Could the Atlanta Falcons trade up?

April, 17, 2013
4/17/13
12:04
PM ET
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King tweeted Wednesday morning that he’s hearing the Atlanta Falcons are trying to trade up in the first round of next week’s NFL draft.

That’s going to open the door for all sorts of speculation. Maybe the Falcons are smitten with a player at another position, but I think their only glaring need is at cornerback.

Brent Grimes left as a free agent and Dunta Robinson was released. Asante Samuel and Robert McClain remain, but the Falcons need to add a starting-caliber cornerback. Atlanta currently has the 30th overall pick, but the Falcons almost certainly would have to move up to get any of the three cornerbacks that most experts say are the best in this draft -- Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes and Desmond Trufant.

The Falcons, who have some resources to work with because they currently have 11 draft picks, could probably get Rhodes or Trufant if they moved into the late teens or early 20s.

But Rhodes and Trufant might not be who the Falcons want. On the surface, Atlanta is a team on the cusp of a Super Bowl. The Falcons could view Milliner as the missing link.

They’d have to move into the top 10, maybe even the top five, to get him. The cost would be high (here’s a trade value chart to use as a guideline).

But I’m not ruling the Milliner scenario out. There’s precedent. Back in 2011, the Falcons made a similar leap to get receiver Julio Jones and that deal worked out well.

It’s no secret Atlanta is in a win-now mode and Milliner might give the Falcons the best shot at winning a Super Bowl.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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