There is little doubt that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is one of the best players in the 2014 NFL Draft, but the Atlanta Falcons would be making a huge mistake in attempting to land this future star.
In order to move from the sixth pick to the first, the Falcons would reportedly have to give up several picks in this year’s draft or lose selections next year. The St. Louis Rams are sitting pretty this year as the team has two picks in the first round because of the Washington Redskins moving up in the 2012 Draft, and a similar situation could happen between Atlanta and the Houston Texans.
Giving up a slew of current or future picks, however, will be disastrous for Atlanta.
Despite only a four-win season in 2013, the Falcons should have a rebound year without having to add too much talent. The offense just simply fell apart because of injuries to Julio Jones, Roddy White and Steven Jackson, but despite all that, Matt Ryan was still able to finish the season seventh in passing yards. The rushing attack was unable to find a rhythm with the mixture of an oft-injured Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling, but a healthy Jackson should help the team improve on its 32nd ranking in rushing yards.
Drastic improvements, however, should be made on defense. Ranking 21st against the pass and 32nd against the run, the Falcons need to find a way to stay competitive against the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. Clowney would be able to create the turnovers that Atlanta desperately needs, but it will be hard to improve the team in the next few years with just a limited number of draft selections.
While not exactly Clowney, the Falcons still have many choices at the sixth pick to help improve the defense. If Clowney didn’t drastically improve things, Atlanta would be stuck with a limited amount of options to once again try and turn things around in 2015. The Redskins only have a limited amount of selections in this year’s draft, and the organization has to make every pick count. The Falcons can’t place the future of the organization on one player.
While Clowney is a game-changer, he isn’t worth the price tag that the Falcons would have to pay.