Sammy Watkins, the receiver out of Clemson, is big-time. He is a play-making WR with soft hands who can fly. He is a game-changer that every NFL team would love to have. But if you are an Atlanta Falcon fan, he could also be a draft-changer.
It is a very real possibility (one chance in four?) that Sammy Watkins is still on the board at #6. This could happen, if one or more QBs come off the board in #1-#5. And seriously, that could happen. The Texans at #1 need a QB, as does #3 Jags, #4 Browns, and #5 Raiders. None of them have their "QB of the future" on their roster, and all should take a QB in this draft at some point. Parlay that with the fact that the Vikings could take a QB at #8, so the aforementioned teams know that if they want "their guy" at QB, they need to take them early.
So, with Sammy Watkins staring the Falcons in the face, and the Bucs at #7 licking their lips...the phone will ring. There are lots of WR-hungry teams (Rams, Ravens, Jets, Chiefs, Panthers, etc) who would trade into #6 for Watkins, since the price is more affordable in every way at #6 than it was at, say #2. So let's pick one...how about the Jets?
In order to jump from #18 to #6, that means 700 points, a swap of 1st round picks with #49, #80, and #104 to the Falcons to sweeten the pot. If that does not sound like a golden ticket, I am not sure what does.
That one, single trade down would now give the Falcons:
Round 1: #18
Round 2: #37, #49
Round 3: #68, #80,
Round 4: #103, #104, #139
Round 5-7: #147, #182, #220, #253, #255
In this draft, there should be three starters/Game 1 contributors in the top #49 picks. I would love to see pass rush, safety, and OT addressed. Something like this:
18 S CALVIN PRYOR (Louisville)
37 OLB JEREMIAH ATTAOCHU (Ga Tech)
49 JA’WUAN JAMES (Tennessee)
In Round 3, there should still be a quality pass rusher around, then a TE. Like:
68 DE MARCUS SMITH (Louisville)
80 TE C.J. FIEDOROWICZ (Iowa)
Round 4 should yield a quality RB, maybe a nice LB, maybe a backup NT:
103 RB CHARLES SIMS (WVU)
104 ILB LAMIN BARROW (LSU)
139 DT DANIEL MCCULLERS (Tennessee)
There is a chance that Aaron Murray is left on the board at #147. If he is, then snag him. Otherwise BPA the rest of the way home.
Sammy Watkins could bring the Falcons a Christmas-like haul in this draft. However, if TD gives up the farm to go up to #1 and grab Clowney, then the Falcons roster will continue to have lots of holes in 2014.
We can bicker about the players that I mentioned...but isn't this an awesome strategy?!