Sometimes when the NFL Draft rolls around, a team has so many crucial needs, they have to either give up draft picks to get what they want, or they must sacrifice some of their needs to go after who is most important to them in the draft. The Atlanta Falcons find themselves in neither of those positions, in fact, they are in one of the best win-win situations of any team this year.
The Falcons don’t need a quarterback, a running back, a wide receiver or any other skill position–at least not in the first two or three rounds. They aren’t going to be scoping up and down the draft board, trying to decide which of a half dozen quarterbacks who will are question marks would be the least risky. They don’t have to evaluate the past injuries of a top-line running back. And they don’t have to look at which of the head case wide receivers is the least diva-ish.
No, the Falcons don’t have to expend a lot of useless energy on the so-called big three positions. They are comfortable at all of them, and can focus their attention elsewhere.
The Falcons needs are based on the defense, and on–to an small extent–the offensive line. With the depth at defensive back, defensive end, safety and offensive line this year, it’s the perfect draft year to have those particular needs. They literally should have their pick of some top prospects at numerous positions in the first round.
If one or two of the guys Atlanta has on their big board happen to slip away, then can just slide the next guy up. It’s just that deep at some of these positions. The difference in quality between the number one guy and the number six guy is hardly worth mentioning in some cases. It’s actually set up quite nicely for Atlanta.
If they want to trade up from the 30th pick, they can, and certainly it wouldn’t be the worst thing if they did. But there is no pressure to do it. They can sit back with the picks they have and feel confident that they’ll get nearly all of the players they want. It’s a rare occurrence, and the Falcons need to be thankful for it, and take advantage of it.
If the fifth or sixth rounds roll around, and a Tyrann Mathieu or Marcus Lattimore is still sitting there, then the Falcons can throw a little caution to the wind and take a shot. By that time they should have made four or more picks to fill their immediate needs. When the late rounds come up, and the Falcons begin with all their compensatory picks (Atlanta received four of them, three coming in the seventh round), they will be able to really play around with some longshots who they normally couldn’t have the luxury of picking.
The Falcons should have no reason of coming out of the 2013 NFL Draft with anything less than a grade of A based on their needs. They may not get the most notable players in the draft, but they should be able to get the most talent for what they need.