The Atlanta Falcons have been a popular pick for a draft night trade for a little while now, with everyone from ESPN’s Vaughn McClure to the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter at least entertaining the notion that they might move up for a desired target. Now the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is getting in on the action, as well.
Please note that I don’t think Rapoport is suggesting the Falcons will move up to #10 with the Bills, because I know I read it that way at first.
One team plotting a potential move up: The #Falcons, who pick No. 31. One team plotting a potential move down: The #Bills, who pick No. 10.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2017
Every year, the Falcons talk a good game about being willing to trade up, and it never happens. This is easily the most smoke we’ve seen around the possibility in a few years, however, and I don’t think that’s an accident. By indicating a willingness to move, the Falcons may find some receptive suitors, create some uncertainty about their plans, and potentially set themselves up to jump several spots if the player they covet is there. If they do move up, I’d still anticipate it would be chasing a pass rusher like Haason Reddick, Charles Harris, or Derek Barnett.
Ultimately, as I’ve said repeatedly throughout this process, I don’t expect the Falcons to make a big jump up, and I think it’s more likely than not that they’ll actually stay put at #31. That may be wishful thinking on my part—I don’t want them surrendering additional draft picks—but we’re only a few hours away from finding out for sure.