Falcons tried to trade back into first round for top pass rusher

The Atlanta Falcons were trying to land the draft's top pass rusher after drafting Michael Penix Jr.
NFL Combine
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Unsurprisingly, the Atlanta Falcons tried to trade up to grab the draft's top pass rusher after they shocked the world by taking Michael Penix Jr. eighth overall.

According to NFL Network's Steve Wyche, who has had direct ties to the Atlanta Falcons for many years, the pass rush-starved team tried to get back into the first round to take another Pac-12 player.

Let the hate flow; everyone is going to lose their minds even more now that they passed on a pass rusher who they were willing to take in the first round.

It makes sense how all this went down. The Falcons valued Penix much more than Laiatu Latu, obviously, and then they saw that Latu was falling down the first round and they saw an opportunity to land a player that many thought they were going to take instead of Penix.

Laiatu Latu was the first defensive player taken in the draft and that was at pick 15. That is wild and even with everyone knowing this was an offensive draft class, no one thought it would take 15 teams before the first defender would go off the board.

What is done is done, the Falcons made their decision and everyone who is mad has two choices: suck it up or go cheer for another team. If you choose to cheer for another team then you weren't a true fan anyway.

I do understand why people are mad, this is a move that doesn't help the 2024 Falcons. However, they aren't going to make the same mistake of relying on journeymen quarterbacks or a third-round pick for their future. They did what they had to do.

I would rather them take a player who will help avoid a few years of sub-par football rather than a player who could help the team right away. Realize that just because you take a player in the top ten doesn't mean they are going to be a difference-maker right away, especially at a position like edge rusher that has historically been rough for rookies.

Anyway, I am glad to see the Falcons were looking to trade up for a defender. Now that they have their successor at QB, they can afford to be aggressive.