There has been an enormous amount of hype surrounding whether or not the Atlanta Falcons will once again push all in on a major trade up with the Houston Texans to land Jadaveon Clowny. I can't theorize as to whether or not Atlanta will pull the trigger somewhere in the top five, but I can tell you it won't be with Houston. They will not be trading the first pick, nor will they select Jadaveon Clowney.
My argument is as follows. I want you to think back to these three years in our past...1983, 2007 and 2009. Imagine in 1983, the Falcons had the first pick in the draft and their number one need was a running back. Now in 2007, they have the first pick in the draft and their number one need is a wide receiver. Finally, it's 2009 and they're once again sitting on the first pick and their number one need is a quarterback.
Those specific years produced three of the most highly touted home grown players in our state's history. Herschel Walker in 1983, Calvin Johnson in 2007 and Matthew Stafford in 2009. I want you to imagine the excitement and thrill that Falcon's fans would have leading up to any of these hypothetical three drafts. They would know in their hearts that a hometown hero, so to speak, would be soon be wearing a Falcon's jersey and continuing their play for many Sundays to come. These three players would be, pre-draft, overwhelming choices for this fan base. The hysteria that would surround the lead up to the draft would be unimaginable.
There would also be great fringe benefits. Selecting one of these players, in any given scenario such as this, would provide a solid and rabid fan base for what would have been a shaky team the previous season. Consider, if you're picking first, that means you just experienced one of the worst seasons in your franchise's history. Your fan base doesn't have that much confidence in you at this time. In fact, you might have even just made a front office or coaching change as well. You need this type of boost. You need a bit of hype right now. You have to make that pick. No matter the situation, no matter who else is available, this is the pick your franchise must make.
Now imagine if you don't pull the trigger. You've just made the worst decision, hands down, in the history of your franchise. The entire state believes in the player that you should have picked. The player in question has been one of the most successful athletes in the history of the NCAA and they're loved by everyone in your market...EVERYONE...and you just passed them up. You've just made the most bone headed decision in the history of the draft.
Enter the Houston Texans. They were the worst team in the league last year and accordingly, here they are, with the first pick draft. Their number one need....NUMBER ONE....is a quarterback. They don't need a defensive end. Even if that defensive end is currently hyped as Reggie White, Bruce Smith and Lawrence Taylor all rolled into one. They need a quarterback! And, in accordance with the beginning of this post, their Herschel, their Calvin, their Matthew is sitting there, waiting, no wanting to be picked by the hometown team. Johnny Manziel played his college ball 94 miles from Houston. It's barely an hour and a half drive from College Station to Houston's stadium. He is the first redshirt freshman in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy. He is, by far, the fan favorite pick of all time, for this franchise.
As mentioned above, I don't know if the Falcons will attempt to trade up with two through five to land Clowney, but this much I do know, it won't be with Houston. This is not a situation of whether or not the Texans should pick Manziel, they HAVE to pick Manziel. They have no choice.