Finding help on defense is the top priority for the Atlanta Falcons, no matter who tries to spin it a different way. A big need is at corner. Could they make a play for top prospect Desmond Trufant with help from the Chicago Bears?
John Abraham and Dunta Robinson cuts mean Falcons want to move up
Atlanta can use any excuse they want to use their first round pick on the offense. That is where their bread is buttered with Matt Ryan and Co., but it also would only further the notion that the Falcons can't build a successful defense. A large chunk of their best players for the past four years were free agents: John Abraham, Dunta Robinson, and Asante Samuel to name a few. Until they fortify that unit with a true difference-maker through the draft, they run the risk of never fulfilling the hope that came so close last season in the NFC championship game. To give up a 17-point lead at home is a testament to how deficient Atlanta was. They didn't have the pass rush or the corners to stop the San Francisco 49ers when it mattered. With the 49ers only getting better, the Falcons know they must do the same. That is why it was no surprise when word leaked the team has serious interest in trading up from the 30th overall pick in the first round. The question then becomes who do they trade with and which player do they target?
Trufant and Xavier Rhodes showcase strong NFL draft corner class
It is a fortunate year for them in either case. The current crop of players in the 2013 NFL draft seems rich in both corners and pass rushers. However, experts believe defensive linemen are much easier to find in later rounds, meaning it is a better strategy for Atlanta to target a corner first. There is no shortage of premier talents. With top prospect Dee Milliner expected to go in the top ten, which leaves the Falcons with two serious choices for their target. There is Florida State star Xavier Floyd, a lengthy, athletic cover man who excels in press coverage and displays good speed. Then there is late riser Desmond Trufant out of Washington. While he is slightly shorter, he has a better nose for the football, covers well, is tough, and a great locker room guy. Based on mock draft projections, either player could go somewhere in the early teens to early twenties range. That is the barometer for where Atlanta will want to shoot. There are plenty of teams that might want to move back, but none have championed that hope more than the Chicago Bears. Their GM, Phil Emery, knows his team needs added flexibility with just five draft picks. After receiving their compensatory picks, Atlanta has eleven including two in the fourth round and four in the seventh. In order to move up the ten spots to the Bears pick at #20, it would likely cost them at least their third round pick and perhaps an extra choice between the fifth and seventh rounds. That of course depends on how much Thomas Dimitroff and the front office like the player they're moving up for.
Desmond Trufant and Xavier Floyd aren't flashy types but they have the skills to improve a defense the second they step on the field. The Atlanta Falcons need players like that. A deal with the Chicago Bears could make it happen.
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