We have reached the point in time where trade rumors involving Thomas Dimitroff and the Atlanta Falcons are part of the norm. A reputation has been constructed around the league as the Falcons are always viewed as a team strategizing to trade up in the NFL Draft, probably because they do it all the time.
A tweet today surfaced from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport that justifies that reputation and builds on rumors and reports we’ve already seen in recent days regarding a move up.
One team that appears poised to make some noise with a move up is the #Falcons. They have spent a lot of times evaluating and talking to players who figure to be gone by No. 16… and when other teams do their projections, they believe Atlanta will be on the move.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 15, 2020
Rumors have started to generate at a daily rate as we are roughly a week away from the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23rd. Which prospect could the Falcons be after, if this interest is legitimate?
Prospects such as Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, Clemson linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons, and South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw appear the most frequently when attempting to figure out the Falcons target, given their obviously talents and strong fits. The likes of Young and Simmons are the type of talents that can elevate a Falcons defense from day one, especially with both being elite defenders with few if any red flags. Young, however, is probably too costly.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler throws out another name we had considered more of a target at #16: Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson. His stock has been rumored to be on the rise, and certainly he’d be a good fit for Atlanta.
An ATL trade up for CB CJ Henderson is something to watch for... https://t.co/w8xZvQDMjB— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 15, 2020
In case you need a refresher on Dimitroff’s history in the draft, the Falcons were on the move to take wideout Julio Jones in 2011. They also moved up for defensive end Takk McKinley in 2017, Kaleb McGary in the last draft, and so on. Former Falcons such as Desmond Trufant and Sam Baker were also drafted as a result of a Falcons trade up.
It is worth noting that the Falcons have only six draft picks as of now. Trading up for any of the prospects above will come with a price, of course. With the Falcons having a number of needs, trading up may not be the best of ideas. Even adding one of the prospects above will elevate the defense but it will still be a defense that has a little depth issue.
As long as Dimitroff is in charge, however, the idea of the Falcons trading up the NFL Draft can never be dismissed.