The rumor mill continues to pick up steam as we get closer to the draft.
While I expressed my opinion of why Atlanta should move up in the draft to select an elite defensive prospect in the first edition of ‘Dirty Bird Debate’, I’m beginning to open up to the option of trading down.
Thomas Dimitroff spoke at a pre-draft press conference about how comfortable he feels going in with 11 draft picks at his disposal.
To have a full draft this year is good,” Dimitroff said. “It feels good. It feels solid. It feels like we’re going in with leverage. … We did what we did in free agency and re-signed people as well as having 11 picks, it’s a comforting feeling. At 30, the ability to move up and down is important for us.
What seems to be on fans mind now is if Dimitroff does decide to trade up, how far up will he go? I recently stated that Atlanta could maybe go as high as the Jets pick at number 9, but CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason LaCanfora has reported that the Falcons are very high on Dee Milliner and the coveted Oregon LB/DE Dion Jordan; Two prospects who many predict won’t make it past the #5 pick.
Fans and analysts alike still think CB is of utmost importance for Atlanta, and it makes sense. We’ve lost both Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes in free agency, and our best starter, Asante Samuel, is 33 years-old. But, if you let a QB stand in the pocket long enough, he will eventually find an open receiver. A terrible pass rush will make the best CB’s look terrible. Now many would agree that Dee Millner is a fantastic prospect with some “lock-down” potential, but is it worth investing multiple picks to trade up for a CB? Trading up to the top 5 will cost, and doing that may cost us a good lineman in the 2nd/3rd rounds. Jamar Taylor isn’t that much worse than Milliner in my opinion, and many have him going in the second-round.
Dion Jordan may be the most coveted defensive player in this draft. At 6’7, 245 pounds, his athleticism is off the charts. While he’s very raw in his technique, he has unlimited potential/upside. He would fit perfectly in today’s NFL if he develops; However, he could turn out to be another Aaron Maybin/Jarvis Moss/Manny Lawson. It’s hard to predict if he would make an immediate impact, but it will be hard for teams to disregard a player with a skill-set like his. Even though many have the Jags taking him at #2, the best scenero for him would be to go to a team with a rock-solid foundation like Atlanta. He won’t have to come in and be the star right away, and Mike Nolan could work with him and put him in favorable situations. The only problem is that I think we lack the leverage to move up to the top 5 IF he falls past the Jags (Highly unlikely). Besides, Dion isn’t even the best at his position in the draft.
Jarvis Jones is THE most underrated prospect in this draft. Forget the terrible 40-time, the tape does not lie. When I watch film on him, I see a player that can make an immediate impact in the pass-rush department; Violent, relentless, and elite explosiveness along with polish. He has fallen on draft boards due to his spinal complications and supposed lack of work ethic, but who knows what can happen if drafted to a winning environment. Plus, he’s been medically cleared by all doctors and he seems like the most realistic option, so I hope Atlanta is looking into it. Dimitroff should also take a look at Star Lotulelei, seeing as how NT is one of our biggest needs right now.
As far as trading up, I feel it’s either Jarvis Jones/Star Lotulelei or bust. I know many are disappointed by the fact that I don’t think Dee Milliner is worth trading up for. Milliner a great CB prospect, but he’s not as good as Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne, nor Janoris Jenkins were when they came out of college. This CB class is thin at the top but extremely deep, probably the deepest I’ve ever seen. We would be better off trading down if Atlanta is looking for a corner with the first pick. Outside of Milliner and maybe Xavier Rhodes, no corner is even worth using a first-rounder on.
Which Prospect Should Dimitroff Trade Up For?
- Dee Milliner (27%, 33 Votes)
- Jarvis Jones (23%, 28 Votes)
- Dion Jordan (21%, 26 Votes)
- Neither...Trade Down (21%, 26 Votes)
- Star Lotulelei (8%, 11 Votes)
Total Voters: 124
*Quote courtesy of AtlantaFalcons.com