The Atlanta Falcons won't be afraid to trade up in this week's NFL draft, despite having just six picks and none in the first round, general manager Thomas Dimitroff told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Last year, Dimitroff handed the Cleveland Browns five picks to vault up the board and snag wide receiver Julio Jones with the sixth overall selection. That leaves the Falcons without first- and fourth-round picks (which went to the Browns) in this year's draft.
"If you feel that you want to package picks to go up and get the player that you feel can help the team, well, then you use your draft picks as fodder to go after that player," Dimitroff recently said, according to a Sunday report in The Journal-Constitution.
Jones led all rookies with eight touchdown receptions last season.
If Dimitroff chooses to stand pat this year, the Falcons will be looking for some diamonds in the rough. Atlanta's first pick won't come until late in the second round (No. 55 overall). Other picks this year include those in the third (84), fifth (157), sixth (192) and seventh (229 and 249) rounds.
"The draft is set for a team to be able to bargain and to be able to use what you have to pull in the players that you need, the players that you think you need to help your team be successful," Dimitroff added. "We feel in the past that we've been able to utilize those picks more effectively by using part of them as trade bait."