The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft has passed us by, and it came and went without Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff expending any draft capital to move up in the draft.
But, as we all know, it’s never too late for TD to shimmy up the draft board!
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says the team is, indeed, making calls to move up the board in Round 2, set to begin here soon.
Some buzz on Round 2:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 24, 2020
— Among the players the #Bengals like at No. 33 are Ross Blocklock & Denzel Mims.
— #Colts (34) & #Dolphins (39) open to moving out.
— #Saints (CB? LB?), #Jets (CB?), #Jaguars (OT?), #Falcons among the teams who have made calls to move up.
So what player could be catching the GM’s eye, and where could he move to?
One glaring name that sticks out is Penn State edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos.
Gross-Matos is one of the draft’s great inspirational stories and a promising prospect who has made it to Round 2, but probably won’t be around for long.
ESPN’s Vaughn McClure mentioned earlier this month that the team had interest in the edge rusher when surveying possible first-round picks.
There was some early interest in Gross-Matos, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he remains on the Falcons’ radar. The Falcons haven’t exactly scored high marks in drafting pass-rushers in recent drafts, with 2015’s No. 8 overall pick Vic Beasley Jr. now gone and 2017’s No. 26 overall pick Takk McKinley nowhere near consistent. But maybe they’ll see the chance to develop Gross-Matos, who has been referred to as a Michael Strahan type.
Our Everett Glaze sees Gross-Matos as a developmental prospect who might be better against the run at this point.
Pass rushers like Boise St.’s Curtis Weaver, Michigan’s Josh Uche, Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara, Florida’s Jonathan Greenard (who the team spent a lot of time with) and Tennessee’s Darrell Taylor are also around if the team wants a true edge.
But that’s jut one position to consider. Linebacker could be a target if Wyoming’s Logan Wilson could go a lot earlier than we suspect or Wisconsin’s Zack Baun intrigues, same for Temple guard/center Matt Hennessy, who might be a target for the Carolina Panthers and Hennessy’s former coach, Matt Rhule.
McClure wonders if defensive tackle could be a target early, with guys like TCU’s Ross Blacklock, Auburn’s Marlon Davidson, Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore, Texas A&M’s Justin Madubuike and Missouri’s Jordan Elliott all possibilities.
Also, the team could, hypothetically, land another corner and pull a 2013 (Alabama’s Trevon Diggs and Utah’s Jaylon Johnson highlight the first-round talents available), or grab one of the draft’s best safeties (Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr., Alabama’s Xavier McKinney, LSU’s Grant Delpit and Southern Illinois’ Jeremy Chinn are all around). Maybe they want a running back, like Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, Oklahoma’s J.K. Dobbins or Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor.
This is the long way of saying we haven’t a clue, but that options abound. The cost would probably be the two fourth-round picks or perhaps a pick in the 2021 draft. This year’s third would feel too pricey.
We’ll see if they actually go through with it once the second round commences later today.