The Falcons have long coveted a standout pass rusher, and the club could get the opportunity to draft one this year. The team currently has the No. 8 pick, but according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, GM Thomas Dimitroff will consider the possibility of moving up a few spots to land Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. It would cost Atlanta an extra pick or two to trade up for Fowler, who is widely considered the top pass rusher in the draft, but the club hasn’t hesitated to make that sort of move in the past, most notably moving up to snag Julio Jones in 2011.
Here are a few more notes and rumors from around the NFL, as draft night approaches:
- With his ACL healing well, Todd Gurley now appears likely to be a top-20 pick, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network. According to Breer, when he called around this weekend, the Browns (Nos. 12, 19), Dolphins (No. 14), and Chargers (No. 17) were all linked to the Georgia running back.
- The Browns may be considering Gurley with one of their two first-round picks, but the team figures to take a long look at receivers as well. Per Pro Football Talk (Twitter link), UCF wideout Breshad Perriman dined last night with Cleveland GM Ray Farmer and other team executives.
- While a consensus is forming for a few picks near the top of the draft, it’s not clear where USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams – viewed by many as 2015’s best prospect – will land, writes Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. As badly as the Raiders may need a wide receiver, I’d be surprised if Oakland passed on Williams at No. 4, assuming he’s available there.
- The Cowboys will have a hard time passing up Washington’s Marcus Peters or Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson in the first round if either cornerback is still on the board at No. 27, says Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (via Twitter).
- Colts owner Jim Irsay isn’t ruling out any possibility for his team on Thursday, suggesting that the Colts could easily trade up or down from No. 29, writes Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.