We've heard many, many draft rumors regarding the Falcons and the five teams ahead of them in the NFL Draft. This has been going on, essentially, non-stop since the regular season ended, and it almost always involves reporters claiming an anonymous league source or putting forth some educated speculation.
Today, however, we have comments straight from an NFL owner, and he might have said a bit more than his front office wanted.
Houston Texans benefactor Bob McNair, in an interview with one of the city's local FOX affiliates last Friday, confirmed that his team is still searching for trade-down partners and that the team likely won't have made its decision until the last minute.
We've mostly known this to be the case. However, the more interesting part comes in McNair clearly hinting at the fact that Houston would like to trade down for a quarterback, and not a pass rusher like Khalil Mack as some have suggested.
"You take a guy like Clowney," McNair said. "He’s obviously the best player in the draft, but he’s a defensive end. He’s not a quarterback. If he’s a quarterback and the best player it’s easy, but that’s not the case. So can that defensive player have a greater impact on the success of your team than one of these quarterbacks? It’s not a sure thing that he is. . . . If somebody wants you to drop down and they give you two or three more picks that would let you get two or three more quality players, are you a stronger team dropping down a little bit, getting these additional picks and getting more depth?"
So again, this mostly confirms what we've started thinking over the past few weeks: the Texans have determined which quarterback they want (likely Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles), but do not believe he is worth the first pick. They're also looking to gain "two or three more picks," which hopefully does not equate to a price tag like this:
For team like Falcons 2 trade with Texans 4 Clowney, I think it will cost a 1, 2 and 4 this year and a 1 next year.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 1, 2014
If these trade discussions have taken this long, chances are that the Falcons and Texans are not entirely on the same page regarding Jadeveon Clowney's inherent value. Despite all the rumors, perhaps the two sides cannot come to terms on any sort of deal.
The real question would then center around what the Texans do if they cannot successfully trade out of the No. 1 pick. Perhap they simply go best player available and take the South Carolina defensive end, or they could go need-first and take their quarterback at the top.
Fortunately for those tired of waiting, we'll know in about four days.