Back in January, I wrote "How the Falcons will acquire JaDeveon Clowney"
Add to the fact, that Dimitroff has either traded up in the first round, or traded back into the first round three times since 2008: Sam Baker (2008), Julio Jones (2011), and Desmond Trufant (2013), leading many to believe his comments about being open to trading up are not merely a smoke screen.
Finally, I was encouraged that we could obtain either the second or third pick in the draft for far less than the value implied by 20 year old NFL Trade Value Charts (created by former Cowboy's head coach Jimmy Johnson) when then Dolphins last year traded for the third pick overall, and only had to give up the #12 and #42 picks.
With that, I wrote that we should trade our #6 and #37 picks to move up for Clowney.
57% of you agreed, 43% disagreed.
Now, there has been talk that the Texans may draft Clowney, and hold an auction, a plan that would likely work, and one that should net them a first round pick in next year's draft.
I am here to say that despite the RG3, and Eli Manning trades, I don't believe we should trade both our #6 pick and our 2015 first rounder for Clowney, and here is why:
First, we don't know how high our first round pick will be.
What if Matt Ryan suffered a season-ending injury, if early in the season, that first round pick could be a top-five pick.
Last season, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler, Michael Vick, Sam Bradford, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, EJ Manuel, Blaine Gabbert, and Terrelle Pryor missed significant time with injuries. That is not even counting RG3, a player hurt in 2012, but clearly his 2013 performance was affected by his 2012 injury, or Tony Romo, who missed only one game, but it was a week 17 "must win" game against the Division Rival Eagles.
Some of those QBs may not be true-franchise QBs, but those twelve QBs comprised one out of three opening day starting QBs in the NFL.
Around this time last year, I was going to write a post declaring the need for a more talented back-up QB due to my concerns about how the Falcons would do if Matt Ryan suffered a significant injury.
But, before Falcoholics start saying I am jinxing Matt Ryan, let's assume he stays healthy, but...
Sure, the Falcons may bounce back with another 10 (or more) win season, but they also could finish 8-8, or worse, even WITH Clowney.
So, who might we miss out on by giving up a first round pick in NEXT year's NFL draft?
1. Leonard Williams, DE, USC: Having excelled in both a 3-4, and 4-3 during his first two seasons at USC, Williams is expected to be the "next Clowney" this college season.
At 6'5/290, Williams is just as much a "freak" as the 6'5/265 Clowney, and may have less concerns over his motor/desire:
2. After one year with Levine Toilolo as our starting TE, the Falcons may decide to take Michigan's 6'6/235+ TE/WR hybrid Devin Funchess. Having started his first two seasons at TE, Funchess is being moved to WR for his Junior season:
3. To help combat today's NFL and it's "hybrid" players on offense, maybe the Falcons go back to the University of Washington, and select SS/OLB/RB Shaq Thompson.
That's right, not only is Shaq Thompson capable of playing safety, in fact, he was the nation's top-ranked HS safety, and started at safety as a true freshman...
not only can play OLB, like he did his Sophomore season, where at 6'2/232, he was the Huskies' second leading tackler...
But, he can, and likely WILL play at RB this year:
Of coarse, this list goes on-an-on: Alabama's Amari Cooper, Georgia' Todd Gurley, Michigan State' Shalique Calhoun, Miami's Denzel Perryman, or Nebraska's Randy Gregory.
I have no problem trading away our second round pick this year, or even a second this year and next year, but I don't suggest we trade away our first round pick next season.