The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has some interesting input on the Thomas Dimitroff’s draft plans. Jeff Schultz reported that the team has removed running back/domestic abuser Joe Mixon entirely from their draft board, and now D. Orlando Ledbetter dropped this nugget about their first round plans.
Same here. They're will try to move up to get a pass rusher! https://t.co/B1NHYPVYfM— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) April 21, 2017
The Falcons are solid enough that they can do anything in this draft. They can trade up, trade down, stick at 31, or do something crazy like take another safety in the first round.
We were wondering about pass rusher, as the team had worked out or visited with a handful of players expected to be out of their reach. It sounds like the brain trust is at least considering an impact edge player to bookend Vic Beasley. The team is a bit short on draft picks, but may toss in some 2018 picks or maybe even a player.
I will admit both Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff were unusually giggly and coy when asked yesterday about trading up into the teens.
"Would you consider moving up in the draft?" *Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff giggle for at least 10 seconds*— SB51 is fake news (@FalcoholicMatt) April 20, 2017
After expected top picks Myles Garrett and Solomon Thomas, the top pass rushers look to be, in no particular order, Derek Barnett, Taco Charlton, Takkarist McKinley, Charles Harris, Jordan Willis, Tim Williams, Carl Lawson, Demarcus Walker, Derek Rivers, and J.J. Watt, Jr.
We know the Falcons had not scheduled a visit with Charlton as of last week, but they worked out or visited with Barnett, Harris, McKinley, Rivers, and Willis. Not every visit makes the news, and the team has previously met with players they drafted only at their pro days. The team would probably not have to trade up for Rivers, but may be looking for Barnett, Harris, or McKinley to drop into the late teens or early 20s before making a jump.