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NFL Draft 2017: ESPN floats the possibility of the Falcons trading up for Haason Reddick

The explosive Temple pass rusher is a nice fit in Atlanta, but he might be a costly one.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

You think you’re jaded. You think you’ve seen every possible draft scenario with the NFL Draft just two days away. Then, somehow, someone throws you a curveball.

Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst and McClure were, as far as I can recall, the two reporters who were on Keanu Neal to the Falcons the earliest a year ago, so this is not a report I would dismiss lightly. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC has been beating the trading up for a pass rusher drum and McClure’s reporting is top notch, so either there’s an awful lot of smoke seeping out of Flowery Branch or this is something the team is actively pursuing. Either way, it’s injecting some liveliness into the pre-draft wait, which is worth something.

It’s not difficult to see why they love Reddick. He ran a blazing 4.52 second 40 yard dash and was a top performer in other key drills like the broad jump, just put together an impressive 2016 season, and has the speed, athleticism and toolkit to be a special pass rusher at the NFL level. He’d need to bulk up if he’s going to play defensive end in Atlanta and just needs more power and effective hand usage in his game, but those are not fatal issues. If the Falcons think Reddick’s ability and production is going to translate to the big leagues, it’s not difficult to understand why they might covet him.

The question is how high they’ll have to go. As McClure addresses in his piece, if Reddick is a top ten pick the Falcons are probably going to have to surrender too many assets to get him. If he’s still there in the early 20s, on the other hand, I have to imagine the team’s interest will be piqued. There’s so many unknowns right now that it’s not worth taking a ton of time to speculate about prices.

I’ll reiterate that I’m hoping the Atlanta Falcons will elect to stay put at #31 rather than sacrificing multiple draft picks to jump up, but if they’re in love with Reddick and aren’t overly worried about losing the depth they could pick up with those additional choices, I don’t doubt they’ll pull the trigger. We’re edging closer to finding out exactly what they intend to do.