27. Atlanta Falcons- Adrian Clayborn, Iowa Hawkeyes
The Atlanta Falcons had a superb season last year finishing 13-3 while making the playoffs, but coming up short of the Super Bowl. Now the Falcons will look to find room for improvement on their roster and draft accordingly. There aren't too many holes to fill on this team, but I think the player best served for the Falcons in the first round is defensive end Adrian Clayborn from Iowa.
According to DraftTek.com's team needs matrix, defensive end is the number one spot that Atlanta needs an upgrade. Not to say that the Falcons DE's are terrible, cause with guys like veteran John Abraham and Jamaal Anderson they have some talent, but a guy like Clayborn can grow into being an efficient and maybe even dominating player. Even though the Falcons could chose to upgrade the offense in the first round, they have the time to try and find some gems in later rounds, so might as well get a top-tier defender in the first.
Here's what ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. feels about Atlanta picking Clayborn:
The Falcons are a solid team without a true glaring need, but a 4-3 defensive end with the ability to rush the passer and great awareness and discipline against the run can help them in 2011. That's Clayborn in a nutshell. His coaches rave, as do players that have had to face him. He has good size, a reputation for relentlessness and the respect of his peers. Atlanta could look for a wideout to diversify an attack that went too often in one direction last year, but Clayborn is the better value here.
With the addition of Clayborn to the Falcons, they would have a plethora of options at DE that could help them mix-and-match defensive schemes and keep the opposing offenses guessing. There is a lot of first round defensive talent in this years draft, and the Falcons would hate to miss the opportunity to snag one of them with the 27th overall pick.