BIRDLAND — My esteemed and most humble colleague, AJC columnist Jeff Schultz, has forwarded an interesting proposition to the Atlanta Falcons’ front office.
With the offense is need of creating more explosive plays, in his column today, he is directing them to pull out the stops to get Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green.
Director of player personnel Les Snead, director of college scouting David Palmer and assistant area scout Anthony Robinson attended Georgia’s Pro Day for the Falcons. But they had to leave because quarterback Justin Roper, who’s from Buford, was determined to live 6.2 miles outside of the radius of the Athens metroplex.
They had the option of watching the workout on the Internet.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff, the two-time Sporting News executive of the year, has been a busy bee in his three drafts with the Falcons.
In 2008, he traded back into the first round to get offensive tackle Sam Baker with the 21st overall pick after selecting quarterback Matt Ryan third overall. Washington traded its first-, third-, and fifth-round selections (No. 21, 84, and 154) to the Falcons for two of Atlanta’s second-round selections and its fourth-round selection (No. 34, 48, and 103).
The 84th pick turned into wide receiver Harry Douglas. The 154th pick became defensive end Kroy Biermann.
In 2009, the Falcons traded with St. Louis, which gave up its fifth- and sixth-round selections (138th and 176th overall, respectively) to Atlanta in exchange for wide receiver Laurent Robinson and Atlanta’s fifth- and sixth-round selections (160th and 196th overall, respectively).
They 138th pick was used on cornerback William Middleton, who is now with Jacksonville. They selected linebacker Spencer Adkins with the 176th pick.
In 2010, the Falcons acquired St. Louis’ fifth round selection (135th overall) in exchange for selections in the fifth (149th overall) and sixth round (189th overall). The Falcons had also acquired Detroit’s sixth round pick, and a conditional seventh round pick for the 2011 draft in the Chris Houston trade.
They moved up to the 135th pick to select cornerback Dominique Franks. They selected safety Shann Schillinger with the 171st pick.
For the upcoming draft, the Cincinnati Bengals (fourth overall) and the Cleveland Browns (sixth) are considered strong possibilities for Green. Carolina, which has the No. 1 overall pick, is likely going defense or quarterback. Denver (second) and Buffalo (third) are not heavily scouting receivers. Arizona, in need of a quarterback, is picking fifth.
So if Green gets past Cincinnati, the Falcons will be on the phone with Mike Holmgren and the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns, who may want to amass picks, traded out of the No. 5 spot in 2009. Under a different regime, they sent the No. 5 pick to the New York Jets (Mark Sanchez) for the 17the pick, a second rounder and three players that were coveted by their former coach Eric Mangini.
Green wouldn’t come cheaply. The Falcons, since players can’t be traded because of the labor situation, would have to yield their No. 1 and No. 2 this year and likely their No. 2 for next year.
Green played 32 games at Georgia, made 166 catches and 2,619 yards and scored 23 touchdowns.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock directs those wanting to evaluate Green to look at the tape of Georgia’s game against Colorado.
So under this scenario, would you pull the trigger to land A.J. Green?
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog