Falcons still seem likely to take tackle

May, 2, 2014
5/02/14
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For all the talk about the whole trading-up scenario, it still make sense for the Atlanta Falcons to take an offensive tackle in the first round of next week's draft.

ESPN experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay haven't steered away from that theory throughout. In their latest three-round mock draft , Kiper has the Falcons selecting Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan at No. 6.

The build up regarding the possible scenario of trading up for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was all good and fun, but the reality is the Falcons can get their much-needed offensive line upgrade without losing any picks.

It seems like the only scenario that would lead to a Falcons trade would be if the top three offensive tackles -- Auburn's Greg Robinson, Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, and Lewan are all off the board before the sixth pick. That seems unlikely, with Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, and possibly even Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel destined to go in the Top 5.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimotroff raved about all three tackles during his Wednesday press conference. Protecting quarterback Matt Ryan and upgrading the run blocking has to be the top priority come next Thursday.

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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