Rumors. Draft rumors. They're all over the place. But then there's cold hard reality. If the Falcons really want to move up in the draft, it's going to cost them. If they want the first overall pick, it's really going to cost them. Just how much? Well, if you ask Bill Polian, a guy who'd know, it'd probably take 2 first rounders and a kicker.
"Well, it would take obviously a swap of first-round picks, and then it's probably going take two other picks,'' Polian said. "Those two other picks are negotiable, depending upon ... you're moving five spots. You're moving for a premium player. There's probably another No. 1 involved. And then after that, the sweetener remains to be seen. Or, they could throw in a number of extra picks, which would [offset] the No. 1. It just depends on how the club that is trading views what it is they're getting.''
Two first round picks seems like an awful lot to give up. The sixth overall pick is certainly valuable. If the Falcons find themselves back in the playoffs, their 2015 first rounder won't be as valuable. Then there's the kicker, probably a second or third round pick. The question is whether Jadeveon Clowney is worth it.
Character issues aside, Clowney's talent is often described as rare. That's important. It's so rare a similar player may not come along for years. It's a distinguishing characteristic. But ultimately, the Falcons have to weigh his potential contributions against the opportunity cost of moving up to get him. It's not an exact science, because let's be honest, no one has a glass ball.
In short, it's a tough decision. I'm happy I'm not the one making it. It won't cripple the franchise if the Falcons move up and Clowney doesn't work out, for whatever reason. But for the fans, if that happens, it'd be nearly unforgivable. For a lot of us, Thomas Dimitroff is already on the ropes; he simply can't afford a knock out.