Every time a Jadeveon Clowney discussion breaks out amongst New York Giants' fans it inevitably comes back to the question of whether or not the Giants should try to trade up from No. 12 -- maybe to the No. 2 spot with the St. Louis Rams -- to grab the player almost everyone considers the best in the 2014 NFL Draft class.
It is obvious that Clowney, the freakishly athletic and marvelously talented defensive end from South Carolina, will be off the board long before the Giants are scheduled to select. If the Houston Texans don't take him first overall, he won't last long after that.
So, the question is should the Giants -- whose pass rush has not been up to their own high standards the past two seasons -- make the bold, and costly, move up the board to grab a player CBS Sports says "possesses an exceedingly rare combination of size, strength and athleticism"?
My answer? Absolutely not.
I referenced the 'Big Blue View Rules For Draft Success' on Monday while talking about how the top quarterbacks could influence the Giants' decisions in Round 1 of the draft. I will refer to them again here.
In my mind it is almost always preferable to trade down and accumulate additional picks than it is to trade up and surrender draft choices.
NFL teams win with depth, not simply with one or two superstars. You cannot build depth without draft choices, and without using them well. Trade them away and your roster will invariably be short-handed.
As I have written in the past in the 'Rules For Draft Success,' if you are trading into the top 10 for a franchise-changer or if you are a team that has extra picks and you believe there is one player who puts you over the top as a Super Bowl contender then trading up is plausible.
Maybe Clowney is a franchise-changer. Maybe he ends up being a franchise-killer despite all the raw ability. Here is Mike Mayock of NFL Network on Clowney:
"He's the scariest, freakiest, physical specimen I've ever seen since I've been doing this as a potential upside defensive lineman," Mayock said. "However, that doesn't mean I'm saying he's the best defensive lineman in the draft or the best player in the draft because he worries me with some of the red flags."
I simply do not believe the Giants are in any position to take the risk a move for Clowney would involve.
The Giants are not one player away from championship contention. They are a 7-9 team that has not made the playoffs for two seasons. Virtually half their roster is headed to free agency. They have some good players left, but they have holes almost everywhere. Basically, right now the roster resembles Swiss cheese.
They need players, and they need a lot of 'em. Trading up for Clowney could give them one outstanding one. That won't help them protect Eli Manning, however. It won't give them targets for Manning to throw to, a back who can run and pass protect, a linebacker who doesn't resemble a statue or a cornerback who can play opposite Prince Amukamara.
If the analysts are right about the incredible depth in the 2014 draft class this is the wrong year to be trading away picks, no matter how good Clowney might be. It is an excellent year to use all the picks you have, and even to hope that someone gets antsy and offers you a couple of additional picks to move down from No. 12.
So, the vote here is to say no to Clowney. The Giants should keep the draft picks they have, collect a couple more if possible and try to rebuild the roster depth that was so obviously missing in 2013.