South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney is widely regarded as the top overall draft prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft. While there are some overblown concerns about his work ethic and the statics from his junior season, anybody that has watched game tape of Clowney can see that he is a rare talent.
The Falcons have had a need for a young talented pass rusher for a while now and have made numerous unsuccessful attempts to find one through both free agency and the draft. After a shockingly disappointing 4-12 season the Falcons are slated with the sixth pick in the draft and look to finally be in position to add an impact pass rusher.
The Falcons and Clowney look to be a match made in heaven since he would be able to fill a major need for Atlanta and the Falcons would be able to play him at his natural 4-3 DE position. The only problem with this potential pairing is the fact that few believe Clowney will still be available for the Falcons when they pick at number six, leaving many to believe that the Falcons will have to trade up in order to select him.
Many Falcons fans have mixed feelings about a potential trade up for Clowney, because it would require giving up multiple draft picks. Atlanta has other positions that need to be upgraded such as the OL and DT, so giving up additional picks in this year's draft has Falcon supporters concerned.
There is no denying that the Falcons are intrigued by the former South Carolina DE. When talking to ESPN's Vaughn McClure, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said this about Clowney "Obviously, he is an incredible talent with wild upside, he's going to be a very big contributor on a football team from day one. We all know that. The league knows that. He has the potential to be one of the marquee-type pass-rushers."
Head coach Mike Smith recently said at his NFL Combine press conference that he is looking forward to watching Clowney's workouts and that he possesses the traits the team is looking for from a DE. Even Clowney has said that he wishes the Falcons could trade up for him since Atlanta is close to home and the team has some of his former South Carolina teammates already on the roster.
As we have seen in the past with Julio Jones and Desmond Trufant if the Falcons front office falls in love with a player and truly believes that he can make an impact on the team, they won't be afraid to trade up for the player they want. As much as everybody within the Falcons organization is trying to keep their poker face when it comes to Clowney, it is obvious that he is the player that the Falcons want the most. Which leads me to this question, is Jadeveon Clowney to the Atlanta Falcons inevitable?