Two of the draft's biggest wide receiver prospects are being heavily linked to the Atlanta Falcons down the stretch.
That's the word from ESPN's Pat Yasinskas, who says he's been hearing Torrey Smith and Jonathan Baldwin linked to the team. With less than a week to go until the draft, it's hardly surprising that such talk is swirling, and it's difficult to know how to parse the truth from the misinformation. That's especially true when everything we've heard recently has the Falcons in hot pursuit of Troy wideout Jerrel Jernigan.
I do find it hard to doubt Yasinskas, a guy with a good pedigree and someone who is pretty tapped-in to what the NFC South is up to. I can't imagine either would be an option at #27, given that both would be considered a mild reach, but they'd be possibilities in the second round. I'm still of the firm belief that the first pick for the Falcons will be a lineman, defensive or offensive.
In a lot of ways, it's logical. The 6'1" Smith mixes speed with decent size, and the 22-year-old doesn't come with the same questions about his hands that Maryland teammate Darrius Heyward-Bey did. Baldwin comes equipped with baggage in the way of off-the-field concerns, but he's huge (6'4", 228), young (21) and had a nice career at Pittsburgh. With the Falcons needing more prolific pass-catchers and eventually looking to replace Michael Jenkins outside, either could be an option.
If the Falcons end up trading back, we may just see Baldwin or Smith in a Falcons uniform. I still say wide receiver is a likely early round pick for the team, who do need an infusion of talent at the position. What are your thoughts?