While the Atlanta Falcons were busy fomenting pre-draft rumors of a potential trade for Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack, the truth was they were targeting Jake Matthews in a swap of picks with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
TheMMQB.com's Peter King reported Monday that Jaguars general manager David Caldwell had "many discussions" with Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff about swapping the No. 3 and No. 6 picks in the first round.
It's no surprise that the phone lines were burning up. Caldwell worked under Dimitroff before landing the Jacksonville job.
"I thought Wednesday night we were going to get it done," Dimitroff told King. "But Thursday, Dave called me and said, 'We're going to stay put and pick our guy.'"
Both teams ended up with the players they were targeting in the first place. Or at least that's the story the general managers sold to King.
Caldwell explained that he couldn't pull the trigger on a trade for fear that one of the quarterback-needy teams "within striking distance" of the No. 6 pick would swoop in for the steal.
"I just kept thinking," Caldwell continued, "'One of those teams has to see what we were seeing in Bortles.'"
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Patriots would have drafted Bortles at pick No. 29 if the quarterback dropped that far. Caldwell also informed NFL Media's Jeff Darlington that quite a few executives from around the league called to relay the message that Bortles was the top quarterback on their board.The Falcons, meanwhile, followed through on their plan to add much-needed size and physicality up front after feeding into the pass-rusher rumors.