Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff to Polian on ESPN on what it'll take to get from 6 to 1: "You and I both know that's gonna take a future 1."— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 30, 2014
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle is one of the more plugged-in beat writers in the league. Meaning he doesn't "guess" or "theorize" very often, but instead writes about things the Houston Texans tell him. If the Atlanta Falcons lobbed over news of their interest in trading up to one, or two through four, or even trading down, the Texans lobbed back news Tuesday night.
McClain had plenty of interesting information in his article.
As it stands, I believe the Texans are trying to decide between defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and quarterback Johnny Manziel with the first overall pick.
If this didn't cause you to do a spit-take, think about it.
McClain's article was posted about 200 hours before the draft starts. I would seem to think the Texans have watched every snap taken by both players, interviewed both players multiple times, watched their combine performances, brought them in for private workouts, attended their pro days, and spoke to every coach, teammate, associate and janitor that had come into contact with either player in the last five years. In fact, General Manager Rick Smith had to know since October that his team was destined for an early pick in the 2014 draft.
Potentially thousands of hours have been dedicated to deciding who the Texans would like as a franchise player for the next ten to 15 years.
But the Texans are still undecided just over a week out? If this is true, the owner should fire every single person in the organization. Not sure what stone is left unturned or if the team is waiting for either to get arrested to solve their debate.
I don't believe it. The Texans have decided but don't love their selection. The Texans have decided on what sounds like Johnny Manziel but are feigning interest in Jadeveon Clowney to push up Atlanta's trade offer. Clowney is the only realistic top player worth trading for, and if the Texans leak they are selecting Manziel, the Falcons will attempt to trade with the St. Louis Rams to draft Clowney.
If the Texans were drafting Clowney, they would have informed him he was their guy and would probably be talking to his agent to get his contract squared away. This has become less important with the rookie wage scale, but the Colts didn't waiver very much when picking Andrew Luck.
Realistically, the Texans are debating between drafting Manziel and trading down with their only potential trade partner, Atlanta.
I imagine the Falcons would have to surrender at least a second-round pick this year and perhaps even a third-rounder this year as well as a first-round choice in 2015. That's a steep price, but Smith should drive a hard bargain if he's going to bypass a player just about everyone thinks should be the first overall selection.
Funny coincidence. Peter King said Monday compensation could be two first-round selections, while McClain's article includes at least a second-round selection, potentially more. What do I think this means? Atlanta, the likely source of the reports from Monday, is offering up their 2014 and 2015 first-round picks. The Texans, the source for McClain's article, are asking for more 2014 picks, with the second rounder likely sealing the deal and the third rounder thrown in to be negotiated away.
Atlanta balked at the asking price, knowing no one else is interested in moving up to the top spot. The team decided to not bid against themselves and leaked information saying they have plenty of options, either trading up to two, three or four, or even trading down. The Texans responded by leaking their asking price and claiming interest in Clowney.
How this shakes out remains to be seen, but I expect the Texans asking price to drop by mid-week next week. Whether that price drops enough to Atlanta's liking is hard to say. If it is too high, Atlanta may let the Texans draft a quarterback and trade with the Rams at a more reasonable price.