If you’ve read any of my draft stuff, I’m a big fan of trading down. In my last first-round NFL mock draft, I have Atlanta trading down for Rashawn Slater – one of the best players in the entire draft to me. However, the Falcons franchise is typically more aggressive with a history of trading up instead of down.
The front office that earned that reputation is largely gone now, and Atlanta has no need to trade up in the 2021 NFL Draft. So, how much has Atlanta moved around the board in the past 20 years?
Falcons Trade History in Draft
2002 — TJ Duckett
Atlanta moved down a whopping one spot from 17 to 18 with Oakland, and picked up a fifth round pick in the process
2006 — N/A
Atlanta traded back with Denver for future picks, then flipped the first round pick for John Abraham.
Guess what… that’s it. As far as the first round goes. However, they do have some movement on day two.
2012 — Lamar Holmes
Atlanta moved back and acquired a fifth round pick from Baltimore, and they used that pick on Jonathan Massoquoi.
2016 — Deion Jones
Probably the biggest payoff on this list, Atlanta moved back two spots and snagged a franchise player. The extra fifth-round pick came from Houston. Atlanta picked Wes Schweitzer.
2017 — Duke Riley
As you can see, Falcons history has not seen them be a club that often moves down. Hopefully with so many quarterback needy teams in a deep draft, Atlanta can parlay the fourth pick into a kings ransom of future and present draft picks. As far as moving up in the first round goes, Atlanta has been far more active:
2001 — Michael Vick
2004 — Michael Jenkins
2007 — Jamaal Anderson
2008 — Sam Baker
2011 — Julio Jones
2013 — Desmond Trufant
2017 — Takk McKinley
2019 — Kaleb McGary
As you can see, some of these picks were hits — others were misses. Regardless, the former regime loved to trade on draft night, and hopefully they buck the trend and move back in April