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Ajc's John Schultz: Texans Could Deal Pick (Clowney Anyone?)


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Texans could deal pick (Clowney, anyone?)

by Jeff Schultz

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I’m tired of waiting for the draft.

I’m tired of sifting through bad rumors about the draft.

I’m really tired hearing about debates over Johnny Manziel. Seeing video posted everywhere (and below) of him throwing a football to a guy on a Jet Ski and people saying, “Wow!” – as if that mad skill will somehow translate to playing in Cleveland in December – didn’t help.

But while we’re waiting for the draft to finally get here (May 8-10), here are a few things I’m 100 percent certain of (at least until tomorrow).

1. HOUSTON IS STUCK: I’m more convinced than ever that the Texans are looking to trade the first overall pick. Here’s why: They desperately need a quarterback. There is no quarterback worthy of being the first pick. There may not be a quarterback worthy being selected in the first round. The potential downfall of taking a quarterback so early is the significant financial commitment that comes with that. If a mistake is made on an offensive or defensive linemen, a team can hide or protect the player to some degree. It’s just not as high-profile of a miscue. But a quarterback is center stage for all to see, usually for at least three seasons because his contract mandates it. The best player in this draft is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, but because Houston isn’t as desperate for defensive line help – and Clowney isn’t a perfect fit for its defense – the Texans probably would rather trade the pick. Until then, they’re creating rumors like they make take Khalil Mack over Clowney. It keeps everybody guessing and stirs trade interest. Because of the uncertainty at the top, I don’t believe it would be as expensive as some fear for the Falcons (or anybody) to trade up to that spot. And ultimately, I believe the Texans want out of that spot.

2. FALCONS’ PLANS: If the Falcons get to draft day and a trade hasn’t been made yet, general manager Thomas Dimitroff will have a number of contingency deals in place. For example: He’s willing to trade “X” for a certain player at No. 1, “Y” for a certain player at No. 2, etc. I’m convinced there are three players Dimitroff would be willing to trade up for: Clowney, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack and Auburn tackle Greg Robinson. And my guess is he ranks them in that order. The defensive and offensive lines both are significant needs and the Falcons can’t go wrong drafting either way. But it’s more difficult to get a difference maker on defense. Offensive lines operate as a unit and a team can get a solid tackle or guard later in the draft. A great pass rusher is going to be a great pass rusher regardless.

3. FALCONS’ PLANS, PART II: The Falcons’ might be content to stay at sixth and see who falls to them, but it would be the first time Dimitroff didn’t significantly explore moving up for a player they’ve targeted. But if they make a deal, there’s way too much concern about the potential of “mortgaging” their draft. Going from sixth-to-wherever wouldn’t be a Julio Jones type of trade. Because this draft is considered so much stronger, Dimitroff also could be willing to trade higher picks from the 2015 draft than this year’s.

4. FALCONS’ PLANS, PART III: I know the Falcons are saying publicly they remain confident in running back Steven Jackson and this doesn’t rank as their biggest need. But don’t they need to come out of this draft with a running back? My ranking of the team’s draft priorities: 1) Defensive line/pass rusher; 2) Offensive tackle; 3) Safety; 4) Running back; 5) Tight end. Agree or disagree?

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I think its almost a no brainer that Houston wants to move down. I think they'd love to pick sixth. Get their QB (Bridgewater) get a third this year, a third next year, maybe a fifth this year as well. Clowney can be had for a fairly reasonable price.

In the end its all about the money. And a bust QB costs you plenty.

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Guest King Jigsaw

I don't want to trade up for anyone but Clowney. I don't anyone else is worth it. If Clowney goes one I know I'm picking at or after 6. I'm not going to be bullied into trading up for Mack so if he goes 3rd to Jacksonville, so be it. Won't bother me at all. If it's not Clowney, I'd much rather see who falls to 6. Matthews, any of the QBs, Watkins, Evans - they all represent either a pick or a trade possibility.

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I think a trade up of Robinson would be flat out dumb

you can NEVER say a trade for a great player is dumb without knowing the compensation.

Greg Robinson can be a GREAT player. While I agree that we likely could still get Matthews at #6 - and he is a good player, if it was a really cheap price to get Robinson - then it MIGHT be worth it.

everything is not so black-n-white.

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9 more dammed days and we won't have to discuss this shiit anymore. This offseason is going to suck donkey balls.

i'm actually looking foward to draft being over - so I can spend more time doing other things - more work, more time w/ kiddos, etc. I absolutely love the draft/free agency/offseason - but was not happy when they lengthened it by pushing the draft back another 2 weeks. We should be drafting in 48 hours instead of 16 days.

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2. FALCONS’ PLANS: If the Falcons get to draft day and a trade hasn’t been made yet, general manager Thomas Dimitroff will have a number of contingency deals in place. For example: He’s willing to trade “X” for a certain player at No. 1, “Y” for a certain player at No. 2, etc. I’m convinced there are three players Dimitroff would be willing to trade up for: Clowney, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack and Auburn tackle Greg Robinson. And my guess is he ranks them in that order. The defensive and offensive lines both are significant needs and the Falcons can’t go wrong drafting either way. But it’s more difficult to get a difference maker on defense. Offensive lines operate as a unit and a team can get a solid tackle or guard later in the draft. A great pass rusher is going to be a great pass rusher regardless.

I still say get a Pass Rusher first!

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2. FALCONS’ PLANS: If the Falcons get to draft day and a trade hasn’t been made yet, general manager Thomas Dimitroff will have a number of contingency deals in place. For example: He’s willing to trade “X” for a certain player at No. 1, “Y” for a certain player at No. 2, etc. I’m convinced there are three players Dimitroff would be willing to trade up for: Clowney, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack and Auburn tackle Greg Robinson. And my guess is he ranks them in that order. The defensive and offensive lines both are significant needs and the Falcons can’t go wrong drafting either way. But it’s more difficult to get a difference maker on defense. Offensive lines operate as a unit and a team can get a solid tackle or guard later in the draft. A great pass rusher is going to be a great pass rusher regardless.

I still say get a Pass Rusher first!

I would RATHER take passrusher first - but you can get a lot better passrusher in the 2nd round than you can a 2nd round offensive tackle. The combos of OT/Passruhser are much better than Passrusher/OT.

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9 more dammed days and we won't have to discuss this shiit anymore. This offseason is going to suck donkey balls.

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My dumbazz got confused. I go out of town on May 1 and for some reason was thinking that was draft day. I'll leave it as is, so people can point and laugh.

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Them trying to trade down just tells me they want Bortles but feel they can get him just a bit later than 1st overall. Either way, there isn't much reason for a team to sell the farm to move up to the top of the draft.

agreed - but if we are right that the Texans still want to take Bortles - they are in a tight spot and the draft does not setup well for Texans to trade down - they literally can only trade down 1 spot and still be 100% assured of getting Bortles - and the Rams are the least likely team that would want to trade-up. While maybe the other QB-needy teams(Jax, Clev, Oak) are not interested in Bortles - there is no way for Texans GM Rick Smith to be sure.

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