Falcons Look To Climb Up Draft Board
The Atlanta Falcons are looking to make a huge splash during the first day of the 2013 NFL Draft. According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, the organization is attempting to trade up in Thursday's first round.
Finding a team willing to swap picks, and moving up in the draft, would give Atlanta a better chance to find the best defensive talent available on the board. The Falcons defense recorded 29 sacks last year and ranked 29th in the league in that catergory. They ranked among the league's worst defenses in yards allowed, surrendering 365.6 yards per game.
Atlanta could use its first pick on a defensive lineman. The signing of former Giants DE Osi Umenyiora may have upgraded the defensive line but they still need more pass rushers that can help take pressure off the rest of the pass defense. Depending on which pick they'll end up with, the Falcons can look at drafting either Bjoern Werner, Ezekiel Ansah, Sylvester Williams, or Sheldon Richardson. Any of the four prospects can be a good fit for a Falcons defense that wants to pressure quarterbacks.
Another option is adding talent to a depleted defensive secondary, especially after the Falcons cut Dunta Robinson and let Brent Grimes test the free agent market. They need quality corners to keep up with high-flying reicevers in the pass-happy NFC South. According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Falcons may look into drafting Desmond Trufant or Xavier Rhodes once they move up the draft board.
If the Falcons are loooking for a tight end to eventually replace Tony Gonzalez, then they don't need to trade up. The first round will showcase linemen and secondary talent, with a few linebackers expected to be in the mix. The Falcons can afford to wait until Day Two to start looking for tight ends since most are projected to still be on the board later in the draft. They can even take a chance and hope that Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert is still there at pick No. 60. Atlanta could possibly trade up in the second round to increase its chances of getting Eifert. Otherwise, the Falcons have plenty more tight ends to consider, such as All-American TE Zach Ertz of Stanford and Travis Kelce from Cincinnati (CBSSports.com compares him to Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew). There's also a possiblity of them waiting until Day Three to select a tight end and focus more on getting a top-tier cornerback on Day Two.
The Falcons are hoping to make major upgrades at defenisve line and cornerback while looking for the next explosive tight end during the first two days of the draft. Trading up in the first round can help them find the best players available on the board. Pulling off a trade could lead to the Falcons adding more weapons on offense or finding more help for an inexperienced defensive unit.