Just over a month ago, Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote an article suggesting that the Falcons should do everything in their power to move up in order to select dynamic wide receiver prospect A.J. Green. If Peter King’s latest tweet comes to fruition, Schultz’s wish may become a reality.
Just days before the first round of the draft is set to take place on Thursday night, King tweets that Atlanta is seeking an “explosive outside threat” and is trying to “get way up” for either Green or Alabama’s Julio Jones. King does mention, however, that the situation is unlikely.
The reason that it’s unlikely is that the Falcons hold the No. 27th overall pick and there’s a very good chance that both Green and Jones will go in the top 10. If that’s the case, Atlanta has a ton of ground to cover in order to put itself in position to nab either wideout. Seeing as how teams can only trade picks from this year’s draft, a move like that could prove to be difficult. (The reason teams can’t deal picks from future drafts is because without a CBA in place, there is no 2012 draft. No draft = no draft picks to trade.)
That said, Falcons’ GM Thomas Dimitroff has made at least one bold move every offseason since arriving in Atlanta in 2008. He signed free agent Michael Turner in ’08, traded for tight end Tony Gonzalez in ’09 and signed corner Dunta Robinson to a lucrative deal last offseason. He also traded back into the ’08 draft to select offensive tackle Sam Baker, so he does have at least some history of trading up. (Although it’s important to note that he was also armed with multiple second round picks that year because of the DeAngelo Hall trade with Oakland, so he had more to work with in order to move up.)
As King suggests, it seems highly unlikely that the Falcons would be able to pull off a trade in order to get into the top 10. Cleveland, which holds the seventh overall pick, would seemingly make a great trade partner. But with needs at defensive end and along the offensive line (three of the five starters from last year’s O-line are free agents), would Dimitroff sacrifice most, if not all of his draft in order to make a deal like this? He knows he has a Super Bowl-caliber roster on his hands and adding a weapon opposite Roddy White to spread defenses vertically is a must. But at the end of the day, a deal like that may be too rich for Dimitroff and the Falcons’ blood.