A few days ago, Blogging Dirty (a fellow Fansided site that covers the Atlanta Falcons exclusively) put up piece arguing that the Atlanta Falcons have to draft Jadeveon Clowney in the upcoming NFL Draft. You can read the full piece here, but I’ll also give you a bit of what Jake Bennett said:
With Atlanta making their first pick at 6th overall this year, Thomas Dimitroff will be faced with quite a dilemma. Trade up, trade down, or stay where we’re at. Picking at No.6 in most drafts would mean that you are without a doubt getting a game-changing prospect. While this is still true in 2014, players of Jadeveon Clowney’s caliber do not come by very often. Atlanta must take Clowney with their first pick, whether we trade up to get him or not.
While Clowney is definitely a top-notch player, I don’t think the Falcons are in a position where they absolutely have to make a trade in order to get him. In fact, the Falcons shouldn’t be trading their pick for anything this year. There are simply too many needs on the offense line, defensive line and at linebacker.
Fortunately for the Falcons, with the No. 6 pick of the draft, the team has a fantastic opportunity to fill one of their needs with an impact player, whether that’s Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews (offensive tackle), UCLA’s Anthony Barr (outside linebacker) or Clowney from South Carolina (defensive end).
My opinion is that the Falcons should take the best player that falls to them in the draft. We definitely shouldn’t be trading up to get a specific player when there are multiple players in this draft (with one of them sure to fall all the way down to No. 6) that could really help the team. I don’t really think Clowney is going to fall all the way to 6 and if he doesn’t that’s fine. It would be a huge win for the Falcons to get Matthews (he’s the best offensive lineman in the draft), and Anthony Barr is considered to be the No. 2 player in the entire draft by some.
Personally, I think Matthews would be the ideal pick for Atlanta here, because the offensive line has been terrible at times and the most valuable player on the team (Matt Ryan) could use a bit more protection. Also, I’m sure Steven Jackson wouldn’t mind a bit more talent in front of him. I fully believe that Matthews can be just as good an NFL player as Clowney can be–offensive tackle just isn’t as sexy.
To close out on this rambling post, I’d just like to point out that I’m not saying the Falcons should avoid Jadeveon Clowney. He’s a fantastic player, and anyone who says he is a risk because he doesn’t try is kidding themselves. But, at No. 6, there should be good enough players for the Falcons–at positions of need–to make trading up a waste. It would be different if the Falcons were a defensive end short of being the Super Bowl favorite. That’s clearly not the case.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Falcons’ draft possibilities as well. Feel free to drop a comment below.