Report: Falcons also tried to trade up in first round with Seattle, possibly for another Texas star


An argument could be made that the Falcons didn’t have a clear vision for this offseason, which is how they ended up handing Kirk Cousins $180 million in free agency and taking a quarterback in the top 10. However, what cannot be argued is the Falcons had a plan on draft night.

Terry Fontenot was dead set on taking Michael Penix Jr, who they believe will be the franchise quarterback for the next decade whenever they decide to move on from Cousins. But a perfect draft night would have consisted of drafting Penix and then moving back into the first round for one of the top defenders.

Soon after the first round was completed, a report from Steve Wyche suggested the Falcons were attempting to trade back into the first round for UCLA defender Laiatu Latu. That was later confirmed when a released video of Joe Douglas showed the Jets GM discussing the Falcons desire to trade for the 10th overall pick.

New York was one of many teams the Falcons called, who were aggressively searching for a trade partner, but it wasn’t just for Latu. Per Brady Henderson of ESPN, Terry Fontenot also called the Seahawks about the 16th pick, which was one pick after Latu came off the board, but Seattle decided to take star defensive tackle out of Texas Byron Murphy II.

“While the Seahawks did not try to trade up with Atlanta to take quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8, they did field a later trade offer from the Falcons, who were looking to get back into the first round after taking Penix,” Henderson writes.

Murphy was a player linked to the Falcons prior to the draft, with some pundits believing he could have been the 8th overall pick. The Falcons went on to take a similar type of player in the second and fourth rounds, so it’s very possible they were interested in adding another Texas star to the roster after drafting Bijan Robinson 8th overall a year earlier.

It’s nice to see Fontenot attempting to be aggressive, but you have to wonder when the Falcons are going to land that star pass rusher they’ve been searching for. Fontenot has considered trades, free agents, and apparently multiple top draft prospects, but has struck out, leaving the Falcons leaning heavily on three rookies drafted on days 2 and 3 this upcoming season.

Photographer: Christopher Leduc/Icon Sportswire

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