Nov 30, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) rushes the passer against the Clemson Tigers in the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Who Should Atlanta Falcons Trade Up For?

The 2014 NFL Draft is just about two weeks away and a team that has drawn headlines often is the Atlanta Falcons. Why?  Many rumors have been circulating that they may be a team that is willing to trade up for a top prospect in the first round. The Houston Texans seem like a possible suitor, but who would be worth the move from six to one?

Jadeveon Clowney is that dynamic pass rusher they’ve lacked

Look for Jadeveon Clowney to be a player that the Falcons will explore heavily. The athletic playmaker might just be the defensive weapon that Mike Smith’s team is looking for.

A player like Clowney only comes around about once every decade and the Falcons can’t rule out going after him. We know what he can bring to any team as far as a playmaking ability, but the fit in Atlanta would be perfect. The Falcons are definitely weak when it comes to their outside linebackers. Guys like Kroy Biermann and Stansly Maponga aren’t going to be able to handle the load next to a decent interior defensive line. If Mike Nolan wants his defense to be a true threat in 2014, grabbing Jadeveon Clowney is a must.

Moving up five picks isn’t a drastic move, but Atlanta would need to give up a decent amount. Depending on other offers that the Texans receive, it’s possible that the Falcons would have to give up multiple first-round picks and a few secondary picks to make it happen. If that is the case, would it be worth it?

Matt Ryan and offense would benefit from the Clowney Effect

Clowney’s play benefits everyone. With his ability to force turnovers and give his offense excellent field position, Matt Ryan and all of his weapons will thrive better than ever. Every offense loves a defense that can keep putting the opposing defense on the field. With Clowney on Atlanta’s squad, he’ll make the offense a very happy one.

There’s no arguing that Clowney is a special prospect, one that will draw some major interest come crunch time. Many could make the argument that he is worth giving up a pair of first round selections for; others will say that the Falcons shouldn’t give up more than their first round pick and a few high-mid round selections.

Ultimately, it will come down to how much the Falcons brass feels they need Clowney. Do they feel that he is the best prospect to come out in several years (many have expressed this opinion), or do they feel that they could do just as good with a player like Khalil Mack?

In that scenario, the team still might have to move up. Mack is considered a top-5 talent and some experts believe that he’ll be taken way before the Falcons pick at six. Ultimately, it’s possible that the Falcons feel pressured to trade up to grab the guy they want.

In reality, don’t be surprised if the Falcons make the big move and draft the player that will be a pro-bowler many seasons. Clowney is the real deal. The Falcons could use a presence like his on their defensive front. They might have to give up a lot, but it just makes sense.

A turnaround needs to happen in Atlanta. Fans want to see a splash…this might be the thing that gets the excitement back.

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Atlanta Falcons

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