Falcons might trade up to No. 1, will meet with Clowney again

It could be the Falcons that pull off the blockbuster trade of the draft for the second time in four years.

After moving up 21 spots to land Julio Jones sixth overall in 2011, their target this time around might be Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus No. 1 prospect in the draft.

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt reported there's a good chance the Texans are willing to move down from the No. 1-overall pick, perhaps in a prearranged move similar to the 2004 Eli Manning trade between the Chargers and Giants. That year, the Chargers drafted Manning but dealt him to the Giants for Philip Rivers and three draft picks (Manning had said he didn't want to play for San Diego).

With the Texans open to dealing, enter the Falcons, who hold the draft's sixth-overall pick -- NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport said Thursday on NFL Network's "Total Access" that the "Falcons are one of the teams to watch to move up and maybe to move all the way up to No. 1."

Rapoport reported Clowney will meet with the Falcons on Friday -- the second meeting this week between the star pass rusher and the team (he visited the Falcons on Wednesday) -- in Columbia, S.C., where Clowney will do "one, simple five-minute test" for the team. Rapoport said it will not be an on-field drill and that Clowney will not work out for the team, adding that he has, in fact, not worked out for any teams.

Rapoport reported last week that Clowney wouldn't do any team workouts except for one drill for one team; that drill was expected to take about five minutes and was not deemed physically demanding, matching up with the Falcons' plan for Clowney on Friday.

So, let's play "connect the dots," shall we: The player deemed the almost-certain No. 1 pick says he will do a drill for one team. It turns out that team currently has the No. 6 pick -- but also is seen as a team that might be willing to trade into the top spot.

In addition, Texans GM Rick Smith is said to like at least one player, Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack, more than Clowney.

Voila -- the dots are connected, and it will only add to the speculation that the Texans might trade the first pick, potentially to Atlanta.

Now, the story of Smith preferring Mack to Clowney could just be a smokescreen, but the willingness of the Texans to move down, and the Falcons' interest in moving up to land Clowney, appears very real at the moment.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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