What’s the difference between a circus and the Atlanta Falcon’s defense? The Falcons lack a clown-ey, but despite the laughing matter it was no joke the Falcons had an abundance of problems defensively in the 2013 season. The dirty birds struggled to create turnovers. The run defense must have run away along with the defensive line, and the team sported one of the leagues worst third-down defenses, failing to create pressure on the opposing offense. It’s clear they certainly don’t have time to clown around during this offseason (you can tell where this is going). Here I offer my top three picks defensively for the Atlanta Falcon’s potential first round pick. Cue in the Clown, or uh Clowney.
DE Jadeveon Clowney:
Needing to make serious improvements to the pass rush, the Falcons are said to be looking to draft Jadeveon Clowney, a defensive end from the University of South Carolina. He has an array of pass rush moves making quarterbacks uneasy in the pocket. At 6-foot-5, 258 pounds and running a 4.5 second sprint in the 40-yard dash at Monday’s combine- the kind of speeding ticket you want- Clowney would most definitely create a threat on the Falcon’s defensive line.
DT Aaron Donald:
Clowney isn’t the only one with the need for speed. Aaron Donald the defensive tackle from Pittsburgh ran his first 40 at the combine at an unofficial time at 4.65 seconds – at 6.1 and 285 pounds! He also posted 35 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench. With that kind of speed and strength, Donald would wreak havoc in any opponent’s backfield. He is without a doubt the top defensive tackle in the draft, but may just be the safest selection. He has everything that scouts crave, and without the downsides that Clowney presents.
LB Anthony Barr
Standing at 6’4’’ tall, 240 pounds and a 4.48 unofficial time at the combine, is UCLA’s Anthony Barr. With his speed and strength Barr would bring pressure to the quarterback in an open field and could force the turnovers from the opposing team and quickly cover them. With his athleticism and burst off the line of scrimmage, Barr would make a dominant run stopper the Falcons so desperately need.
Currently the Falcons sit at the number 6 spot in the draft as of now. There is talks about the Falcons trading up from the sixth spot in hopes to potentially land Clowney first and foremost, and then could look to Donald and Barr given the teams occupying the first five spots – Houston, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland- draft a quarterback as their first pick, but like most NFL teams Atlanta will have to wait on making moves in the draft. To remind you in-case you forgot, free agency is coming up, a circus within itself, just without the clown-eys.