As the NFL Draft approaches, the rumor mill has begun to spin faster and faster.
Reports are circulating that the Falcons may be interested in trading up from the 30th pick, and that is certainly a possibility. In this piece, though, ESPN's Bill WIlliamson suggests that Thomas Dimitroff may be interested in making a similar deal as the one he did to acquire Julio Jones -- this time to get cornerback Dee Milliner.
I do think the Falcons are considering trading up, but not into the top three. The CB class is deep this year, and there are plenty of options in the first round that wouldn't require a massive sacrifice of picks/players.
I know this is a long-shot at best, but the Raiders do have the third overall selection, and Milliner will be available at that point. Oakland has made some pretty questionable trades in recent memory, and even though Al Davis isn't running the show anymore, looking into a potential trade is something Dimitroff should at least explore.
On a more realistic note, the Chicago Bears appear to be a very legitimate partner for the Falcons to strike a deal with to move up in the first round. Chicago currently occupies the 20th spot in the upcoming Draft, and that would give Atlanta some very strong options that would not be available at 30. As alluded to in this article, Desmond Trufant and Xavier Floyd would be good choices for the Falcons, and moving up 10 spots wouldn't cost the team an arm and a leg.
Another reasonable trade partner for the Falcons would be the St. Louis Rams. Les Snead is not opposes to dealing picks, and No. 16 would land Atlanta a very strong prospect.
Snead was recently quoted as saying: "I do love picks, I do love to help someone out for a small price."
If the price is right, why not?
Since the playoffs last winter, there have been talks of the Falcons locking up Matt Ryan on a lucritive, long-term deal that would keep him in Atlanta for quite some time. While both sides appear interested in making such a deal happen, there hasn't been a whole lot of progress recently.
Still, that doesn't concern Ryan.
''I understand the nature of the business and how everything operates,'' he said at his Matt Ryan Celebrity Am Classic at TPC Sugarloaf.
''At the same time, my focus has always been to just try to prepare myself to just play and let all the other stuff take care of itself. I'm not really too worried about it. My sole focus this offseason is to prepare myself, to work really hard and to try to give ourselves another chance like we had last year.''