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On The Clock: Week 3


There's never a dull moment when managing editor Jay Adams and 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

Jay Adams: Dave, I've got to admit. There's something that's been bugging me about you.

Dave Choate: What's that, Jay?

JA: No one this side of the Mississippi knows what you look like. No one. And believe me, I've checked.

DC: That's by design.

DC: Those who gaze upon my true face are like, "Huh, so that's what you look like?"

DC: And we can't have that.

JA: I thought you might have been in witness protection or something.

DC: Nah, I went through that phase in college.

DC: But I do like to cultivate a little mystique, just like the Falcons and their draft strategy, you might say.

JA: I might say that. There are definitely a couple of players out there that have cultivated some mystique with me recently, that's for sure.

DC: Who? I must know!

JA: Well, Georgia defensive end Justin Houston, for one. He had his pro day this week and, while the attention was on teammate AJ Green, I liked Houston's performance. He ran a 4.5 40. I like to see that.

DC: He's looking like the team's best shot at a pass rusher in the first round.

DC: If I may opine thusly.

JA: Well, why ask permission? You just did.

DC: True. I'm not good with this whole social cue thing.

DC: Who's the other player who has your heart all a-flutter, Mr. Adams?

JA: Well, my man-crush has shifted completely from Ryan Kerrigan to Adrian Clayborn, the defensive end out of Iowa. That kid is a destructive force.

JA: He has size, ability and he seems to have a nose for the football. I like those qualities a lot.

DC: A disagreement approaches!

DC: While I think Clayborn is a good player, I don't think he's what the Falcons need.

DC: He hasn't been the world's most productive pass rusher, he hasn't displayed the kind of strength your look for from a 4-3 defensive end and I think he's really a better run stopper than a pass rusher overall.

DC: That's my salvo.

JA: Ahh, we finally have a disagreement with one another. Mount your steed because a joust is the only way to settle this!

DC: Are we using lances? Because —this is awkward — mine's in the shop.

JA: Well, I suppose we could just debate like gentlemen instead. But I'll go on record as saying it's not my preferred method.

DC: It's for scoundrels!

JA: I can see your point, but one thing I do like is the way he handled himself in the 2010 Orange Bowl when he basically blew up Georgia Tech's dangerous option offense by himself.

JA: It's true that he is a good run-stopper, but I hardly see that as a negative.

DC: I definitely see your point.

DC: Counterpoint!

DC: The Falcons already have a stable of defensive ends who are good against the run. And only one who is anywhere close to an elite pass rusher. If you give me the choice, I want the guy I think can someday post double digit sacks in the NFL.

DC: And I'm just not sure that Clayborn will fit that bill like a glove.

JA: OK, fair enough. I want to present you with a particular argument I found quite interesting.

JA: Doth this please the court?

DC: It doth.

DC: Doeth?

DC: Doh?

DC: Whichever.

JA: I think one of those is correct.

DC: I hope so. Otherwise I blew a lot of money on my English degree.

JA: Anyway, I read a column this week by the AJC's Jeff Schultz, who contends that the Falcons should do everything in their power to put themselves in position to draft Georgia wide receiver AJ Green.

JA: I can totally see his point — Green is considered to be a once-in-a-long-time talent at wide receiver, and if you can imagine AJ Green on the same field with Matt Ryan and Roddy White, I think your dream becomes other teams' nightmares.

JA: But do you mortgage the future based on this one kid?

DC: You do not.

DC: Former AJC columnist Terence Moore made this argument with Calvin Johnson, way back in the day.

DC: My stance is always the same: NFL teams need depth to survive. You don't give up four picks that could become a starter and three valuable backups for a shot at one player, especially a wide receiver.

JA: Allow me to play devil's advocate, if you will?

DC: It dost please the court.

JA: Doeth? Dothest? Who knows?

DC: Dothly.

JA: So, let's say that the team that drafts AJ Green is guaranteed to get around 10 TDs a year from him right off the bat. You add that to Roddy White's ability to put up 10 in a season. You add that to Tony Gonzalez suddenly being free as a bird over the middle because defenses are confounded with the White-Green combo.

JA: Doesn't that automatically add the explosiveness that head coach Mike Smith has been talking about the Falcons needing?

DC: It does.

DC: But at what cost?

DC: This is a deep draft, loaded with defensive players and talented wide receivers in the later rounds. I think you're really rolling the red and black dice to move up and get Green.

DC: I respect your argument, sir, but I will battle it with sword and fire.

JA: I respect yours as well, which is why I agree with you completely. The thought of having a kid like Green makes me smile, but I've contended all offseason that we're just a few pieces here or there away from being able to take the next step and betting the future on one player doesn't sit well with me.

JA: I just wanted to see if I could get your hackles up.

DC: My hackles and I are very offended.

DC: You won't be getting a Christmas card from my hackles, I assure you of that.

JA: Well, that's one less fruitcake to send out anyway.

JA: So, I want to know, flat out, who's the one guy available in the draft that gets you the most excited?

JA: No ducking and dodging, Choate!

JA: Answer the question!

DC: Ahem.

DC: Well, I don't mean to equivocate.

DC: But there's certainly many options.

DC: Many.

DC: Gosh, look at the time!

JA: I want a name!!!

JA: Wow, that escalated quickly.

DC: That really got out of hand.

DC: Seriously, though, I'm a huge believer in Abilene Christian wide receiver Edmond Gates.

DC: I think he may end up being one of the three best receivers in this draft.

DC: Behind Green and Julio Jones.

JA: I'm there with you. I had a follower on Twitter ask me last week if we should draft Gates with the No. 27 pick. I think that's way too high for him, but I wouldn't mind snatching him up later in the draft.

JA: Or Troy receiver Jerrell Jernigan. I do like his upside.

DC: I do, too. But he might go in the second, and Gates might go in the third or fourth. So from a value standpoint, I like Gates better.

DC: From a name standpoint, you can't argue with Jerrell Jernigan.

JA: He would definitely join Bear Woods on the all-name team. Both are from Troy. Coincidence?

DC: I think not.

DC: I'm very excited to draft Playon Playa in 2012.

JA: There's a big part of me that hopes that's a real name.

DC: If it is, I will eat spaghetti.

DC: Because I'm not a real big believer in the "eating my hat" stuff.

JA: You know who is? contributing writerDaniel Cox. Always talking about eating his hat, which is amazing because I've seen some of the hats he's worn. Why would you even think about putting yourself through something like that?

DC: Maybe he likes the taste of hats.

DC: I don't want to spread rumors, but I hear that Daniel Cox likes to lock himself in his office, pour out a glass of gin...

DC: And devour a fedora.

JA: You didn't hear that from me.

DC: I will neither confirm nor deny that you were my source on that.

JA: Probably a good idea. He'd be upset if he found out I was the one who told you... Err... Wait...

DC: Let's just move on before you get beaten with a hat.

JA: Good idea. I want to throw a name at you and see what you think about me throwing things at you.

DC: Uh oh.

JA: UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers.

DC: I like him.

JA: I'm overwhelmed by your explanation of why.

DC: He's a tremendous athlete.

JA: Bowled over once again.

DC: Also...

DC: Sometimes, when he plays football...

DC: He tackles.

DC: And does other things that defensive people like.

DC: And that makes me happy.

JA: The reason I bring him up is because there's the potential in the next year or so to need another outside linebacker. Granted, not a huge need, but he could certainly still be there at No. 27.

DC: He could be.

DC: And if he's the best guy available, I think you take him.

DC: He's got some pass-rushing chops. And those are better than pork chops.

JA: Speak for yourself. There's not much better than a good pork chop.

DC: Akeem Ayers may want a word with you after that assertion.

DC: But frankly, I just want a pass rusher. I don't care if it's the first or second round or both. Just get one and plug him in to the lineup where he can wreak unholy havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

JA: I'm totally with you there. I just want a guy that, five minutes before kickoff, you take the leash off him and let him run wild for three hours.

DC: Exactly. But you gotta housebreak him first.

JA: That's what college is for. At least that's how it was at mine.

JA: I think the one common thing that we want, regardless of what positions the Falcons go after, is guys with attitude — guys who want to get after it a bit on the field.

DC: Exactly. And ones that are fierce and tower over their fellow man. I don't ask for much.

JA: And ones who are as kind as firemen when a kitten is stuck in a tree.

DC: But are sturdier than an ironclad armadillo.

JA: We couldn't end the chat without one of your patented similes.

DC: I felt it was lacking a certain, as the French say, "I don't know what."

JA: That's what I say when people ask me what you look like.

DC: Brilliant. Someday I'll have to unveil this face.

DC: But like Helen of Troy, it's going to launch a thousand ships ... in the opposite direction.

JA: Well, at least we have that to look forward to.

DC: Amen, my friend.

DC: Amen.

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