Originally written April 20, 2013 on Grits Blitz:
I thought it was crazy, but I think a lot of things are crazy. Could the Falcons really be considering another Julio Jones type trade only one draft removed from the actual Julio Jones trade. When Peter King first reported it my line of thinking was along the lines of, "Well, what he means is that they've probably have had some internal discussions about trading. I seriously doubt they're going to do this again." Then today, the man who broke the Julio Jones trade, Jason La Canfora confirmed the report and added that Dee Milliner and Dion Jordan are high on Atlanta's board. Maybe it's not so crazy, if you remember we started hearing rumors that Atlanta could be trading up a week before the 2011 draft. While it was not confirmed, there was enough smoke there to believe that someone was fanning the flames. Sure enough, a week later we learned that the Falcons had moved up 21 spots to secure Julio Jones. It was a costly move, but so far has proven to be a very effective one. A similar move this year however, may not be as costly. The Falcons have several luxuries in the 2013 draft that they didn't in the 2011 draft. The first being four compensatory picks. These picks, which are not tradable, give the Falcons four sure fire selections in the 2013 draft. Three of them are in the 7th round and the fourth is in the 4th Round. In 2011, the Falcons had zero compensatory picks. Making another Julio trade this year would be much more depth friendlier to the team than in 2011. The Falcons currently hold six selections from the 5th round onwards, in 2011 they only held four and three of them are still on the roster. Dimitroff's recent success in the later rounds certainly inspires hope for this year's draft. Depth has been a problem at times for Atlanta who has had to rely on veterans such as Chris Hope and Mike Peterson to fill depth roles. An influx of youth, speed, and competition is always a good thing, and that is one thing that Atlanta will have coming out of the 2013 draft. Simply put, the abundance of compensatory picks will ease the pain of another mega trade, at least from the depth perspective. There's another thing working in favor of a big trade for Atlanta, and that is the depth of this draft class. A team like Arizona might not want as much as Cleveland would have in 2011 to move down roughly the same amount of spots. There's not a huge gap in talent in this draft. While some players have more potential than others, the floors of all prospects in round one are pretty consistent. What this means is that future fourth in the Julio trade may be a future 5th, and maybe the Falcons could get a 6th or 7th in return with first round selection. The overall depth of this class could also lead to more willingness to trade down among teams in the top ten. They may feel they get a player of equal or greater value in their eyes later in the draft, so they'd be more open to trading down and receiving more picks. This is something I could see a team like Arizona doing as they're in a very stacked division and all three first round quality LTs are expected to go ahead of their pick. This would give Arizona an opportunity to trade down to 30 and perhaps grab a QB and acquire extra picks and grab a G like Larry Warford. The above scenario would imply a trade being made for Dion Jordan, I feel Atlanta could wait a little longer to make a trade for Dee Milliner. However, I would much prefer Jordan due to his massive upside and versatility. Milliner on the other hand I have graded as my #3 CB behind Jamar Taylor of Boise State and Josh Johnson of Purdue. All in all, if Atlanta does want to acquire Dion Jordan pick #7 would likely be their best bet as several teams ahead of that pick will be looking to fill larger needs. When it comes to Jordan, a lot of it will come down to what Jacksonville does with the second overall pick. If they take Geno Smith then only the Lions stand in the way of Dion Jordan making it to pick #7. Even then the Falcons could trade up to that spot and grab a player like Ezekiel Ansah or Barkevious Mingo. There are a lot of options in the top ten of this draft when it comes to pass rushers.
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