The Atlanta Falcons have some interest in trading up with the St. Louis Rams and selecting Jadeveon Clowney with the second pick overall, as Clowney is the best prospect in a talented 2014 NFL Draft class and would be the high-impact pass rusher that the Falcons seek. Clowney is an elite talent who would be a massive upgrade on the defensive side of the ball, and the defense sure could use a playmaker like him. But the Falcons might be better off staying put with the sixth pick in the draft and pulling an elite offensive tackle, and they will undoubtedly weigh the pros and cons of trading up or staying put.
ESPN NFL Nation’s Vaughn McClure reports that the Falcons will do their due diligence on a top offensive tackle prospect, as Texas A&M Aggies left tackle Jake Matthews will visit the team the week of the 21st of April. Matthews is arguably the top OT in the draft class, as the argument between Greg Robinson and him is a close one. Robinson is seen as the prospect with better upside due to his ridiculous strength, athleticism, and run blocking, but Matthews is seen as a safer pick due to his significantly better pass blocking and technique. I prefer Matthews, but it’s undoubtedly a close choice.
Matt Ryan was battered all season long last year, and it’s clear that the Falcons could use an upgrade at offensive tackle. They may like the flashes that their current starters show, but I think a top talent is needed at the position. Matthews or Robinson would be an excellent pick for the Falcons, but Matthews’s steady pass pro and footwork make him look like the better prospect for the Falcons in my book. There’s no such thing as a safe offensive tackle prospect and the learning curve at the position is usually steep, but Matthews is as close to safe as it gets at the position.