2011 NFL Draft: Atlanta Falcons Need to Resist Trading Up for AJ Green

Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIIApril 28, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Wide receiver A.J. Green of Georgia runs through a drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Recently, Michael Lombardi tweeted that the Atlanta Falcons are interested in moving up into the top six picks for an offensive playmaker.

As many rumors fly before the draft, this one may not even have wings to get off of the ground.

The Falcons problem is not their offense, but rather that their offensive output has to be very high to compensate for their shaky defense.

John Abraham isn't going to last forever, and the Falcons need to continue building around Curtis Lofton if the team wants to have a respectable defensive output.

Moving up this high would cost the Falcons a first-round pick this year (27th overall), a first-round pick next year (probably near the bottom of the round), and change, as Lombardi also tweeted.

The Falcons have no way to justify moving up this high and getting Matt Ryan another top receiver, when there are undeniable needs elsewhere.

The Falcons' offense is one of the game's best.  By just improving the defense, the Falcons could be looking at the top seed in the NFC for the second straight year.

Should Atlanta make this move, however, the team will pass up the opportunity to add two (and possibly three) young players to the fold.

The team is aging and in need of a youthful infusion—simply adding a playmaker is like putting a band-aid on a cough for the Falcons.

Sure, they get younger, but on not enough of a wide-scale to make an actual difference for the team.

If the Falcons were to get their wish and move into the top five or six, the team would probably target AJ Green.

The Falcons have already established a No. 1 receiver in Roddy White, and the team doesn't need to bring in another No. 1 receiver for such a high cost.

I recently wrote an article about why I thought the Buccaneers should trade up for Patrick Peterson, and Buccaneers fans ripped me in the comments section for ignoring their true needs and instead focusing on luxury items for luxury costs that the Buccaneers can't afford.

This is not to say that the Falcons aren't good enough to package up for a star, but the Falcons just aren't young enough to pass up on potential draft picks.

While it would certainly be interesting to give Matt Ryan another target, the quarterback seems to be coming into his own, anyway.

The Falcon offensive output last year was good enough to coast with, and Thomas Dimitroff and co. need to realize the true needs on this team—youth on defense.

Having Ryan, White and Michael Turner would be good enough for another deep playoff run, and while adding Green would only make the Falcons better, the adverse, long-term effects outweigh the short-term positives.

The prospects of moving up in the draft are enticing for any team, but the Falcons need to hold tight and wait until the 27th pick.

If the team feels such a strong need for a playmaker, Torrey Smith, Jonathan Baldwin and Titus Young should all still be sitting there with the 27th pick.

AJ Green is talented—no question—but he doesn't warrant such a huge offer from a team that needs the first rounder for next year.

The Falcons are another team enamored by Green's skill set, but trading up wouldn't make sense for the club.

Look for Green to be off the draft board early, and if the Falcons are smart, look for Atlanta to make an educated pick with the 27th selection.

After all, Atlanta needs to realize that the grass isn't Green-er on the other side.