We are trying to piece together Atlanta’s draft plans through visits, rumors, private workouts, and needs. The team has met with or worked out potential first-round players like pass rushers Derek Rivers and Tanoh Kpassagnon, guard Forrest Lamp, safety Obi Melifonwu, and a few other OL, DL, and safety prospects.
That list is surprisingly short, and is missing Michigan pass rusher Taco Charlton. He has been a popular selection for the Falcons, and recently told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure he would love to play in Atlanta. But do the Falcons share that interest?
"I would be happy to go in the first round. Atlanta went to the Super Bowl. I see a lot of good things. They had Dwight Freeney there, but he's gone now, so there's another edge spot opposite Vic Beasley. It would be nice to go there to be opposite of such a great rusher like that. Leading the league in sacks is a hard thing to do. Obviously being able to come in and help a team out that has Super Bowl potential … I mean, they're already a great team."
Charlton has met with Tampa, Dallas, Miami, Detroit, and Washington, suggesting his draft slot could vary a lot. Vaughn reports that Charlton spoke with Dan Quinn at the combine, but that sounds like the extent of the team’s interest.
Based strictly on the meetings and workouts, which is almost always an incomplete picture, the team may have zeroed in on their target... or plans to trade down. The 31st pick is very valuable with teams hoping trading back into the 1st round for a quarterback but want a fifth-year option. Even dropping down five or so spots could net the team with an additional 3rd or 4th round pick, similar to when Atlanta traded up for Desmond Trufant.
We may see them “reach” for a player, and they have been very interested in guys like Rivers, who we profiled here. The only thing we know is they haven’t shown a lot of interest in Charlton.