Just a short time ago, our own Adnan Ikic wrote that the Falcons had improbably become the the third-most likely team to draft Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah. That’s improbable because the Falcons currently pick at #16, and Okudah is expected to be gone in the first 3-7 picks.
The draft trade rumors have reached a fever pitch in the last couple of weeks for Atlanta, and it’s hard not to think that there’s fire behind that smoke. At this point, enough insiders have checked in to make it clear they’re hearing from other teams presumably contacted by the Falcons, not our notoriously quiet front office. That doesn’t guarantee a deal at all—it takes two to tango and the Falcons aren’t exactly loaded to bear with draft capital—but it does increase the chances of one.
Ian Rapoport is the latest to check in, and that weirdness about moving up for a quarterback last weekend aside, he’s generally got his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in NFL front offices. This latest quick report is light on specifics but is another indicator that Atlanta’s having real conversations about moving up, with cornerback still the likeliest target.
The #Falcons continue to be the team to watch when it comes to moving up in the NFL Draft. They have talked to teams well into the Top 10 and appear ready to make a huge leap from No. 16 via trade. CB remains a position of need: #OSU’s Jeff Okudah and #Florida’s CJ Henderson.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 21, 2020
We’re passing all these along we get them to ensure you know what’s being said out there, but I’ll sound my customary note of caution here. The Falcons supposedly were talking trade up last year but didn’t get there, and that certainly could happen again in 2020. Atlanta’s not blind to the fact that they have needs outside of just cornerback and know they’ll have to surrender a lot of draft capital to get this done, so I’d expect them to still be willing to walk away if the terms are prohibitive or their top targets go earlier than expected. A trade up at that point a couple of spots to get someone they really want could still be in the offing, but I don’t think even this much smoke means they’re locked into a move.
On the other hand, there will be teams looking to pick up more draft capital this year and increase their chances of hitting, given that so much of the offseason has been a virtual exercise and teams are unused to that massive change. If that’s the case in the top few picks and the Falcons smell a chance to get someone like Okudah (a potential top-tier corner) or Isaiah Simmons (a chess piece who could help out on all three levels of the defense), Trade Thomas will probably ride again.