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Report: Falcons attempted to trade back into the bottom of the first round

Who was Atlanta after?

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Kansas State at Alabama Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons selected Bijan Robinson at pick No. 8, but it appears they would’ve liked to have made a second selection in the first round.

That report comes to us from Pro Football Talk, who writes that the Titans and Raiders were also trying to move back into the round in pursuit of unknown players. If Atlanta’s target did not go by the 31st pick—if it wasn’t, say, Georgie EDGE Nolan Smith—then they might be in pursuit of a trade early in the second round tonight.

Who were they after? We don’t have any concrete reports, though Charlie Campbell at Walter Football believes Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell was potentially a target before he somewhat surprisingly went to Detroit ta pick No. 18.

Other options toward the end of the first round could have included Alabama safety Brian Branch, cornerbacks Joey Porter Jr. and Cam Smith, guards Steve Avila and O’Cyrus Torrance, and I guess Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, all of whom are still available. There are plenty of good players left, but without knowing who the Falcons might have been targeting, we’ll just have to wait and see if they actually make a swap up from pick No. 44 in the second round to somewhere in the 30s. Will McFadden had a good list of the best available players earlier today.

Making a trade might be an option this year if the Falcons do love one of the players who are still available, given that that the team has talked about how difficult they expect it to be to make the final 53 man roster in 2023. Swapping a couple of later picks in the service of getting a 2023 difference maker would be more than defensible in light of that.

We’ll find out in several hours whether that’s on the table for Atlanta, but it adds a little more intrigue to an already interesting draft.