed

I said it back then & I will say it again.


The Falcons should have let Washington Redskins score at the end the meaningless game (Washington tried to score and we stopped them near the goal line)........IF the Falcons had been smart and had the foresight to plan for the future; we would have the 2nd pick in this draft AND higher daft picks in each round of this draft.


Coaches & GM worried about resume's; rather than the best long term interest for the team.


Trading UP would be a huge mistake. We need players. Draft the best OT available at Pick #6 and then go from there.


My ranking of the team’s draft priorities: 1) Offensive tackle; 2) Safety (look at the depth chart); 3) Linebacker (look at the depth chart); Defensive End/pass rusher; 4) Running back; 5) Tight end. I would LOVE to have a dominant DE Pass rusher (NOT named Clowney).......the problem is we simply cannot draft dominant OT, S, LB and DE in 1 draft and the team will be more effective if we draft OT, S & LB with our first  picks!!!!!!!! 


I really wish we had the 2nd pick this year.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

If Houston deals Jadeveon Clowney to Atlanta, Falcons go from worst to first !


Falcons can't afford not to rise up and trade up.

GSU93
GSU93

Falcons can't afford to trade up because they gave up way too many picks to draft a WR who hasn't been on the field 50% of the time. Their extreme lack of team depth is a direct result of the Julio deal, which isn't working out all that good.  Sure, he's a good player when he's on the field but he's only had 1 healhy season out of 3.  The guy broke his foot running on turf! Just running down the field! If they aren't worried about him being injury prone then they are in denial.  They should trade down and pick up another draft pick or two.

JSSN
JSSN

Why are y'all hollering at Jeff Schultz? There's a cabin industry on these blogs built around saying "the Falcons only need a few roster adjustments" to be a Super Bowl representative from the NFC! 

Man, it's been a long time since one young man had this animus targeted this way like Clowney!

BRAVES2143
BRAVES2143

The Falcons are not one player away from the Super Bowl so why in the world would they want to mess up this team for years  just to pick 1 player who can't lead them to the promise land?  To trade up to the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd pick will require a swap of number one picks this year, a number 1 next year and a boatload of other picks and is anyone in this draft worth it?   Look at the Redskins, I'm sure they still like Robert Griffin but I bet they sure would like that number 2 pick in this years draft and last years number 1 and the number 2 they had to throw in.   And by the way,  that year the Redskins had the number 6 pick and to swap the 6 and 2 picks they had to throw in two more number 1 picks and a 2nd rounder.   


Jeff, you got to get over your man crush on Clowney.

HarveyPooka
HarveyPooka

It's all a gamble, usually not worth taking such big chances.  I'd be more willing to place faith in 5-7th round picks that 'want' to be on my team and are willing to work hard and put out decent effort in learning proper techniques for the system in place, over a prima donna any day.

NotAWrenFan
NotAWrenFan

If Robinson is there at 6 keep the pick. If he goes earlier then maybe trade down for Lewan. Clowney hasn't shown the dediation to warrant trading up. I see another Bruce. How's he going to react once a pro LT locks on to him? Go pout? Matthews would be solid and yes Lewan has off field issues but his motor doesn't quit. There's plenty of speed rushers out there to get in the later rounds. Mock drafts have Ford at 2 for the birds. I'll take that.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Just get  a good pick on either side of the ball, who can help win football games. Trading up wouldn't be smart- it would hamper the rest of your draft.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Just get  a good pick on either side of the ball, who can help win football games.

58Supersports
58Supersports

My picks...1. Jake Matthews OT 2. Khalil Mack LB 3. Greg Robinson OT 4. Erin Ebron TE....hell no to trade up for Clowney.

Manziel debate has not  been the big bs its Clowney.

Cut Jackson!

RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

The Falcons have too many needs to trade up from #6 this year. Trading back could be an option in the right situation. I'd love to see us get Robinson/Matthews and THEN trade back into the first round to get Clinton-Dix or Barr. I don't think we can fill all of our needs through the draft this year and as such will probably go into 2014 with several positions in the same shape as the RB situation. Thanks to our stubborn Coach that would not play A Smith even after the season was lost we still don't know what we have there. If we're left to count on Jackson/Rodgers we'll have a mediocre running game again. A good draft and we're contenders again. A bad one might take a couple of years to recover from. This one is critical my friends. 


P.S. As for the video, are we sure he completed the pass? I couldn't tell.

DawgNole
DawgNole

OL remains the primary area of need--just as it was last year. The team failed to satisfactorily address that area a year ago, and the results were disastrous (4-12). Can't believe ANYONE thinks we should repeat that numbskull strategy.

DawgNole
DawgNole

Disagree with you on RB. Why not give A. Smith a legitimate shot? He performed exceptionally last season during the few opportunities he was given. He fumbles in practice? Big deal. It's how he performs in games that counts, and last year, he gave an excellent account of himself the few times he was in there.

SOB
SOB

For what it's worth, I still firmly believe the Falcons need to acquire a franchise tackle at pick 6. Jake Matthews would be my choice. Mike Kenn clone here for the duration. Falcons are way too talented to get another 6 pick probably in my life time. Can not blow this pick or we will be doomed to be on that dreaded "plateau" Leeman Bennett so dreaded. It's now or never people! I simply do not trust the "brain trust" -- and so equally hope this team can win big again or just lose them all and get rid of the present regime. As a 50 year fan, I hope they have a great draft and bounce back strong. Another 12 - 4 comeback season would be fine even if it meant "Bullitt Head" came back for another season. "Ole!

gfw
gfw

Houston will want to switch No. 1 picks and pick up an additional No. 1 for Clowney.  It would be INSANE for the Falcons to pay that much to move up five places.  Even surrendering a No. 2 this year, given where the Falcons are picking, is too much to move up for Clowney.  Why?  Because either Mack, Matthews, or Robinson is almost certain to fall to them at No. 6, even if they do nothing.


I agree completely with your draft priorities.  I might switch RB and TE, that's all.

SOB
SOB

@Peachtree Bart. Finally, a voice of reason, which pretty much concludes that that scenario will never happen! We are talking The Branch people where the weeds are wacky and the water is "PWOIZON"...

TheRealJay
TheRealJay

For RB they just need let Twan get some run.  It is certainly not a bigger need than TE. If it was they should have cut Jackson.

BeastOPS
BeastOPS

I think it takes greater skill to catch a ball while on a jet ski than throwing it to someone on a jet ski... (it's actually a wave runner, not to nitpick though)

davefmc
davefmc

TE over RB as a need. Jackson played pretty well down the stretch and Gonzeles is retired.

ATLfaninVA
ATLfaninVA

I have to respectfully disagree with your draft day needs…then again, I'm just a fan…but here it goes:

1. Offensive Tackle (absolutely a must and rarely are studs found later in the draft as you suggest)

2. Defensive line/pass rusher (this draft is LOADED with great talent in this area)

3. Safety

4. Defensive line/pass rusher

5. Running Back

6. Tight end



AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

1.  Hmmmmmmmm, dont know if they are stuck or if they are trying to get the Falcons or some other team to drop a Julio Jones type of trade?

2. Co-sign!

3.  I say they are content! The GM quartet is thinking that they can make BIG waves in this draft and build this team for a couple of years to come.  I dont see them being as anxious as many think they are when it comes to trading up...............or is that a smoke screen also? 

4.  YES! Unless Antoine has learned over the summer how to pick up a blitz package?

5.  Tired of this guy............but something tells me he will be as good as Mike Vick was............

Remarkable3
Remarkable3

@Jeff Schultz

I agree with your Draft Day Needs: 1) Defensive line/pass rusher; 2) Offensive tackle; 3) Safety; 4) Running back; 5) Tight end.  Though maybe NOT in that order.  (I'd swap tight end and Safety.)


My question is when do they start looking ahead for a future quarterback in training?  Perhaps it was that lack of quality play at left tackle but another year like the last one and everyone will be looking for a quarterback.

Mora-less-Petrino
Mora-less-Petrino

Even if the Birds sit at #6, or move up or down, I could see them trying to get an additional first round pick to get Clinton-Dix or Pryor to address the safety need. Getting Ha-Ha means they may have to get ahead of Detroit with the 10th pick, and almost certainly ahead of the Rams at 13. 

Pryor will likely go not too far behind Clinton-Dix. 

 I'll be glad when the draft is over and the blogs switch from speculation to analysis. Moving the draft to May has created too much time for hype. 

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I can't wait for the draft. This is ridiculous. May? But how about that boat dock that manziel is hanging out on?

syrupmaker
syrupmaker

I see TD trading our 2015 1st round pick to move up in the draft.  If he hits on the pick/entire draft and we have a successful season, we'll be picking late in the first in 2015 anyway. But, if we bomb again this year and are picking top 10 in 2015, it won't matter to him because he'll be fired.

Intruder
Intruder

Smith could possibly improve his 10-24 record vs playoff teams with Clowney, otherwise its the SOS.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

RB Crowell in the 4th round..   Difference maker!!

Dillen
Dillen

Clowney is the Falcons best option at 1. Then I would go with Ebron next and RB Crowell no. 3

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

The parking at Flowery Branch will be hard to come by this summer if they get Clowney.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Jadeveon Clowney

is the only choice to energize a Falcons team coming off a 4-12 campaign.

DirtyBirdLover71
DirtyBirdLover71

I dont mind trading for Clowney as long as we can keep our 2014 second round pick-or Mack either! We need that early second rd. pick for other needs-i wouldnt mind doubling up on pass rushers in first and second round!

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

Falcons should trade down and collect extra picks.  The ideal (and unlikely) result of this would be taking Anthony Barr at 14 or so, and bundling a couple extra picks to grab the TE Ebron a few places behind, if he were still available.  Otherwise, I'm guessing Khalil Mack will be the pick, no relation to Shelvin, I assume.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@HonestInformed  

Agree with you on trading up being a mistake. We've been down that road (w/Julio), and where has that gotten us in terms of playoff success?

Can't co-sign on losing intentionally though. This team's been losing for 48 years--especially in the postseason. That philosophy clearly doesn't work. Losing breeds losing--and fosters a losing mentality, which has long been a major problem for this and all ATL pro franchises.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@AlwaysReady I hope & pray the Falcons do NOT draft Clowney (even if he drops to #6.......which obviously will not happen)

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

@AlwaysReady  Put the pipe down. It's bad for your teeth and your logic.

UGA76
UGA76

@BRAVES2143 I agree 100%.  As stated in this article, the Falcon's have a minimum of 5 needs in this draft.  As we used a 4th round pick last year on a TE with zero return and also a 4th and a 5th round on the DL with minimal results, we need to hoard those first 4 or so round picks for our many glaring needs. 

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@DawgNole I agree....A. Smith can run and catch. I REALLY like hand I would like to see him get some touches. I think he is a liability with pass protection against the blitz.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@DawgNole

I am with you on this! Give the kid a shot! It has GOT to be something about him not knowing the pick-up packages and not knowing the plays is the only reason I see that this man cant get on the field consistently?

CheFalconZay
CheFalconZay

@gfw  it wont cost two first rounders man. we're not #24, we're number six. especially when Houston can fill a need at six almost as equal as being number one.

Mora-less-Petrino
Mora-less-Petrino

@davefmc  Agree on Jackson. He is not a long term answer, but if he stays healthy, he should be  fine for 2014.

CheFalconZay
CheFalconZay

@AnsweredTHIS  THERE IS NO JULIO DEAL FOR MOVING UP FIVE SPOTS MAN.  swapping first rounders and a 3rd rounder is about all that its worth. we're not #24 this year. its not a general formula for trading for the #1 pick. depends on what position you have. trading up 5 picks isnt even close to trading up 18 spots


CheFalconZay
CheFalconZay

@DirtyBirdLover71  how about clowney AND the auburn guy??? what a competition that would be in practice. Seattle move over!!!

SOB
SOB

I tea totally agree as long as it is not so far down that Anthony Barr is off the board. Guy is an almost flawless pass rusher with text book tackling ability. Super quick. Super aggressive. A mean streak a mile wide and best tackling mechanics of any player I have ever seen. College or pro. Mathews at 6 and some how reel this guy in some ten or nine picks later would be the perfect scenario. I still remember the Green Bay play off game where the Falcons' pass rush got to Rogers but couldn't wrap him up. This cat will wrap you up, and drive you to the ground with his helmet firmly embedded into your chest! The real deal this guy.

lowdownjj
lowdownjj

And why wouldn't it cost that much? According to the value chart that GMs use as a model for trades it would actually cost more to go from #6 to #1 than it did for us to gor from #27 to #6 in 2011. The #1 pick is listed at 3000 points and the #6 is supposebly worth 1600 points...a difference of 1400 would have to be made up. The #27 pick has a value listed of 680 points. We had to make up only 920 points for that trade. We have too many holes. I would LOVE to draft a RB and a TE....but we MUST at least come out of this draft with a starting OT, starting DE/OLB, AND a starting FS if we hope to compete next year. Drafting 3 STARTERS is tough even when you have your whole compliment of picks. We can't afford to give ANY of them away

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@CheFalconZay @AnsweredTHIS

If you believe that, I have some great muddy water that is built on sand that you can purchase.  When the draft is open and you see the cost to move up, it will be ok for you to come back and humble yourself and say you were wrong.............see the post from UGA76 and catch up big guy!

UGA76
UGA76

@CheFalconZay @AnsweredTHIS The draft pundits are saying to move up and switch 1st round picks, it would take a 2nd round this year, a 1st round next year and a middle round pick or two this year.  Atlanta needs all of their first 5 picks to replace starters.  If they do this stupid trade up, next years 1st round will be a top 10 pick again because Ryan will be on the DL before the season is half over.


Matthews , Robinson or Lewan is a must.  I think we really need another T and a C also.