The Falcons were widely rumored (and less widely reported) to be amenable to moving up in the first round to chase a player they liked. That player was widely expected to be a pass rusher, if a move was going to be made, and the range suggested was anywhere from all the way to the top ten or a couple of spots. I wasn’t a big fan of surrendering many resources, and suggested that a big move up wasn’t something I’d support.
The team wound up jumping up to #26 to snag Takkarist McKinley, a player the team clearly fell in love with due to his makeup, ability, and excellent dog naming skills. But would they have considered going higher if there had been a huge run on pass rushers?
In an interview with Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff confirmed that the option was on the table. He said the Falcons were willing to go as high as #18 to get one of the pass rushers they loved, if the circumstances had been dire. Fortunately for them, McKinley slid into the 20’s, Atlanta was able to make a pretty reasonable trade up, and they were able to recoup picks with a trade down later. It was, as Schein suggests, a nice draft.
Here’s the link out to the whole spot, which is worth listening to.