After exciting everyone with some potential moves up the draft board, trading down still feels like the much wiser decision. Atlanta could leverage some extra draft capital to better address the multiple deficiencies on their roster. Unlike the last article where I mentioned specific players to move up for, this will be aimed at position groups or a couple of guys who could be in play.
TRADE 1: Falcons trade Pick 16 (R1) to Indianapolis in exchange for Pick 34 (R2, from Washington), Pick 44 (R2), Pick 75 (R3) and a 2021 2nd Round Pick
This move isn’t sexy, but it’s practical. The Colts don’t have a first-round selection and are relying on a suspect 38-year-old QB. Not only do the Falcons stock up, but they also prevent the Saints from taking Jordan Love — who has garnered interest from New Orleans and Indianapolis. Indy would also jump the Patriots and Green Bay in the process. This trade gives Atlanta three 2nd round picks, two 3rd round picks, and two 4th round picks. At 16, if Kinlaw and Henderson are gone, I’m out. With a treasure trove of mid-round picks, Atlanta can afford to gamble on guys like Tyler Biadasz and Terrell Lewis, who have injury concerns but are immensely talented. Seven picks on Day 2 allows for the Falcons to plug holes across both lines, in the linebacking corps and the secondary.
TRADE 2: Falcons trade Pick 16 (R1) to Miami in exchange for Pick 26 (R1, from Houston), Pick 70 (R3), and Pick 141 (R4)
I mentioned this in my last mock draft, with the Falcons ultimately selecting Kristian Fulton. Miami moves up to stop Jerry Jeudy’s draft-day slide and sends three of their 14 picks to Atlanta in the process. Jumping Philly, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, and Minnesota before a run begins on WRs is crucial. Miami doesn’t need 14 rookies; they have the luxury of a trade like this to navigate the draft board as they see fit.
Potential Candidates at 26: LB Zack Baun, G Cesar Ruiz, S Xavier McKinney, CB Kristian Fulton, CB Jeff Gladney
TRADE 3: Falcons trade Pick 16 (R1), Pick 78 (R3), Pick 228 (R7) to the Vikings in exchange for Pick 22 (R1, From Buffalo) & Pick 25 (R1). Falcons then trade Pick 22 to Indianapolis for Pick 34 (R2, from Washington), Pick 44 (R2), and Pick 122 (R4)
This trade is the move — the deal to end all deals. You can list about 4-5 teams doing what I have Miami doing above to snag a wide receiver. Normally, I’d stay put and take two guys in the 1st. But with the prospects available late in the first round not being what the Falcons are looking for, I’d be willing to move one of those picks for even more selections. Minnesota might not be as starving for WR help as a team like Philly or Jacksonville, but they do hold two first-round picks. The Vikings receive a little kickback and a shot at pairing Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, or CeeDee Lamb with Adam Thielen. None of those guys will be available at 22, barring a Laremy Tunsil-Esque incident.
Onto the Colts — we already discussed them in-depth. Love’s first real shot to be picked without someone trading up is 22 — in my opinion. The chef’s kiss on this move? New England picks at 23, and New Orleans selects at 24. This pick provides the maximum amount of value for the Falcons. This is the new draft board holding the selections they have acquired:
Pick 25 (R1, from Minnesota)
Pick 34 (R2, from Indianapolis via Washington)
Pick 44 (R2, from Indianapolis)
Pick 47 (R2)
Pick 119 (R4)
Pick 122 (R4, from Indianapolis)
Pick 134 (R4, from Baltimore)
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