The Falcons, as we’ve said many times here in recent years, have not done a stellar job of landing pass rushers in the draft. After landing Patrick Kerney back in 1999 and watching him put up 58 sacks in a Falcons uniform (the 3rd-highest total in franchise history), their most successful picks on a pure production level since have been Vic Beasley (37.5), Jonathan Babineaux (27), and Kroy Biermann (23.5). They haven’t come close to landing a truly elite edge rusher in over 20 years, and the pass rush has largely been mediocre over that span, especially after Kerney and John Abraham left.
That lack of production has been a sore spot for the team and for fans, who have been angling for that elite talent for many years. If FOX Sports reporter/lifter Jay Glazer is to be believed, Atlanta tried to fix that this year...and fell short.
Falcons been aggressive this week in calling teams high up, including trying to get all the way to #2 for Chase Young. WASH hasn’t seemed to entertain offers to get out @NFLonFOX— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 23, 2020
Falcons have history, moved all the way up for Julio Jones his year. They tried again. Chase Young too highly regarded for WAS to trade away pick— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 23, 2020
I would caution against considering this matter well and truly settled, because anything can happen in the next 23-plus hours. If this is truly legitimate, it means the Falcons likely couldn’t blow away Washington enough with an offer to make them pass up on this year’s best pass rushing prospect, which is sensible when you consider just how high Young’s ceiling really is. If the Falcons can rummage through the couch cushions and come up with another pick or two, perhaps that changes, but Washington is smart not to budget for anything less than a blockbuster deal.
Obviously, Atlanta would have to surrender a huge amount of draft capital to get Young, which could have both short and long term impacts on their ability to stock the team with talent. You’d expect them to have to surrender their 2nd this year, their 1st next year, and more to make that kind of leap, and given the caliber of players expected to be available in the 2nd round, that might hurt. If Young is as good as advertised, however, this team might finally have the kind of pass rush that makes a great defense possible, and that has to be sorely tempting for them. By the sounds of it, they’re looking to move up for someone at all costs, and I’d much prefer they went way up for a potentially elite talent like Young than up several spots for, say, C.J. Henderson.
This promises to be a wild draft after all the rumors, assuming the Falcons can get a deal done. Buckle up, but it’s probably smart not to get too excited about the possibility of landing Young.