The Falcons are making moves right up until the start of the draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.
On Monday, the Falcons signed safety J.J. Wilcox, who played at Georgia Southern, and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett signed his $15.2 million franchise tag, while the team will continue to work on a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.
Also, the negotiations with wide receiver Julio Jones are heating up and likely will be completed after the draft.
Here are five things to know about the draft:
1. Picks: Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who’s 10-for-10 on making trades during the draft, will enter this one with nine picks, including the 14th overall.
The Falcons have three picks among the top 80.
ATLANTA FALCONS 2019 DRAFT PICKS
Round 1, No. 14 overall
Round 2, No. 45 overall
Round 3, No. 79 overall
Round 4, No. 117 overall
Round 4, No. 137 overall (compensatory)
Round 5, No. 152 overall
Round 5, No. 172 overall (compensatory)
Round 6, No. 186 overall
Round 7, No. 230 overall
2. Draft board: The Falcons have been openly talking about the strength of the defensive and offensive linemen in the draft.
Despite re-stocking the trenches in free agency with five offensive linemen (counting blocking tight end Luke Stocker) and four defensive linemen, the Falcons have heavily scouted the both groups.
But that could be a smoke screen as they have other needs.
3. Bulldog nation. The Falcons appear set to draft a Georgia Bulldog for the first time since 2011. Cornerback Deandre Baker is projected to be on the board when they select 14th.
Also, receiver/returner Mecole Hardman impressed them and could go as high as the third round.
Linebacker De’Andre Walker met with the Falcons, while defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter, running back Evander Holyfield, guard Lamont Gilliard, guard Kendall Baker, long snapper Nick Moore, tight end Jackson Harris, tight end Isaac Nauta, wide receiver Riley Ridley, wide receiver Terry Godwin, linebacker Natrez Patrick and wide receiver Jayson Stanley all were at the Falcons’ locals day.
4. Trading record. A closer look at Dimitroff’s trading record reveals that the Falcons will try to trade up to get their player in the first round. They’ve made 10 trades to move up and four trades to move down under Dimitroff.
The Falcons have traded up in the first round four times; in 2017 to get defensive end Takkarist McKinley, in 2013 to get cornerback Desmond Trufant, in 2011 to get wide receiver Julio Jones and in 2008 to get offensive tackle Sam Baker.
5. Falcons’ draft needs. Falcons coach Dan Quinn was open about the team needs when he said, “Defensive ends and corners, are always something, and in the secondary as well — adding depth at strong safety.” We took a look at the teams’ needs in a five part series that concludes today with the cornerbacks.
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