The Falcons did not move up into the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft last night, and it wasn’t clear in the moment whether that was due to a lack of effort or a lack of luck in negotiations. This morning, we have at least one report that indicates Atlanta tried to be more active than suspected.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport writes that the Falcons tried to move into the third round in pursuit of Murray State LB Quincy Williams, the brother of #3 overall pick DT Quinnen Williams.
The language here doesn’t indicate how hard the Falcons pursued, with which teams, and so forth, so it’s hard to know what the pursuit entailed. But the level of interest makes some sense because Williams is a plus-plus athlete at linebacker and could have been a potential starter alongside Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell, which isn’t necessarily the team’s most major positional need but is something the Falcons have clearly been considering with rumors linking them to early round linebackers last year, too. Alas, Williams is a Jaguar, and the Falcons ultimately surprised us by not moving up.
This is a further reminder that it’s difficult to throw around the word reach without knowing how teams truly value a player and where they’ll take them. Quincy Williams was widely expected, even by Williams himself, to be a late round selection or undrafted free agent coming in, and yet he went into the third round. The Falcons’ selection of Chris Lindstrom at #14 remains a huge surprise, but reports have ranged from him getting scooped up by the Vikings, Titans, or Eagles in the next few picks after that, or going as late as #31, per D. Orlando Ledbetter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. We simply don’t know, and it’ll be little more than a footnote for both players if they do well.
Anyways, maybe move linebacker up your draft needs board, eh?