On The Clock: Week 2

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There's never a dull moment when AtlantaFalcons.com managing editor Jay Adams and TheFalcoholic.com creator Dave Choate get together and talk. The two share a love of the Falcons and a unique sense of humor. The two Internet mavens decided to let Falcons fans in on their instant message conversations in a new Draft weekly series called On the Clock

Dave Choate: We're on the clock! I think!

Jay Adams: Does this mean that we're on an episode of 24 and there's a bomb that needs disassembling and you and I are the world's only hope because Jack Bauer is busy being an '80s teen idol?

DC: I think so.

DC: But first, I need to finish this hot dog.

DC: And this soda.

DC: And say hi to my friends.

DC: Maybe check my Facebook.

DC: Such a nice day outside!

JA: Well, what kind of time are we talking about? It sounds urgent.

JA: Far too urgent to deal with your dalliances.

DC: Word of the day?

JA: Consider it done. So, we're back for another round of chatting about the draft. What has changed in your mind during the past week?

DC: Actually, there's been a spot o' breaking news today that's shifted my view of what happens with the 27th pick.

JA: Do tell.

DC: I wasn't sure teams were viewing Georgia's Justin Houston as a 4-3 end, but apparently they are.

DC: So that's suddenly an intriguing possibility.

JA: I like Justin a lot. I think some teams are shying away from him because he weighed in at 270 at the Combine, so that's primarily where some of the talk of him being a 3-4 linebacker came from.

JA: But I think he's a different style player as a 4-3 DE. Quick off the snap and able to get around the corner. If you're looking for a bull rush guy, he's not it.

DC: I think the knock on Houston has been his lack of a full-time motor.

DC: Something he shares with the 1985 Yugo.

DC: Hey-O, 30-year-old car I'm randomly picking on.

DC: But I like his skill set. He'd be a nice fit at end with the Falcons.

JA: Kudos on the Yugo line there, Dave. How far back did you have to look for that one?

DC: Back into the days of groovy cats and terrible hair, Jay.

DC: But hey, what say you?

DC: Has the first round clarified at all in your mind?

JA: If anything, it's only gotten cloudier, like a dreary English morn.

DC: That was very poetic, Henry Wadsworth Jayfellow.

DC: But here's another poem for you.

DC: Roses are red, violets are blue, I know the Falcons are drafting a pass rusher come April and it's probably going to be early because it's a desperate need, so maybe it'll be Justin Houston. And so do you.

JA: I imagine you'll have the ladies swooning with that bit of prose.

DC: That's always a possibility.

JA: But I think I've been paying too much attention to the mocks. I mean, it's a big part of my job, but it also pulls me in 20 different directions. I see all these projects for who we could take and the problem I'm having is, I want them all: Gabe Carimi, Justin Houston, Adrian Clayborn, Torrey Smith, Titus Young. Who can decide between them? Good thing I'm not a GM.

DC: Gotta catch 'em all.

DC: According to Pokemon.

DC: If I look at that list, I cross off Smith, Clayborn and Young, myself.

DC: Houston and Carimi seem the likeliest picks in my bedfuddled mind.

JA: True. If they're still there, which is a point in any conversation I've had about the draft that still hangs me up.

JA: There are so many things that can happen before the Falcons pick that getting any sort of read is close to impossible.

DC: I have to agree.

DC: The only certain thing is that everything we predict will crumble to the ground like a graham cracker castle in a heat wave.

DC: Which does make it hard to be confident.

JA: Yeah, anyone who makes a projection for the No. 27 pick and stands by it right now is foolhardy, like a graham cracker castle in a heat wave.

DC: It works on so many levels, doesn't it?

DC: But now I really want to build one.

DC: I still think a wide receiver at No. 27 is virtually impossible.

DC: The draft is so deep that a pass rusher of some shape, size and dimensionality has to be there at that spot.

JA: Sure, but the question you have to ask is whether or not that type of rusher can be found later on, thus allowing you to fill perhaps another need at a position that doesn't happen to be so deep in this year's draft.

DC: Excellent point, Mr. Adams.

DC: The problem is, there's a vast wasteland between picks 27 and 54

DC: If you're betting heavily on a pass rusher being available at 54, like Sam Acho, you're playing with fire.

DC: So do you take a wide receiver and potentially miss the pass rusher?

DC: Or go in another direction?

DC: Quite the conundrum.

JA: It certainly is, which is why I think front office personnel really earns what they get through this process. It's an unenviable position to be in. I mean, look at us, two average Joes who couldn't decide on what to have for dinner if it meant life or death.

JA: Let alone getting either of us to settle on a projection at the No. 27 pick.

DC: Cheeseburgers?

DC: No, wait.

DC: Shrimp.

DC: Gahhh!

JA: See what I mean?

DC: You are truly wise beyond your years.

DC: I know it's sort of the "hip" thing to say, but I still believe the team could trade down if things shake out funny down at the bottom of the first.

DC: I'd be on board with that strategy like a surfer.

JA: Your similes are just too much.

DC: I'm like a simile king.

JA: I agree that trading down could be a scenario that plays itself out come the first round, but what really bugs me is how many people — yes, like us — who focus solely on the first round and not on the later rounds.

DC: Do I smell a transition?

JA: There's going to be some good talent to be had in rounds 4, 5 and 6.

DC: I do!

DC: And that's really where this team can distinguish itself.

DC: And there's a guy I find very intriguing.

DC: Built like a running back, but with hands like a pair of Velcro bassinets.

JA: Speaking of running back, the later rounds could be a place to find a change-of-pace type of back, like a Noel Devine or a Jacquizz Rodgers. Also, you can address some depth issues there, specifically at linebacker and tight end, where the starters are in the latter stages of their careers.

DC: Do we need to address tight end?

DC: I agree on linebacker.

DC: But Michael Palmer is an intriguing long-term option.

JA: I like Palmer a lot, and he's got a great upside. I just think it's not a bad idea to try to identify who is going to take over that position once Tony Gonzalez retires. The only way to do that, in my mind, is competition. Competition breeds success. I saw that on a poster once. [I believe there was a kitten on it](

.

DC: If you can't trust kittens, who can you trust?

DC: I'm not opposed to it, per se.

DC: But I do think linebacker is the more pressing concern.

JA: Could be. I do enjoy watching some real hard-hitters, and we've seen how important the LB position is to teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Green Bay Packers and, of course, the Baltimore Ravens.

DC: It's a critical position.

DC: And you go back to some of the great players in Falcons history, like Jessie Tuggle and Keith Brooking, and they've been there.

DC: There should be some diamonds in the rough available late.

DC: To break out our first cliche of the day.

JA: See, you switch over the metaphors and it all falls apart on you.

DC: It's a big house of cards, my friend.

JA: Or a shoddily-built graham cracker castle.

DC: The key is using fresh honey.

DC: It's a solid and delicious mortar.

DC: Just avoid angering the bees.

JA: I don't want any part of any bees.

DC: Good choice.

DC: Here's a good question for you that is in no way related to bees.

DC: Are there running backs in the draft plan?

DC: Can never have enough depth at that position.

JA: True. I can't definitively say yes or no to that question. Every time I try to sneak into the meetings with the scouts, I get booted out. For good reason, as it seems, since you're trying to pry delicate information out of me.

DC: Oh, I was merely asking for an opinion.

DC: As far as you're aware.

DC: Ignore my shifty eyes.

JA: But I would imagine with Turner, Snelling and Gartrell Johnson being of the same ilk, and Jerious Norwood's tough injury luck, we could see another back brought in via draft.

DC: I think it's the kind of draft that's uniquely suited for backup ... backs.

DC: Lot of guys with pass-catching skills and good agility.

DC: And that combination makes Falcons fans go weak in the knees.

JA: And that's perhaps what I'd like to see more than anything is a good checkdown option out of the backfield for the Ice Man.

DC: We need to get help for The Ice Man Throweth, that's true.

DC: And by we I mean the team.

DC: Because there's a good reason I'm blogging and not drafting.

JA: So, what are you having for dinner tonight?

DC: It's a gym night, so I'll be following the Tony Gonzalez diet and eating something that grows out of the ground.

DC: Whatever that is.

JA: The point is, you have a hard time deciding things...

DC: Oh!

DC: Of course.

DC: I miss obvious cues.

DC: That may be why I flunked acting.

JA: Well, I think we're both doing a good job so far of acting like experts on this very complicated and complex situation.

DC: Did we mention complex, folks?

DC: I think our Pac-Man-like devotion to gobbling up news about our Falcons doesn't hurt.

DC: But in the end, I'm thankful Thomas Dimitroff and his crew are deciding between filet mignon and Pop-Tarts and not me.

JA: Because we both know you'd choose the Ramen noodles in the end.

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