Jan 1, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) holds up the championship trophy as the South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Wisconsin Badgers 34-24 in the Capital One Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
These last few weeks, it’s looking more and more like South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney will be seleced within the top 3 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Houston desperately needs a quarterback, but the temptation to pair Clowney with Watt will be hard to overcome.
The Falcons, on the other hand, already have their franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, and may persuade the Texans to trade the pick to us in exchange for a bundle. The Texans are just one season removed from being legitimate Super Bowl contenders. If it weren’t for horrible quarterback play in 2013, they very well may have been contenders once again. What will a freak athlete on the defense do to fix their biggest need on the other side of the ball? Sure, Houston could draft Clowney and have another dominant piece to their defense, or they could plan for the future and take one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the entire draft class.
Here’s where Atlanta can come into play. Houston’s front office may really like Bortles, Manziel, or Bridgewater. They could not only get whoever they desire at No.1, but could also get the guy they originally wanted at No.6. Clowney will help the Texans win more games in 2014, but a quarterback will be the one to lead them back to the playoffs. Why not gain a few picks in the process?
Trading up to No.1 seems like it would require an extremely hefty price. However, as I stated above, the Texans need a quarterback. Meaning, they will more than likely take a reasonable offer for the top pick if they believed they could still get him a few picks later. The Falcons could get away with a 2nd this year, and picks in Day 2 and 3 in 2015. Atlanta would get to have the 1st overall pick for the first time since 2001, and get to bring home the best defensive prospect in the last decade.
Clowney would not only be that 43-DE that we have lacked since John Abraham, but also the hybrid player that Mike Nolan wants to mold in his defense. Surround Clowney with leaders in Babineaux, Moore, and Osi, and you’ll see him elevate his game to a more polished, professional level. The Falcons could really use Clowney, and trading to No.1 may be the only way to get him.