3 Draft Day Trades Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff Should Be Exploring

Scott CarasikContributor IIFebruary 20, 2014

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01:  Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks in action during their game against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Capital One Bowl on January 1, 2014 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff needs to be active on the trade market during the 2014 NFL draft. The Falcons have quite a few options they need to explore, otherwise they are going to waste their best opportunity to improve their team. 

The Falcons have no issues trading up or trading down. However, three trades stick out as ones that the Comrade should look into. One would be a trade up for Jadeveon Clowney. The second would be a trade down to No. 10 with the Lions and the third is a trade up from the top of the second into the bottom of the first.


Trade down from No. 6 to No. 10, 11, 12 or 13

A common occurrence in the NFL is teams wanting to trade down and acquire more picks to improve the depth of the team. Atlanta could definitely use some depth, and trading down for another third- and fifth-round pick to the 10 to 13 range makes a ton of sense.

Atlanta could improve both lines and still wind up with a talented, athletic pass-rusher in someone like Anthony Barr, Khalil Mack or even a promising prospect like Kony Ealy. The Falcons could then use the extra third and fifth to address depth along both lines.

It's an extremely deep draft all the way around and should Atlanta trade down, they could also improve some spots like tight end and cornerback where competition would definitely be helpful for a better Atlanta Falcons team.


Trade up into the late first round

A possibility that isn't being talked about for the Falcons is a trade up into the latter part of the first round. Atlanta's high second-round pick makes a trade up to the end of the first much easier. As Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has shown in 2008, 2011 and 2013, he has no issues trading up for his guy.

Atlanta would likely be targeting someone along the offensive and defensive lines as the talent pool there should be extraordinary this year. Targets could easily include defensive tackles like Ra'shede Hageman, Louis Nix III and Stephon Tuitt.

Options along the offensive line like David Yankey, Zack Martin and Cyrus Kouandjio could also be legitimate trade-up options as they can all play both guard and tackle. Atlanta needs to focus as much attention as they can along the line and if trading up secures a talent they fall in love with, they should do it.


Trade up to No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4 for Jadeveon Clowney

Despite the thoughts about Clowney's work ethic being "OK," as Steve Spurrier was quoted as saying when he was on NFL Network's NFL AM (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk), the Falcons need to realize that he's a rare talent and athlete.

It's not going to be possible to bring in Clowney unless they trade up a couple spots with either the Rams, Browns or Jaguars. The cost could be as little as a second-round selection in 2015 so that they can leap the Raiders and block a trade up from the Buccaneers.

Atlanta needs to make sure they acquire the dynamic playmaker that Clowney is. His best-case scenario would make him the best defensive end in the game and a future Hall of Famer who breaks the records for both sacks and forced fumbles. 

The worst-case scenario for him is a John Abraham-type career. One where he surpasses 100 sacks, quite a few forced fumbles and plays the run more effectively than anyone ever gives him credit for. The Falcons would love to have another Abraham in their ranks.


All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, college football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.