Clowney Impressive At Combine, Doesn’t Mean Falcons Should Trade Up
By Ben Sullivan
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY
Usually I have no problem coming up with an opinion on a subject, any subject. Just ask anyone who has ever known me, or anyone who has ever read me for that matter. I’m about as opinionated as it can get, and I have no problem letting the world know it.
But, one thing that I have been flip-flopping on lately is whether or not the Falcons should trade up for the athletic freak of nature that is Jadeveon Clowney.
Well, I think I’m finally ready to go on record. I think Atlanta would be making a mistake trading up in the draft to get him. It would cost them at least their second-round pick, and most likely much more than that. Sure, Clowney is a beast, but that is too much for what he brings to the table.
There are too many concerns about his work ethic to make a trade like that. I do think he’ll try harder than he did in college, at least for the first few years until he gets his big second contract, but it’s his willingness to take coaching and fit into a scheme that worry me.
He’s always just relied on his athleticism and did whatever he wanted to do on the field. In the NFL, you need to understand where you fit in the greater scheme of the defense and understand that sometimes it’s not your job to chase the ball and make the splashy play. By all accounts he’s a guy who thinks he’s above being coached, and that’s a dangerous thing when it comes to a defensive player.
There is no doubt about Clowney’s physical skills. He’s big, strong, and ran an insane 4.47 second 40-yard dash. Basically, he’s a running back who weighs almost 300 lbs. He’s going to be a good player in the NFL, I don’t have any questions about that, but the cost is just too much for a team with so many other needs.
Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
The most pressing need for the Falcons is the offensive line. The team is built around Matt Ryan and the passing game, but that unit was a shell of it’s potential self last season when they didn’t have anyone up front to keep him clean and making plays.
Atlanta needs to rely less on the big, downfield throw to help the O-Line, but they need to use at least two early picks on guys that have a chance to start right away. Their first-rounder for sure, and one more pick in the next 2 – 3 rounds.
Clowney will be the most talked about potential draft choice for the Falcons this year. His talent is enticing for sure, but not all big draft day trades work out as well as the Julio Jones deal. Buyer beware for a team that has too many other needs they need to address in the draft this year.
He may want the Falcons to move up and get him, but I have finally made up my mind that I don’t want Atlanta to take the bait. I think I have, at least. Check back in with me later and I may just change my mind.