General Manager Thomas Dimitroff has never been one to be timid in the first round. After all, he pulled the trigger on a major move up to grab Julio Jones in 2011. He’s also made smaller moves to grab players like Desmond Trufant and Takk McKinley. If he sees a guy he wants, he generally will go after them.
So, with the Falcons clearly needing to infuse their defensive front with more talent, who might the Atlanta GM target if he does pull the trigger again? Here are some potential names.
Let’s just get this out of the way. It’s a pipe dream, for sure, but this is also the kind of player you might be willing to break the bank for. Just like the 2011 Julio trade netted a future hall of famer, the expectation here would be that Young would be THE guy to bolster the pass rush for Atlanta for the next decade.
The team would likely have to target the Washington Redskins at #2 to have a chance of landing him. The move from 16 to 2, well, that could get expensive. Very expensive. At minimum, you will probably be packaging your 2020 first with one (or both) of your 2nd round picks. Then, you’re likely going to have to toss in your 2021 first rounder as well. You might round out the trade with a few day 3 picks, but the cost here is pretty obvious.
While you may be saying to yourself that this move isn’t likely, don’t completely rule it out. With 2020 being a make-or-break year for both Quinn and Dimitroff, a massive move like this isn’t as unthinkable if you think your future is bleak. That said, the move would be incredibly expensive and Washington has to agree to it as well. The likelihood is very small, but not completely zilch.
The LSU pass rusher has the kind of athleticism that Quinn and Dimitroff covet and a good combine could push him into the top-10 or thereabouts. In this scenario, Young is clearly off the board and a team like the Jets at 11 may be thinking about grabbing a player like Chaisson. We all know Dimitroff doesn’t like to wait, so a trade up to 10 (with the Browns) could put them in an ideal position to grab the guy they want without giving up way too much in the process. Atlanta could probably package their first with the 2nd rounder they got from the Patriots to make this move. Thanks Mohamed Sanu!
So far, we’ve focused on the guys on the Edge, but Atlanta could surprise us by going after Kinlaw. He had a dominant week at the Senior Bowl and the idea of pairing him up with Grady Jarrett could be very enticing. Imagine two freakish interior pass rushers destroying the middle of the pocket down after down. While the Falcons clearly have a big need on the edge, there’s something to be said for making the interior of your DLine overwhelming. If Kinlaw has a strong combine, his stock may put him in top-15 or even top-10 talk. If that happens, the Falcons may need to jump ahead of a team like Tampa Bay to secure him.
At this point, everyone is expecting the Falcons to grab a pass rusher, whether on the edge or on the interior. Yet, they’re about to go into 2020 with just two guys at linebacker (Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun) if you assume that De’Vondre Campbell will be allowed to walk. Simmons could be a surprise pick for the team, but he fits the Quinn/TD profile across the board. He’s athletic, talented and has the natural instincts to excel in the league. He’s so flexible, you could put him back there at safety or in the box. He’s the kind of player you can use all over the defense. If the front office isn’t as big on guys like Chaisson or Kinlaw, this pick would not surprise me in the least. Expect the team to have to jump over a team like the Raiders at 12 in order to snag him.
What do you think of these players? Are any of them worthy of forfeiting some picks in this draft class?