Let's Make A Deal
For the Atlanta Falcons 2013 NFL Draft, the first round will present a couple of intriguing options.
Trading up: The Falcons will have options to trade up in the 2013 NFL Draft. With a need at defensive end and cornerback, the Falcons must draft a player with their first pick that is capable of being an immediate starter. With the 30th pick in the first round, the team has had a history of moving up to select a targeted player.
While many recall the Julio Jones trade of 2011, the Falcons made a move for an impact starter in 2008 when the team needed a left tackle. Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff traded two second-round picks and a fourth-round pick to land Sam Baker in round one. If the Falcons decide to move up in the first round in 2013, the Dallas Cowboys at the 18th pick or the Chicago Bears at 20th have each shown interest in trading back.
Cost: Falcons first-round pick (30th overall) and Falcons second-round pick (60th overall)
Trading back: A perfect NFL Draft storm has occurred for the Falcons in 2013. With the lack of a franchise quarterback available, drafting a quarterback high in the first round would be a reach considering the remaining available talent. But with as many as five teams looking to draft a starting signal caller, moving from the top of the second round to the back of the first round would be prudent.
Selecting a quarterback in the first round allows a team to sign the player to a four-year contract with a fifth-year team option. A quarterback selected in the second round can only receive a four-year deal. The difference in selecting a quarterback at 34th overall in round two verses 30th overall in round one means that a team has less time to develop and play their pick before having to pay him a large contract.
For the Falcons, trading down into round two to a quarterback-needy team would allow the team to receive additional picks while still landing a player of comparable quality. Because of the contractual difference in a first rounder verses a second rounder, the Falcons could charge a premium price for the team needing to draft a young quarterback.
Targets: Philadelphia 35th, Arizona 38th, New York Jets 39th, Buffalo 41st.
Staying put: Under Dimitroff, the Falcons have had their first-round pick influenced by trade in three of his five drafts. Only in 2009 and 2010 did the Falcons not make a trade involving a first-round pick. With seven picks available for trade and 11 overall, the Falcons could choose to sit and take the best player available.
But that would be uncharacteristic of this free-wheeling front office.