With just one day remaining before the NFL Draft, it’s anybody’s best guess to what the Falcons are going to do. A lot of it likely depends on what happens in front of them, but GM Terry Fontenot isn’t counting out the Falcons having a say with how the top-five selections pan out. In an interview with the media yesterday, he said the Falcons are open to moving from pick #8 — both up and down the draft board.
#Falcons GM Terry Fontenot: “We’re open to trading up, we’re open to trading back… I think you can find impact players at any point.” pic.twitter.com/pjLPxRczPe
— Kelly Price (@thekellyprice) April 25, 2023
Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith never have and never will give away much information to the media. They are as tight to the vest as they come, which is how the best organizations operate.
With that being said, numerous NFL insiders have suggested the Falcons are attempting to move down the draft board, which makes a lot of sense. This is a weak draft, particularly in the first round. If one of the top quarterbacks falls to Atlanta, they could collect some more picks and move back to take a prospect they desire.
Most believe that player could be Bijan Robinson. The Falcons run the ball as much as anyone in the NFL, and they do so efficiently. Adding the star running back out of Texas would give Arthur Smith the bell-cow runner he desires in his offense. Robinson would have MVP potential in Atlanta; however, taking a running back in the top 10, especially when the Falcons already have a budding star in Tyler Allgeier, isn’t typically how organizations build perennial winners.
But perhaps it isn’t Robinson that piques the Falcons’ interest at all. Nolan Smith has been linked to the team, and there are a number of other prospects Atlanta could view just as highly later in the first round as they do with the 8th pick.
There’s also the possibility the rumor surrounding Atlanta’s desire to trade back in the draft is a smokescreen. I always find it odd when several NFL insiders all of a sudden report the same thing. The new regime doesn’t seem like one that would leak anything unless they wanted it to be leaked. Maybe they are high on a couple of players that could fall and want to make sure nobody behind them attempts to jump up the board.
The mind games organizations play before the draft are sometimes equally important to what they decide when they are on the clock, which is what makes Thursday the most unpredictable and exciting day of the NFL offseason.
Photo: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire
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