With all the talk about what the Falcons are going to do or should do, I decided to take it upon myself to play Nostradamus. The way I see it the fan base is going to revolt no matter who the Falcons actually take. Even if we stand pat and take Jake "Mr. Consistency" Matthews some are going to cry about needing to trade down so we can get a man with two things that have gotten a lot of people in trouble before; a Clinton and a Dix no wonder people are laughing when they say his name. Haha.
At this point I have decided to guess the Falcons will be trading up to select Jadeveon Clowney. For the purpose of this mock I am going to suggest the Falcons swap their first and fourth round picks in 2014, a first rounder in 2015 and a second in 2016 for the rights to take Clowney first overall.
Round 1) Atlanta selects Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina. The pick is clear and Clowney represents the only player in this draft worth trading up for. His blend of athleticism, power, pass rush and versatility makes him the logical choice here and gives the Falcons their first true defensive threat since the early years of John Abraham.
Round 2) Austin Sefrain-Jenkins, TE, Washington. The surprise here is that the Falcons move back in the second after a trade with Pittsburgh gives them a fourth round pick in 2014 and a fifth rounder in 2015 so the Steelers can get Kony Ealy. ASJ gives Atlanta another big tight end but a better receiving option than Levine Toillolo.
Round 3) Antonio "Tiny" Richardson, OT, Tennessee. A tackle with upside gotten in the third, who could start at LT in the event Sam Baker takes his usual spot on the injured list. He needs some coaching before we should count on him to be our full time starter but he has shown the ability to play well. This is a true steal if he is still on the board here.
Round 4) Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford. A nice, instinctive player that fits nicely into the Falcons defensive scheme. He has great hands, is a sound tackler and has nice length to compete against more athletic receivers and tight ends. This is one of the guys the Falcons have been linked to for about a month.
Round 4) Morgan Breslin, LB, USC. Fortunately this guy falls into our lap due to having surgeries on his hip and to repair a sports hernia. He is one of those hidden gems that can play inside or outside and is an absolute beast in the pass rush. He has also played in both the 3-4 and in the 4-3 but his true value comes when we ask him to get after the quarterback. I see him as primarily a back up in 2014 and used as a pass rushing specialist from day one. I would love to see him de-cleat Drew Brees on opening day.
Round 5) Yawin Smallwood, LB, Connecticut. One of those players that has fallen in the draft due to a lackluster Combine and off season. He is sound in his technique and offers a long term potential starter inside.
Round 6) Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina. A bit of a homer pick for me but I love guys that know how to win. He is never going to be a starter in the NFL and shouldn't be seen as such. What he can be is a solid number two that can win games in relief. He offers enough athleticism to tuck the ball and run and enough arm talent to make any throw in the NFL. He doesn't have a rocket arm but he knows how to use timing to make plays.
Round 7) Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor. This guy is a burner and can provide that big play potential not many of our current receivers have. Of his 25 career touchdowns, 22 were scored from 40 yards or more. He'll never be a starter but could develop into a nice third or fourth receiver and we may want to see what he can do as a returner down the road.
Round 7) Zach Kerr, DT, Delaware. A huge mountain of a man that can be a backup at NT next season. Primarily a practice squader for the coming season but has long term potential.
Round 7) Zach Fulton, OG, Tennessee. Big power guy that plays with a mean streak. Need time to fully develop but has the potential to replace Justin Blalock within the next two seasons.
I actually expect Atlanta to end up making three or four trades in this draft but the picks shouldn't change all that much. Also, by spreading out the Clowney trade Atlanta is not mortgaging their future as so many would like to claim. I also don't know if the Texans will accept such a deal but if they can't get a better selection of picks they should. I have given them enough to build depth and value over three seasons. With all of this being said, I have absolutely no idea what it is really going to take for Atlanta to move up to the top spot.
Now, as I am positive someone is going to say "You lost me with next year's first rounder" I say "Oh well."