NFL insider says Falcons have explored trading down in the draft

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The NFL Draft is set to begin on Thursday, and there will be no shortage of rumors regarding every team in the league. The difficult part is deciphering what is just a smokescreen and where there is actually fire. One name that is beginning to be linked with the Falcons by several NFL insiders in Bijan Robinson.

In his most recent piece for Sports Illustrated, Albert Breer is the latest to acknowledge the Robinson to Atlanta connection, but suggests the Falcons could be looking to trade down in the first round, allowing them to still target Robinson while also getting some more picks in the process.

Robinson’s name has come up pretty consistently in connection to the Falcons, and it makes some sense, in how Arthur Smith built an imposing, dominant offense in Tennessee around a bell cow back, which allowed him to manage the quarterback spot a little differently. Trading for Jeff Okudah lessens the team’s need at corner a little, though Gonzalez could entice GM Terry Fontenot. And if you want a wild card, I’ve heard new Falcons DC Ryan Neilsen loves Wilson, seeing a little Cameron Jordan in his game (and the Saints system does favor bigger edge players). Along those lines, Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness is another I’ve heard would fit that mold for Atlanta. But … back on Robinson … is it possible he’d be the target after a trade down? Could be, since I’m told Fontenot has explored the idea of falling back a few slots. A team looking for, say, a tackle could conceivably come up.

We recently discussed draft day dream scenarios on our YouTube channel, and this was one of mine.

Robinson would be a menace in Arthur Smith’s run-heavy offense, possessing MVP potential. I wouldn’t mind if the Falcons took him at #8 and called it a day. However, if they were able to trade back 5-10 spots, pick up a couple of more picks in the process, and still get their guy… it would be a home run.

The Falcons have shown us over the last two drafts that they aren’t afraid to be different. They made Kyle Pitts the highest drafted tight end ever, and then followed it up by spending another top 10 selection on a skill position. Could they make it three years in a row with Bijan Robinson? That’s not typically how sustainable winners are built in the NFL, but if the focus is on getting the best players in the building, I’m not sure there will be a better one available than Robinson when the Falcons are on the clock.

Photo: Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire

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