UPDATE: Figured you guys would be interested in seeing this:
#Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff doesn’t waste his time. Looking at Jadeveon Clowney signaled the obvious: ATL exploring moving all the way up— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 28, 2014
With a stacked Top 10, it appears unlikely #Falcons actually stay at No. 6. Could move up. Also very open to moving back. Will be creative— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 28, 2014
@TheFalcoholic reporting— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 28, 2014
What to make of this? At first glance, he's not saying anything we haven't heard before. The Falcons may move up or down? Okay, we've been discussing that since February, because those words came out of Thomas Dimitroff's mouth.
A deeper look is warranted, however. Rapoport isn't infalliable, but he's a quality reporter, and if he tells me he's reporting I'm very inclined to believe he's working off of sources. All the speculation about the Falcons moving up thus far has come from outside the organization, but this is different. Judging by the way Rapoport is presenting this—"open to moving," "talks have not started between #Falcons & #Texans"—his source is connected to the Falcons. Ditto Peter King.
Not saying it’s going to happen; I’d list the odds at 40 percent. But if the Texans want to trade the No. 1 pick, the Falcons, as of this morning, are their best option. When Clowney visited Atlanta last week, he left a very positive impression with the Falcons’ coaches and brass. I’d heard before that meeting that the Falcons weren’t inclined to entertain thoughts about making such a bold move, from sixth pick in the first round to No. 1 overall. Now they are thinking of it.
There are two strong possibilities here. Either someone inside the organization is leaking legitimate interest in Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack or Greg Robinson and a willingness to move to get talks started, possibly by trying to call Houston's bluff, or they're deliberately trying to create uncertainty to mask the move they're planning.
The first possibility is based off of the Texans' reported eagerness to move down and the oft-reported lack of suitors. In this case, the Falcons would be essentially indicating they could move up elsewhere in the top four or five for a player they like/Clowney, leaving the Texans without a partner. I have no idea if that has a remote chance of working, but the optimistic view says it could make Houston more willing to listen to what Atlanta considers a reasonable offer. If the Texans really want no part of Clowney at #1, then I'd lend a lot of credence to this idea.
In the latter instance, the Falcons actually have no plans to move up for Clowney but want to sow as much chaos as they can. This is always a worthy goal, even if I have my doubts about the effectiveness of comments like these in that context.
Either way, Rapoport and King's comments are worth weighing carefully. The Falcons are clearly seeding the ground for something, and at this point you and I would be crazy to rule out any moves. The game is afoot.