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Draft questions: Atlanta Falcons angling to trade up?

With the 2013 NFL Draft approaching, Around The League will examine one big question facing all 32 teams. Next up: The Atlanta Falcons.

Will the Atlanta Falcons swing a first-round trade?


The Atlanta Falcons haven't been afraid to wheel and deal on draft day.

Two Aprils ago, general manager Thomas Dimitroff executed a dramatic swap with the Browns, shipping two first-round picks, a second-round pick and two fourth-rounders to Cleveland to grab wide receiver Julio Jones at No. 6.

Two Aprils later, the Falcons have 11 picks at their disposal, and Dimitroff sounds game for anything.

"I think it's very clear that we are open for big deals, as well, should they ever come across our table and it's something we're interested in," Dimitroff told the team's official site on Thursday.

"To have a full draft this year is good. It feels good. It feels solid. It feels like we're going in with leverage. ... We did what we did in free agency and re-signed people as well as having 11 picks, it's a comforting feeling. At 30, the ability to move up and down is important for us."

The target is presumed to be a cornerback or one of the draft's blue-chip pass rushers.

Dimitroff on Thursday "pointed to the quality of defensive backs," and Alabama's Dee Milliner, Washington's Desmond Trufant and Florida State's Xavier Rhodes loom as possible targets. Still, as Rosenthal pointed out, putting pressure on the quarterback is a greater need for Atlanta's defense. Perhaps the Falcons aren't done adding free-agent veteran help up front.

Coincidentally, the Browns again sit at No. 6, and have been linked repeatedly to Milliner. If he becomes the apple of Atlanta's eye, the Falcons have the ammunition to acquire him.

What seems more likely is a trade that propels Atlanta into the middle of the first round, seen by many as the sweet spot of this draft. That's where Dimitroff can find a genuine talent without reaching -- something he specializes in.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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