The Atlanta Falcons receive a D+ grade from your Benevolent Dictator. When you net out what they did, several picks cancel each other out: the No. 111 and No. 135 the Falcons received were essentially nullified by sending out No. 117 and No. 137. This means Atlanta ultimately received No. 31 (1st) and No. 203 (6th) in exchange for No. 45 (2nd), No. 79 (3rd), No. 186 (6th), and No. 230 (7th). With as much of a guessing game as the draft can be, I’d rather have the No. 45 and No. 79 picks (where solid starters can be found on cheap contracts) which Atlanta gave up for the No. 31 overall selection. In the late rounds I’d also rather have the assets the Falcons gave up – No. 186 and No. 230 over the No. 203 pick Atlanta retained.
The Falcons strategy was to land offensive tackle Kaled McGary and they gave up quite a bit of draft capital to get him. If he turns into a productive starter then the trade could well be worth it, but if he fails to live up to expectations this could be a costly mistake. In order to move up 15 spots to land McGary they sacrificed the No. 79 overall pick where quality starters can still be found by good talent evaluators. As stated in Article 7 of TDI’s Glorious Constitution, third round picks are incredibly valuable when comparing production to cap hit, so the more the merrier! It will be interesting to see how the career of Atlanta’s Kaleb McGary plays out when compared to the combined value of CB Joejuan Williams (No. 45) and DB David Long (No. 79), the players who were taken in the picks the Falcons traded away.
Overall Atlanta’s net trade value rating is -41 based on the Dallas Draft Value Chart, meaning they gave up more draft capital than they acquired. This negative value is consistent with my more subjective analysis. Whether the Falcons draft day trade strategy succeeds or fails will depend in large part on the development and performance of Kaleb McGary.