Earlier we warned you that almost everything you will hear before the draft is a lie. It’s the time of smoke screens, manipulation, and an occasional truth sneaks out. Even top analysts get bad info from their regularly accurate sources. This list will create a great record of who got it right and who got it wrong in later years.
Instead of ignoring everything, we are going to cover each rumor right here from anyone with even a shadow of credibility. That’s right, Jason La Canfora just made that cut. Let’s start with what he’s hearing.
Keep hearing a ton about the Lions and Jets being motivated sellers to move down. I could see Atlanta jumping to the Lions pick at 8 with a target on Wilkins.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 24, 2019
I can’t think of a reporter with a worse track record than Jason La Canfora. He’d be more accurate if he just flipped a coin. With that being said, here’s some nonsense because he is very, very, very occasionally correct. This typically happens only when all the planets of the solar system line up just perfectly and the power of the entire universe gives La Canfora a correct rumor.
Other hot rumors:— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 24, 2019
Privately a lot of teams expect either Atlanta (if Oliver is there) or Washington to be the 1st team to trade up tonight.
Other than getting the date wrong in this tweet (the draft is still tomorrow), this radio guy was famously discredited for a report per “multiple resources” by the player himself. I miss Evan Mathis so much. I would not put too much stock in this analyst, but it is interesting to note it matches Tony Pauline’s suggestion that the Falcons are still considering a trade up for Oliver. Pauline suggested Oliver needs to drop and the Falcons need to get a reasonable deal, which is a pretty reasonable thought.
However, it remains unlikely Oliver drops far enough to become cost-effective.
Daniel Jeremiah just said he hears the Falcons really like Clemson DT Christian Wilkins.— Cory Woodroof (@CoryWoodroof47) April 24, 2019
Daniel Jeremiah is a highly respected and long-time pro scout so this almost certainly has legs. He told 92.9 just yesterday he was 85 percent confident the Falcons would draft Wilkins. Jeff Schultz of The Athletic felt that report sounded familiar.
14 still feels a little high for Christian Wilkins but at least it isn’t a trade up for him. Wilkins has been the popular pick for the Falcons for months, guaranteeing it won’t happen. For what it’s worth, we have been told that Jeremiah will not mock Wilkins to the Falcons in his final mock draft, out tonight.
Per Falcoholic writer Cory Woodroof, currently at the NFL draft and meeting with prospects, corner Greedy Williams “just might be” the pick. Woodroof also dislikes the 1991 classic Hook starring Robin Williams so his opinion must be taken with a giant grain of salt.
I really think Greedy Williams might just be a Falcons draft pick Thursday night. I think they could try to hop up from the second round and grab him toward the latter portion of the first round, but I could see him at 14, too. https://t.co/ny8yczuCNn— Cory Woodroof (@CoryWoodroof47) April 24, 2019
The Falcons have been linked to Christian Wilkins pretty consistently throughout the pre-draft process, though never as strongly as they have been the last handful of days. Tony Pauline passes along that he doesn’t expect Wilkins to make it by Atlanta at #14 if it comes to that, and there may be teams trying to bait the Falcons into moving up.
Wilkins is going to be an excellent player in the NFL, but his ceiling isn’t quite as high as Quinnen Williams or Ed Oliver, and thus it’s a bit less exciting to contemplate him joining Atlanta. I think most would still welcome him with open arms, if it comes to it, but the Falcons will have some sorting to do at the DT position this summer.
Word from league insiders is Christian Wilkins is getting hot and could move into the top ten. Right now I'm hearing the latest he goes is 14 to Atlanta. Scouting Report-> https://t.co/vUEaouPr7c— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) April 24, 2019
If Wilkins is the team’s top option if they stay put—and for the record, we’re not ruling out a tackle—then it’s noteworthy that the team still is being linked to moves up. We have no real idea who they’d be after outside of Oliver, but those rumors are everywhere.
Rich Eisen’s NFL source is adding more fuel to the fire that the Falcons will indeed trade up for a defensive tackle, but not Ed Oliver.
A well-respected NFL individual in the know just gave me this Top 10 night-before best guess:— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) April 25, 2019
Quinnen Williams, AZ
Kyler Murray, OAK
Devin White, TB
Josh Allen, DET
Christian Wilkins, ATL
Devin Bush, DEN
See you in the mentions.
Big news combo from NFL reporters Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. Both confirming that the Falcons are looking at trading up, and both agreeing they aren’t looking at any one player. While the guesses have been Wilkins, and we assume Ed Oliver is in the top target if he drops, Pelissero mentions speedy linebacker Devin Bush.
Clemson DT Christian Wilkins is one logical #Falcons target, but I’ve spoken to NFL people who are convinced it’s for Michigan LB Devin Bush. They’d likely have to get past #Broncos at 10. https://t.co/GY4YTh0rS2— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 25, 2019
This should not be terribly surprising. Peter King reported last year that Rashaan Evans was at the top of Atlanta’s wish list but he was selected before they got on the board. With only the addition of Foyesade Oluokun since then, Dan Quinn obviously still sees a need.
Tony Pauline, the first analyst linking the Falcons to Keanu Neal and also the first to report the team was working on a trade up in 2017, is still reporting the Falcons are considering trading up for Ed Oliver. (He’s done so twice on his podcast before but had more information on a podcast recorded draft morning). Only the Falcons have to go up pretty far to definitely secure Oliver.
Pauline: ATL considering move for Ed Oliver https://t.co/XnGQbTjOTi— Rotoworld NFL Draft (@Rotoworld_Draft) April 25, 2019
Pauline suggests the Falcons may need to go up to 3 or 4 and it did not sound like they are actively negotiating with either the Jets or Raiders. The Jets obviously make the most sense as that team has consistently been rumored to want to trade down. Per Pauline, the Falcons want Oliver “badly.” Based on the audio it isn’t clear Atlanta is willing to trade up that far but the braintrust appears to be considering their options.
D. Orlando Ledbetter calls the Devin Bush rumor a LIE!
It did feel like the Falcons were at least a little wishy washy on who they were taking but were just happy to trade up. It was also notable that The Falcoholic had never written a single Devin Bush article throughout the entire season. No one had connected the Falcons to Bush.
No super fast linebackers. Hopefully the Falcons plan to stick with addressing the trenches between smokescreens.
Stay tuned for more rumors.