2014 NFL Draft: What Should The Houston Texans Get In A Trade With The Atlanta Falcons?

Bob Levey

The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons have been linked as the two most likely trade partners for the top pick in the NFL Draft. What should the Texans get in return for the No. 1 pick?

SB Nation's site for all things FalconsThe Falcoholic, had a great piece today, talking about their team's interest in the first overall pick and what they seem to be willing to give up. The writer believes that Atlanta is the only team serious about trading up for it, but is trying to gain "you need us more than we need you" leverage against Houston. From the article:

The more I think about it, the more the Texans appear to be stuck with a draft class that poorly fits their desperate need for a quarterback. The Texans have Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is surrounded by an otherwise very talented football team. The Texans could always take Clowney and add to an already nasty defensive line.

...

Can the Texans hope to hit on a later-round selection like Russell Wilson or an eventual starter like Colin Kaepernick? That seems like an unrealistic hope. Odds are more likely following in the footsteps of the Cleveland Browns, trading back up in the first for Brady Quinn or waiting for Brandon Weeden.

A "nasty defensive line" is a gross overstatement for J.J. Watt and nobody else of note. If the Falcons really like Jadeveon Clowney, they will probably try to spin it like the writer has above: De-emphasize the Texans' need on defense and re-emphasize the teams' need at quarterback, and try to convince them to draft a quarterback with the 6th pick instead of 1st overall.

So if the Texans lose leverage in trade negotiations, they most certainly won't get a huge haul similar to what we've seen in recent years for players like Robert Griffin III and Julio Jones.

The lack of elite quarterbacks will keep teams from trading up. For example, the Washington Redskins traded [a metric ton of draft picks.] That was pretty expensive to move up four spots but this is a quarterback-driven league.

Last year with no quarterbacks? The Miami Dolphins traded the 12th and 39th overall pick for the 3rd overall pick so they could select Dion Jordan.

The differences there are considerable for similar moves up the draft list. It's not just the pick that drives the value; it's the competition and the players available there. This is the message that the writer believes the Falcons are sending to the Texans.

No one knows what's on the table right now between the two teams, but the leverage game still has nine days to play out. It's all about patience, posturing and poker faces. Rick Smith and Bill O'Brien will hopefully keep all three in order to make the best possible move for the Texans.

We've talked about trading down before, but the Falcons connection is heating up. Sound off on what you think they should be giving up. Also for your viewing pleasure, here are the highlights of T.J. Yates and the Texans beating the Falcons in 2011. It's one of my favorites.

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