Atlanta watched some of the better pass rushers in this draft class go before their selection in the first round. That led them to ask themselves whether they could live with whoever was available at #31, or if they needed to make a move up to ensure they got a player they loved.
We know the answer to that question, because Atlanta surrendered a couple of draft choices (and obviously the #31 pick) to land Takkarist McKinley.
Atlanta just traded pick 31 and 2017 third and seventh round picks to Seattle for pick 26.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 28, 2017
The loss of a seventh rounder stings a little but is far from fatal, especially for a deep, talented team like the Falcons. The loss of the third rounder hurts quite a bit more, given that Atlanta has unearthed some fine players in that round in recent years, and now they only have three selections left in the rest of this class.
The upshot here is that Atlanta saw a chance to get a player who fit their scheme and their athletic profile very well, and were willing to sacrifice selections to move up and get him. They’re banking on their roster being great in 2017 and 2018, at least, and that McKinley will be an impact player sooner than later. I have faith they’re right about both, but let’s see.