I fully believe that the Falcons will trade down in this year's draft. While trading up for Clowney isn't out of the question, Atlanta has far too many needs to be chasing after a superstar. They had the luxury to do that a few years ago when they traded up and grabbed Juilo Jones, but they don't this year. If anything, they learned how important depth is and how important it is to a team. If Atlanta wants to become a respectable contender again, they have to gain that all important depth. Teams like the Broncos, Seahawks, and the 49ers are some of the best teams in the NFL for a reason. Is it because they have the some of most talented starters in the league? Sure. But the reason they have gotten so far in the playoffs is because of the other 31 players. The Falcons have an extremely talented roster, but it is very very top heavy. So trading down makes the most since in this situation. This is just a dream scenario draft by the way, it is highly unlikely that everything will fall into place like this, but it isn't too ridiculous and crazy that it couldn't happen
The Trade: The Lions trade their first and second round picks for Atlanta's 1st round pick and a 2015 4th round pick. The Lions grab Sammy Watkins. This isn't too lopsided, Sammy Watkins is undoubtedly the top WR in this year's draft, and the Lions need a weapon on the other side of Calvin Johnson. Moreover, teams such as the Bucs, Bills, and even the Vikings could pounce on the opportunity to grab the explosive wide receiver out of Clemson. The Lions have a done a good job of a building an offense over the years, and adding Watkins would make them a very, very dangerous team
Round 1: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: Out of all of the teams in the first round, Atlanta is the only one that has a glaring need at OT. I'm not saying teams in the top 10 couldn't use an offensive tackle, but the Falcons is the only team that absolutely needs one. Jake Matthews is a steal here at 10, CBS sports has him as the top player overall (yes even above the likes of Jadeveon Clowney). I believe when it is all said and done Greg Robinson will surpass Matthews as the top OT much like Eric Fisher did to Luke Joeckel last season, just because of his upside and potential. Matthews has excellent pass and run blocking ability, but may fall just because he doesn't have "elite" lateral quickness. Matthews has the experience as a 3 year starter, has played on the right and left side, and has played in spread and pro style offensive attacks. Matthews has NFL pedigree as well, with his father Bruce being one of the greatest offensive lineman in history, as well as brother Kevin Matthews, and cousins Clay Matthews and Casey Matthews. Jake Matthews would be the anchor of the Atlanta offensive line for many many years.
Round 2: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburg: Aaron Donald will probably end up being a 1st rounder, but there is always the possibility that he will fall due to his size. Donald is the most explosive interior lineman in this draft, and it's not even close. Donald has one of best motors that I have ever seen from a defensive lineman, he always is getting after it. The quickness, explosiveness, and ability that Donald has is amazing. If Donald was 2-3 inches taller he would be a top 10 pick. The stars are aligning that he could be the next Geno Atkins, and Falcons fans really hope that is the case
Round 2: Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Stanford: Murphy was one of the most productive college football players last season. He was pretty incredible this year for Stanford as he racked up 23.5 TFLS and 15 sacks. Murphy has the the versatility that is key for a player in Mike Nolan's multiple defense. Murphy can play 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE. While he doesn't have amazing quickness, he makes up with it with excellent power and size. Murphy also has the blue collar work ethic that TD loves in his players. Murphy would be an excellent fit for the Falcons.
Round 3: Cyril Richardson, OG/OT, Baylor: Ask any scout 2 weeks ago and they will tell you that Cyril Richardson was considered a late 1st- early second round draft choice. After the Senior Bowl, however, Richardson stock probably took a considerable drop. Richardson was beaten like a drum by Aaron Donald in the Senior Bowl and had a below average week. However, he is still one of the top guards in this draft. I think he'll need a little bit of developing before he becomes a full time starter, but the potential is there for him to be a very very good addition to the troublesome Atlanta offensive line
Round 4: Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee: Danie McCullers is a mammoth of a man. I mean ridiculous size. TD said that they need to get more physical on the defensive line, look no further than Daniel McCullers. This guy has loads of potential, but is incredibly raw. McCullers is extremely powerful and is nearly impossible to move. He also has a fairly good motor for a guy his size as well. McCullers is probably just a 2 down player in the NFL, but could offer some pass rushing ability
Round 5: Antone Exum, CB/S, Virginia Tech: Exum is an excellent player that fell from a first-second round pick to become a mid round pick due to injury. What you love about Exum is his ability to play both corner and safety, but in my opinion his best fit is at safety in the NFL. Exum has the size (6'1 220) for a NFL safety, but the quickness of a corner. Exum would be an excellent addition and have a chance to compete for a starting job opposite of William Moore
Round 6: Dri Archer, WR/RB/KR/PR, Kent State: Archer is simply just explosive. Very fast, quick, and explosive. Archer may go as high as the 3-4 round range if someone falls in love with his Tavon Austin like build and speed, but he is currently valued as a 6th rounder by most people. Archer is not much different than Oregon star De'Anthony Thomas, but Thomas is more well known and he played better competition than Archer. Archer has the potential to be have a Tavon Austin impact for the Falcons, at the very least I could see him becoming one of the top punt and kick returners in the NFL.. which Atlanta needs desperately bad.
Round 7: Kapri Bibbs, RB, Colorado State: Bibbs is a very talented back. In my opinion has 4th round talent, but due to the fact that he has only had 1 productive college season, playing lower level competition, and size concerns he falls to the 7th round. Obviously one thing you have to love about Bibbs is that he has played only one college season so the wear and tear isn't their, but experience is something very valuable to have in the NFL. I think Bibbs has excellent explosiveness and speed that could put him as a very good back in the NFL. Bibbs is a low risk, high reward type player. And Atlanta should seriously consider him in the 7th round