INDIANAPOLIS -- There's no way former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will still be available when the Falcons are on the clock with the draft's sixth overall pick. That doesn't mean Clowney won't land in Atlanta, though, and Clowney hopes he does.
"I wish they could trade up for me," Clowney told ESPN.com, "but I hope I don't fall to No. 6. I like Atlanta -- a lot. They're pretty good. They've got some guys from South Carolina on the team, also. And it's close to home."
Clowney is the most intriguing talent in this year's draft and considered every bit worthy of the No. 1 overall pick, but there are concerns about his work ethic that have kept him from becoming the clear-cut lock to be drafted by the Texans with the top pick.
Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has left the door open to trading up, and the team is desperately in need of an edge rusher.
"I've said that from Day One, since 2008 that I always want to have the light on for business," Dimitroff said Friday at the combine. "I never want to be one of those teams that (when) people pick up the phone and they quickly throw the phone back down and hesitate to reach out; thinking that we're not going to be straight up. I think that's the biggest thing. When you are ever able to cultivate trades it's about being honest with people in your dealings and I think that we've done a nice job of that and we're always going to be open for business."
Making a deal to be in position to land Clowney wouldn't be the first time that Dimitroff pulled off a blockbuster draft deal -- he did it in 2011 when Atlanta moved up from the 27th to the sixth pick to draft WR Julio Jones.
Moving up to land Clowney this year wouldn't take as much of a leap up the first round from Dimitroff, but a deal to get Clowney would no doubt result in just as much, if not more, excitement for a franchise looking for some after a disappointing 4-12 season.
Follow Dan Parr on Twitter @TheDan_Parr.