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2014 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Rumors: Falcons Could Trade Up to No. 1 or 2 for Jadeveon Clowney

The Atlanta Falcons’ interest in Jadeveon Clowney is real and the team may look to trade up to draft the star pass rusher.

Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY

Last week, ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure revealed that the team’s interest in Jadeveon Clowney was real, but there was no way the team was mulling a trade up, that the team was content to stay put and draft the best available offensive tackle.

According to Sports Illustrated, don’t count the Falcons out just yet.

Per Peter King, “momentum is gaining” for Atlanta to move up for Clowney, which he pegs at about 40 percent. A potential deal would depend upon what the Houston Texans want to do with the No. 1 pick. If the Texans decide they want to move out of the spot, King believes the Falcons are the ready to make a deal, and would likely to have part ways with their first-round pick in 2014 and 2015 to make it happen.

Per King:

When Clowney visited Atlanta last week, he left a very positive impression with the Falcons’ coaches and brass. I’d heard before that meeting that the Falcons weren’t inclined to entertain thoughts about making such a bold move, from sixth pick in the first round to No. 1 overall. Now they are thinking of it.

For an equal swap, the Texans might ask for more than two first-rounders, figuring there’s no way the Falcons will be drafting in the top 10 next year.) If the Texans would be happy to settle for, say, Blake Bortles or Khalil Mack, this would be a pretty good calculated risk to take, with a guaranteed first-rounder next year as the pot of gold for the risk Houston would be taking.

The deal works out for Houston, too, which can conceivably draft its top quarterback in Blake Bortles or hope that the No. 1A edge rusher Khalil Mack is around with the sixth overall selection.

But if the Texans opt to stay put, there is a chance the Falcons make a play for the second pick with the St. Louis Rams.

St. Louis has openly shopped the No. 2 pick since the NFL owner’s meetings, and according to King, “you should put something close to the mortgage down on the prospect of them trading one of both” of the team’s first-round picks. The Rams have traded down each of the past two drafts under general manager Les Snead, meaning if the Falcons want to make a play for Clowney, the team will have the Rams on Line 2. And if the Texans nab Clowney with the top pick, Mack could be a solid fallback option at No. 2.

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