Prior to the 2011 NFL draft, I wrote a fan post titled "A common sense approach: Why not trade Down" explaining the value of trading down for more picks.
Instead, the Falcons ended up trading up that year - for Julio.
This time, I think there is a strong possibility the Falcons trade up for Clowney, and here is why:
1. Smoke-screen or not, Houston has already said they would like to trade down.
Furthermore, Rams GM Les Snead was a pro scout with Atlanta when the Falcons hired Thomas Dimitroff as their GM. Dimitroff promoted Snead to director of player personnel the following year. These connections may have helped facilitate the Falcons-Rams trade last season which allowed the Falcons to get Desmond Trufant and the Rams get Alex Ogletree.
3. The Jaguars hold the third overall pick, and their staff is coaching the South team at the Senior Bowl, while the Falcon’s staff coaches the North team. The two sides have agreed to basically switch teams for Thursday’s practice, which is a first for the Senior Bowl, and again shows a working relationship between the two franchises.
5. During the 2013 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins only had to give up the 42nd pick to move up from #12 to #3 to secure Dion Jordan. (the price to move up will not be three number ones like the RG3 trade)
I see Houston taking a QB with the first pick, and expect the Falcons to then offer this year’s second round pick or next year’s first to move from #6 to either #2 or #3.