If reports are to be believed, the Falcons are on the cusp of moving up in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Again.
Lots of teams looking at idea of moving down, here's one inquiring on trading up: The Falcons. Rivals believe target is an impact defender.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 27, 2015
This is not the outcome I was hoping for this year, given the likely availability of guys like Randy Gregory, Shane Ray, Bud Dupree and perhaps even Vic Beasley at #8. With Gregory's off-the-field issues, Ray's Monday arrest for marijuana and rumors swirling that teams in the top three or four picks may want out, this is exactly the kind of buyer's market that Thomas Dimitroff has traditionally jumped into. Scott Pioli's new, much ballyhooed role aside, this move has Dimitroff's fingerprints all over, if it should happen.
Or does it? It's possible that the Falcons are gunning for one of the consensus top defenders in the draft, which would have to be either Beasley, USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams or Florida defender Dante Fowler Jr., and it's not a stretch to think that Dan Quinn would be pounding the table for those players. Beasley is an athletic freak, Fowler is a versatile player who is familiar with Quinn and Williams, as Steven White chronicles here, is a gigas with some very intriguing skills, even if defensive tackle isn't the weakest position on the team right now. There's little doubt that the new, defensive-minded head coach would love to plug a potential superstar up front, and Beasley, Fowler and Williams may represent the three best bets in this class on that front.
Personally, I hope this doesn't come to fruition, because I believe the Falcons can still get a quality player at #8 without sacrificing anything of value. This is a team that still has major needs at a half-dozen positions, and giving up multiple picks in pursuit of one player is going to look damn foolish unless those picks are relatively minor and the player is a legitimate world-wrecker. If the price is low and Quinn really is making googly eyes at one of the three players I mentioned above, however, all bets are off.