Hoping to land the best defensive player in the draft, the Atlanta Falcons tried to pull off a Julio Jones-style trade to get to No. 2 to take Chase Young.
No team loves trading up to draft non-quarterbacks than the Atlanta Falcons.
Since general manager Thomas Dimitroff arrived in Flowery Branch in 2008, he has built a reputation for his willingness to move up in the first round to get his guy. Dimitroff has either moved Atlanta’s first-round pick up a handful of spots or has traded back into the first round on several occasions. Atlanta is largely expected to move up from No. 16 on Thursday night.
FOX’s Jay Glazer reports the “Falcons been aggressive this week in calling teams high up, including trying to get all the way to No. 2 for Chase Young. Washington hasn’t seemed to entertain offers to get out.”
Though the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday afternoon Atlanta might trade up into the top 10 to draft an offensive tackle prospect, this seems incredibly unlikely because left tackle Jake Matthews is one of the better left tackles in football and Atlanta moved back into the first round last year in a deal with the Los Angeles Rams to draft Kaleb McGary at No. 31 overall.
But outside of moving up from No. 16 to take an offensive tackle, doing so to get a defensive player who can make an immediate impact makes a ton of sense for the Falcons. If Atlanta stays at No. 16, they would have to hope someone like Florida Gators cornerback C.J. Henderson or South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Javon Kinlaw falls to them.
However, should Dimitroff put together the right trade offer, they could move up as high as No. 2 to get a defensive star, though getting the second overall pick seems unlikely. Then again, Dimtroff’s most famous trade saw his team move up an unprecedented 21 spots up the first-round draft board. Of course, we’re talking about the move up to take Julio Jones back in 2011.
Atlanta famously gave up five picks to move up from No. 27 to No. 6 to select the wide receiver out of Alabama. None of the five picks the Cleveland Browns selected from the Falcons trade ever really amounted to anything. Jones became a All-Decade player for the Falcons, will be a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer and might be the greatest player in franchise history already.
So yeah, it was 100 percent worth it for the Falcons to trade up for Jones back in 2011.
Would trading up from No. 16 to No. 2 be worth it? Without question. Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young will not bust in the NFL, as he’s drawn NFL pro comparisons to Lawrence Taylor. Young is the best player in this draft, and that’s why it would take a Godfather offer for any team to get the Washington Redskins to move off this precious No. 2 overall pick.
However, Atlanta will move up from No. 16 anyway. It’s in their blood and this is what the Falcons front office does. Should Atlanta get into the top 10, the Falcons could realistically end up with defensive stalwarts such as Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, Clemson Tigers linebacker Isaiah Simmons or Auburn Tigers defensive tackle Derrick Brown. All three would be worth it.
If Atlanta can get into the top-12 range, the Dirty Birds should have no issue taking Henderson out of Florida or Kinlaw out of South Carolina. Simply put, Atlanta needs to draft the best defensive player it possibly can in 2020. The Falcons play in the same NFC South with explosive offenses in Charlotte, New Orleans and Tampa. They need an immediate impact defensive player.
So while fielding an offer to move up 14 spots from No. 16 to No. 2 to draft Young seems a tad ludicrous, it has been established how important it is for the Falcons to get a superstar on defense right away. Henderson or Kinlaw feel likely. Brown, Okudah and Simmons are within reach. Young is a pipe dream, but you have to respect Dimitroff and the Falcons’ brass for tying to land him.