Hot off the Web! Peter King of Sports Illustrated has just loosed a Tweet that reads:
We have some action in the Top 10, I’m told. Atlanta, seeking explosive outside threat, trying to get way up for Green/Julio. Unlikely, tho.
Translation: The Atlanta Falcons are endeavoring to trade their way upward in the NFL draft, which begins Thursday, so as to land a receiver comparable to the one they have already in Roddy White. The receivers in question are A.J. Green of Georgia or Julio Jones of Alabama. (”Tho” is a shortening of “though,” which enables the savvy Twitter user to save three precious characters.)
My take, such as it is: The Falcons would be nuts not to try, and if there’s anything the Falcons under Thomas Dimitroff aren’t it’s nuts. Trouble is, the Falcons would need to trade into the top five to have a shot at Green, and that’s a major leap from No. 27, which is their draft position as we speak.
You’re not going to get a top five pick by dangling your No. 27 and a second- and third-rounder. Looking longer-term, the prospect of giving some team this year’s No. 1 and next year’s No. 1 doesn’t have much sizzle for the prospective trade partner, simply because the Falcons with Green surely won’t be picking any higher than No. 27 next spring, either.
To make this work, you’d almost have to throw a major player into the mix, and the Falcons really don’t have major players to spare. Few clubs do. Because of the salary cap and free agency, the concept of NFL depth is gone with the wind. There’s no backup on the order of Philadelphia’s Kevin Kolb sitting around in Flowery Branch as bait. And besides, there’s no trading of players being done this offseason because the NFL has been in lockout mode. Moot point!
The same Thomas Dimitroff, it must be said, did wangle a trade for the All-Pro tight end Tony Gonzalez in 2009, so it isn’t as if he’s afraid to take a shot. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Falcons getting into the top five and plucking Green, and even the chances of sliding into the top 10 and landing Jones would seem slim. But I am, as we know, often wrong. This is one time I wouldn’t mind being wrong one bit.
By Mark Bradley