Last night, in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons made many people happy when they selected OT Jake Mathews from Texas A&M with the 6th overall pick. Rumors had swirled of a potential deal to move up and take DE Jadeveon Clowney, but the Falcons wisely did not bite. The trade for Julio Jones was a smart move at the time for a franchise in ‘win now’ mode, but as we saw last season when injuries and poor performance plagued the team, the depth to be garnered from later picks can make the difference in a 10-6 and 6-10 season.
Brent Blackwell analyzed the pick in detail in an earlier post. Now that the Falcons have made what is largely regarded as a wise and necessary pick, where do they go next? Do they address any of the several defensive deficiencies? Do they shore up the offensive line with an interior lineman? Do they replace departed weapon Tony Gonzalez by targeting a pass catching tight end?
Tonight, the Falcons have two picks: #37 overall (Rd 2, Pick 5), and #68 overall (Rd 3, Pick 4). They do have two 4th round picks available that they could possibly package for another 2nd, but that is unlikely. My guess is that they will address a defensive need with the 2nd round pick. However, there have some rumblings making the rounds about a possible deal between Atlanta and Kansas City for S Eric Berry. Atlanta would send KC their 2nd round pick in exchange for Berry. Falcons’ GM Thomas Dmitroff shot the rumor down in a radio interview this morning.
I thought the Falcons were targeting DE Dee Ford from Clemson, but he was taken late in the first round last night. Some other available players for Atlanta:
DE Kony Ealy, Missouri
DE Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
DT Stephon Truitt, Notre Dame
WR Marqise Lee, USC
DT Timmy Jernigan, FSU