Falcons could make 'monster' deal for Clowney

May 5, 2014 

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) after the win over Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl game, Wednesday, January 1, 2014.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has proved he's not reluctant to make bold moves in the draft. Perhaps his biggest gamble would be to pull off a monster trade with Houston, which has the No. 1 overall pick, to select South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

There is a definite need at the position after the Falcons had only 32 sacks last season, tied for the third fewest in the league.

The Falcons have 10 picks, so they could offer a package to Houston. But an Atlanta team coming off a 4-12 season may have too many needs to afford committing a significant part of the draft to one player, even one as talented as Clowney.

Even if he doesn't move up to the top overall pick, expect Dimitroff to be active.

The Falcons have made a trade in each of his first six drafts with Atlanta. Usually the GM has moved up with trades. This year he could look to add even more depth to his draft by trading down – especially after the first round.

Dimitroff said being near the top of every round “is important for us.”

“We've rarely had that,” he said. “The opportunity to be at the top of (the second through fourth rounds) is something that could be very beneficial for us. Not only the opportunity to draft there but the opportunity to potentially move back because a lot of teams will be interested in messing around up in that area, so to speak.”

The NFL draft begins Thursday night.

-- The Associated Press

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