With the Atlanta Falcons‘ season officially over, owner Arthur Blank is making it very clear that they will be looking to draft either a defensive lineman or an offensive lineman with their first-round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Falcons currently have the sixth overall pick, and their decision to draft a lineman is very wise.
During the regular season, they have reaped the sorrows of having both the inability to rush or protect their $100 million franchise quarterback. In their season finale, Matt Ryan went out with a bang … literally. While the defensive line was busy getting pushed to the ground, the offensive line allowed the Carolina Panthers to sack Ryan nine times as he met the ground all day long.
After witnessing such a travesty, Blank is making sure that they are addressing the most important issue. According to an interview with ESPN, whether they draft Jadeveon Clowney, one of the most heralded defensive ends to come out of college, or select offensive tackle Jake Matthews, Blank will allow his coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff to make that decision.
As the Falcons wrapped up their season with a 4-12 record after going 13-3 just a year ago, there will be plenty of issues that they will have to address if they hope to make a Super Bowl run in 2014. It is still yet to be seen whether or not the Falcons will try to move up in the draft as both Clowney and Matthews may be just a tad bit out of reach at No. 6.
Since Smith and Dimitroff came to the Falcons, they have only drafted a lineman once with their first-round draft pick, which was back in 2009 when the team selected Peria Jerry. The Falcons and Blank are hoping that they will draft a much better player than Jerry, who has not panned out to.