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Trading down may be the right move for the Atlanta Falcons


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Trading down may be the right move for the Atlanta Falcons

March 31, 10:23 AM · 1 comment

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Thomas Dimitroff/AP Photo, John Bazemore

While not drafting at the top this year, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is still poised to make a splash.

He's clearly made good on his promise to stay quiet in free agency and do his due diligence scouting players and build this franchise through the draft.

Depending on who you're talking to on any given day, you'll be told the Falcons need help at a specific (and different) position each time.

Defensive end? Defensive tackle? Linebacker? Cornerback? Safety?

It's doubtful even Dimitroff knows what he's going to do with the draft less than a month away. Every position could use an influx of talent, but just which ones are more critical than others remains to be seen.

Every position in question has a player on the roster that appears capable of starting.

Defensive end? Well there's Jamaal Anderson already starting and Chauncey Davis was re-signed.

Defensive tackle? Few players that have only played in nine games in their career have the buzz surrounding them that Trey Lewis has.

Linebacker? Veteran Mike Peterson was brought in to provide depth, leadership, and compete for a starting job on the outside. Reuniting him with head coach Mike Smith, his former defensive coordinator, will hopefully reignite his career. There's also Stephen Nicholas, a solid special teams player and an individual with the tools to be successful.

Cornerback? Second year cornerback Chevis Jackson is an exciting player and last year's middle-tier free agent signing Von Hutchins is returning from an injury and could win a starting job.

Safety? Erik Coleman is versatile enough to play free or strong safety and second year safety Thomas DeCoud could be a consideration for the other spot.

While Dimitroff hasn't publicly tipped his hand much, the website ProFootballWeekly.com in its weekly Whispers column cite sources close to the Falcons in a discussion on what the Falcons may be planning to do in the draft.

PFW states that Atlanta hopes one of the pass rushing linebackers (presumably a player like USC's Clay Matthews) falls to them in the first round. However, if that doesn't happen, Dimitroff, the sources say, "would feel very comfortable trading down from their current position with the 24th overall pick."

According to the column, the Falcons like Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas, who is coming for a visit in April, but don't believe he garners a first-round grade.

Picking near the end of the first round is a position with which Dimitroff's former employer, the New England Patriots, was very familiar. It wasn't uncommon for the team to trade out of their late first-round spot into the second round and acquire more picks, sometimes a first-round pick the following year.

Last year the Falcons' GM showed he's not afraid to pull the trigger on a draft-day deal, moving back into the first round to select left tackle Sam Baker.

If you anticipate a run on offensive tackles (a position that is very deep in this year's draft) in the area where the Falcons are picking, the opportunity to trade down will be there.

This year's draft is deep with talented players and moving down into the second round and being able to grab Delmas and perhaps a defensive tackle or a linebacker in the second round would make fiscal sense and possibly be another masterful move by Dimitroff.

PFW also mentions some interesting information regarding the cornerback situation with the Falcons.

Referencing the sources again, the article points out that the team will not use a high draft choice on a cornerback to fill the void of former starter Domonique Foxworth, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

Instead, there's expected to be a competition for the starter's role between Hutchins and Jackson. Brent Grimes, a starter at the beginning of the season, could be in the mix, but his lack of size will hurt his chances.

No matter how you look at it, the draft is quickly approaching.

Last year the franchise had a clear plan with which to approach the draft. The plan manifested itself into the process of the 2008 season. The two went hand-in-hand.

Dimitroff and Smith wrote the book on turning around a franchise.

Now they must start a new one about sustainability.

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I would love to trade out of the first to get another 2nd and 3rd
I'd love it if we could trade our first and fifth to get a second this year and a second in next year's awesome class.
I hope they trade out of the first and pick up a couple of extra picks, or even a 2010 first.

Looks like we have a winner !

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Trading down in the draft is always a possibility, but any deal requires a second interested party. It would require a senario similar to last year where there was a run on OT's & a team either has extra draft picks to be able to move up (Falcons) or willing to give up next years 1st rounder (Panthers). Apart from Offensive Tackle, Quarterback is probably the only other position teams are really willing to give up so much for one player.

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Trading down in the draft is always a possibility, but any deal requires a second interested party. It would require a senario similar to last year where there was a run on OT's & a team either has extra draft picks to be able to move up (Falcons) or willing to give up next years 1st rounder (Panthers). Apart from Offensive Tackle, Quarterback is probably the only other position teams are really willing to give up so much for one player.

I think we could trade our first to Oakland, since they will and probably do love Howard-Bey's 4.33 speed. At 24 he'll be there and you know they've got to have some interest knowing how Al Davis is. Perfect trade.

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1st round draft trade

2007

1, Carolina traded its first- (No. 14) and sixth-round picks to the New York Jets for the Jets' first- (No. 25), second- (No. 59) and sixth-round (No. 164) picks. New York selected Darrelle Revis, db, Pittsburgh and traded No. 191 to Green Bay. Carolina selected Jon Beason, lb, Miami; Ryan Kalil, c, Southern Cal and (No. 164).

2, Jacksonville traded its first-round (No. 17) pick to Denver for the Broncos' first- (No. 21), third- (No. 86) and sixth-round (No. 198) picks. Denver selected Jarvis Moss, de, Florida. Jacksonville selected Reggie Nelson, s, Florida; traded No. 86 to Baltimore and (No. 198).

3, Dallas traded its first-round (No. 22) pick to Cleveland for the Browns' second-round pick (No. 36) and 2008 first-round pick. Cleveland selected Brady Quinn, qb, Notre Dame. Dallas traded No. 36 to Philadelphia.

4, Philadelphia traded its first-round (No. 26) to Dallas for the Cowboys' second- (No. 36); third- (No. 87) and fifth-round (No. 159) picks. Dallas selected Anthony Spencer, lb, Purdue. Philadelphia selected Kevin Kolb, qb, Houston; Stewart Bradley, lb, Nebraska and (No. 159).

5, New England traded its first-round (No. 28) to San Francisco for the 49ers' fourth-round (No. 110) pick and 2008 first-round pick. San Francisco selected Joe Staley, ot, Central Michigan. New England selected (No. 110).

2008

1, New England traded its first- (No.7) and fifth-round (No. 164) picks to New Orleans for the Saints' first- (No. 10) and third-round (No. 78) picks. New Orleans selected Sedrick Ellis, dt, Southern California and (No. 164). New England selected Jerod Mayo, lb, Tennessee and (No. 78).

2, Baltimore traded its first-round (No. 8) pick to Jacksonville for the Jaguars' first- (No. 26); two third- (No. 71) and (No. 89) and fourth-round (No. 125) picks. Jacksonville selected Derrick Harvey, de, Florida. Baltimore traded No. 26 and No. 89 to Houston and selected (No. 71) and (No. 125).

3, Detroit traded its first- (No. 15) and third-round (No. 76) picks to Kansas City for the Chiefs' first- (No. 17), third- (No. 66) and fifth-round (No. 136) picks. Kansas City selected Branden Albert, g, Virginia and (No. 76). Detroit selected Gosder Cherilus, ot, Boston College; (No. 66) and (No. 136).

4, Houston traded its first-round (No. 18) pick to Baltimore for the Ravens' first- (No.26); third- (No. 89) and sixth-round (No. 173) picks. Baltimore selected Joe Flacco, qb, Delaware. Houston selected Duane Brown, ot, Virginia Tech; (No. 89) and (No. 173).

5, Philadelphia traded its first-round (No. 19) pick to Carolina for the Panthers' second-(No. 43); fourth- (No. 109) and 2009 first-round picks. Carolina selected Jeff Otah, ot, Pittsburgh. Philadelphia traded No. 43 to Minnesota and selected (No. 109).

6, Washington traded its first- (No. 21); third- (No. 84) and fifth-round (No. 154) picks to Atlanta for the Falcons' two second- (No. 34) and (No. 48) and fourth-round (No. 103) picks. Atlanta selected Sam Baker, ot, Southern California; (No. 84) and (No. 154). Washington selected Devin Thomas, wr, Michigan State; Fred Davis, te, Southern Cal and (No. 103).

7, Seattle traded its first-round (No. 25) pick to Dallas for the Cowboys' first- (No. 28); fifth- (No. 163) and seventh-round (No. 235) picks. Dallas selected Mike Jenkins, db, Florida. Seattle selected Lawrence Jackson, de, Southern Cal; (No. 163) and (No. 235).

8, Green Bay traded its first-round (No. 30) pick to the New York Jets for the Jets second- (No. 36) and fourth-round (No. 113) picks. New York selected Dustin Keller, te, Purdue. Green Bay selected Jordy Nelson, wr, Kansas State and (No. 113).

Our draft spot (24th pick) is a hot spot for trades on draft day

PS. I love the way Philly trade around and still get impact players with the lower picks and still get future 1st rounders.

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1st round draft trade

2007

2008

Our draft spot (24th pick) is a hot spot for trades on draft day

PS. I love the way Philly trade around and still get impact players with the lower picks and still get future 1st rounders.

I agree, it would be great to be able to trade out of the 1st like Philly or indeed New England have done. The difference is we have too many holes to fill in this years draft. If we were sitting at 24 without a real need at any one position & was prepared to take the best player avaliable then we would be in a great position to take advantage of another team's desperation to land a certain player.

However in all likelyhood, we need to find a starter in each of the first three rounds. TD has stated that although he's obviously open to moving down in the draft, if there is a player avaliable that he covets he will go ahead and draft that player.

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