There has been a good deal of buzz surrounding the Atlanta Falcons with regard to their #6 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but more than that, there is a pending scheme shift on the defensive side of the ball for the organization that could impact where they go with that lofty pick. In that vein, ESPN’s Vaughn McClure (who regularly covers the team) brings a report that the team is set to hold a private workout with projected top-10 pick Anthony Barr.
"Despite all the clever moves made in free agency, the Atlanta Falcons are still in need of a pass-rusher. Specifically, their move to a 3-4-based defensive scheme means the desire for outside linebackers capable of getting to the quarterback. Draft prospect Anthony Barr appears to be one of those guys, and that’s why the Falcons plan to take a long look at him. Barr has a private workout scheduled with the Falcons before the end of the month, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation."
Indications that the Falcons could be taking a look at Barr are certainly in line with the projected 3-4 scheme that Mike Nolan intends to put in for the defense, and with newly-acquired guys like Paul Soliai at nose tackle and Tyson Jackson at 3-4 defensive end, Atlanta is in desperate need of a pass-rusher off the edge. The Falcons have long been rumored to have interest in Jadeveon Clowney, but it is highly unlikely that he would fall to the #6 pick at this stage, and there would be fit questions with him playing a stand-up outside linebacker spot.
Obviously, this is simply a report of a private workout taking place (smoke, but maybe not fire), and the Falcons will be a team to monitor all the way until they make the first selection in early May.