Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Falcons looking to move up?
By Pat Yasinskas
We’re a day away from the draft and the trade rumors are starting.
Peter King says the Atlanta Falcons are at least looking into the possibility of a huge leap up to a spot where they can get Georgia receiver A.J. Green or Alabama receiver Julio Jones. In the case of Green, that’s likely to mean a jump into the top five. It probably would take a pick somewhere in the top 10 to get Jones.
King says it’s unlikely the Falcons will pull off such a move and I agree. According to this chart on draft-pick trade values, the Falcons could package their first- and second-round picks and still not have nearly enough points to get into the top five. The top 10 is only slightly closer to being within striking distance.
But I’m not ready to completely rule this one out, because it makes some sense. It’s no secret the Falcons want to add an “explosive’’ player in this draft -- they’ve used that term repeatedly. Green and Jones are far more explosive than any other receivers in the draft. The Falcons and general manager Thomas Dimitroff can be very aggressive when they really want someone.
They’re limited, though, because the labor situation means players can’t be included in trades. If there’s one way to make something like this work, it would be to include a draft pick or two for future years. That’s something teams are usually hesitant to part with. But the Falcons are in a different situation than most teams.
They’re coming off a 13-3 season and their time is now. They might be one player away from truly taking the next step. If they think Green or Jones might be that player, it might be worth the heavy cost.
If they sit still at No. 27, Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin and Maryland’s Torrey Smith are the likely targets if the Falcons still are focused on a receiver. But they also might be wise to keep their eyes open for a pass-rusher.