clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Draft 2015: Falcons Potential First Round Trade Partners

We all know Thomas Dimitroff doesn't like sitting still. Who might dance with him?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

If there's one thing Falcons fans know about our GM, it's that he loves moving around in the draft. In fact, last year's draft may have been one of the only ones where he didn't move around at all - and mostly because he couldn't find a partner, not for a lack of trying.

This year presents an interesting dilemma. What if the first couple of picks don't go as expected? Most analysts agree that the top pass rushers in this draft are Fowler, Beasley, Gregory and Ray - with Dupree as a viable fifth option. But with the Falcons drafting at 8, there is a possibility that none of those players will be available if we sit still - especially with pass rusher being a coveted position.

On the flip side, if the Falcons stay at 8 and all of the top pass rushers are off the board, the team may be in a position to trade back - especially if someone like Marcus Mariota is still available. But in order to trade, you have to have a partner - and the trade has to make sense to them and to you. With that said, we'll take a look at some potential trade partners in this draft to see if we may be in for some first round excitement in a few weeks.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3rd pick)

First, let's identify the obvious link with David Caldwell - the Jacksonville GM - being a former employee of the Falcons and having worked with Dimitroff closely. In fact, it was the Jaguars that Dimitroff tried to orchestrate a trade with last year before the team opted to stay put and draft their QB of the future.

The Jags have several needs, and while they could easily go for a pass rusher, they may decide that they need help at their interior OL first to protect their young QB. Drafting an interior OL isn't something teams typically do in the top 5, but it could be a more acceptable move at 8 - with someone like Brandon Scherff being a potential target.

A move like this would likely cost the Falcons at least their second round pick, so this one may be a bit too painful to pull off. But the connections are there, and TD isn't afraid to let go of picks for a player he wants.

Oakland Raiders (4th pick)

The Raiders primary need is not at pass rusher, though they could use some help with their interior DL. Most people believe the Raiders should be looking at a WR - with White and Cooper being the two most coveted receivers in this class. And while the Raiders could easily pick White or Cooper at 4, there's a good chance that either of those receivers would still be available at 8 - and be a little better value than taking a WR in the top-5.

From a compensation standpoint, a trade from 8 to 4 would still likely demand a 2nd rounder, but there may be more flexibility in this regard. The Falcons could look to trade future picks or a package of lower round picks to try and keep this year's 2nd. But nothing is guaranteed in this regard and Oakland is in a nice position, not needing to make any trades to get a player they want. This move does still allow the Falcons to jump ahead of the Redskins, Jets and Bears - all teams that could potentially be interested in a pass rusher.

Cleveland Browns (12th pick)

Obviously, this is a bit of a different scenario. If for some reason the teams in front of the Falcons take the top-4 pass rushers before we draft at 8, and Mariota is still on the board, I could see a trade-back like this happening. The Browns sound like they've lost all faith in Johnny Manziel, and they know full well that Josh McCown is a stop-gap solution. Mariota is a physically talented and far more mature option that they may find hard to pass up. However, with the Rams having dealt Sam Bradford to the Eagles, there's a strong chance they'll consider Mariota at 10 if he's there. The Browns may be motivated to jump in front of the Rams to snag the second best QB in this class. The Falcons would be wise to consider this move, especially if it nets some additional picks on day 2.

Something else to consider: the Browns have another pick in the first round, so giving up their second round pick won't be as painful, especially if they feel like they're getting their future starting QB with the move. If the Falcons do make a move like this, and Bud Dupree is still on the board at 12, that may be a far more palatable move than taking him at 8 - particularly if it nets the team another pick.

So what do you think of these potential partners? Are you weary of trading up or do you think the team needs to do so to nab a top pass rusher?