The Atlanta Falcons have plenty of draft needs that were exposed throughout the course of a 4-12 season in 2013, but the need for a pass rusher is apparently the one most glaringly obvious to star wide receiver Roddy White:
I would love for us to draft clowney if he is available but if he isn’t we should trade out and stockpile players got a lot of holes to fill
The Falcons have the No. 6 overall pick, and according to NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, their primary needs are for a defensive end, a tight end to replace retiring Tony Gonzalez and help on the offensive line. White, however, sees drafting Clowney as an assistance for two of those three needs.
Clowney helps the Oline they have to block him at practice
White doesn’t figure to be bumping Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff out of his chair any time soon, but that doesn’t mean a respected, proven veteran such as White can’t get his voice heard. Injuries hampered White’s 2013 season and snapped a streak of six consecutive years with over 1,000 yards receiving.
Clowney figures to be among the top players chosen, despite making just three sacks on the season for South Carolina. At 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, his reported sub-4.5 speed and ultra-quick first step give him the sort of pass rushing potential that NFL clubs deem so hard to find. Atlanta spent fourth- and fifth-round picks on defensive ends last year with Malliciah Goodman of Clemson and Stansly Maponga of TCU. Those two combined for just 13 tackles and no sacks in their rookie seasons.
White, for his part, thinks the Falcons offense is poised for a big season as it is.
The falcons are fine on offense as long as everyone is healthy for 16 games defense win championships so we need stops and turnovers
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.