There were no less than 100 different tumors about what the Atlanta Falcons would do in the first round of the NFL draft, and about 99 of them included trading up for a big name defender. That, of course, did not happen.
The Falcons surprisingly stuck at 16 and selected AJ Terrell, one of a handful of corners believed to be in the second-tier of prospects behind Jeff Okudah and CJ Henderson.
So what happened? Per Ian Rapoport of NFL dot com, Thomas Dimitroff wanted to trade up.
#Falcons wanted to trade up for #Florida CB CJ Henderson. Why didn’t they?— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 24, 2020
— #Dolphins & #Chargers took QBs & wouldn't move.
— Not trading with #Panthers, same division.
— #AZCardinals wouldn’t move, wanted to take Simmons.
— ATL knew Jax was taking Henderson… and they did.
This is quite the detailed scenario from Rapoport. If the Falcons wanted Okudah, the trade up to three would have been almost certainly prohibitively expensive. Apparently, it was worth considering as early as spot 5, but those teams obviously did not want to risk ending up without a quarterback regardless of compensation.
Dimitroff’s only change was the Cardinals at 8, who could not turn down the shot at possibly the best non-Chase Young defender in the draft.
The Falcons, stuck at 16, went with AJ Terrell. Only one more corner was taken between 17 and 30. He looks like a good fit for Dan Quinn, but it is a bit concerning the Falcons appear a little desperate to give up additional draft picks for a different corner. For better or worse, Terrell and Henderson will be compared by Falcons fans for years.