As was reported on Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons are seriously considering trading with the Houston Texans for the top overall pick in next month’s NFL Draft so they can select South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who has been studied, poked and prodded probably more than any player in history.
Clowney met with the Falcons on Friday and they took the evaluation a bit further as Pro Football Talk is reporting that the team put Clowney through what is called a “force plate” assessment.
"The plate makes various measures based merely on a player jumping and moving on it. The test occurred in a weight room, not on a practice field. It doesn’t amount to a “drill” of any kind, but it provides important information about a player’s athletic abilities."
The Falcons released a statement to Pro Football Talk explaining why they used the technology to evaluate the player they might trade up to the top spot for.
"“We feel that partnering with Dr. Phil Wagner and Sparta Software, Corporation will enhance our athletic performance program and benefit our football team,” Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released to PFT. “We are always looking for ways to take our training program to the next level and Sparta will help us develop detailed individual workout programs. We understand the importance of having our players reach their full potential and remain in top physical condition during a long and arduous season, and this partnership will assist us in becoming a highly effective sports performance model.”"
These tests are not used for every player, and with the Falcons taking this much of an interest this close to the draft, the possibility that they will do a deal with the Texans does indeed seem very real.