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Falcons appear ready to make trade to move up in the draft

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has made a trade in every draft he's directed for the Falcons.

He's made big trades (Julio Jones and Sam Baker) and he's made little ones (trading up for Jacquizz Rodgers and Dominique Franks).

There is a report that the Falcons are looking to move out of the 30th spot to move up in the draft.

There are several possible partners.

Here's a quick look at some possible trading partners:

Former Falcons executive David Caldwell is sitting at No. 2 as the brand new general manager of the talent-starved Jacksonville Jaguars. They could amass some picks to service their many needs.

Former Falcons executive Brian Xanders is with Detroit. The Lions have the fifth pick in the draft. He was hired in January as a senior personnel executive for the Lions and has been working on a new scouting database. Xanders reports directly to general manager Martin Mayhew.

However, there may be some bad blood over the Chris Houston trade, which got a little sloppy over the compensation.

The Cleveland Browns are sitting at No. 6. However, the old regime that the Falcons fleeced for the No. 6 pick to get Jones in 2011 is out.

Former Falcons executive Les Snead, and Dimitroff's right hand man for four seasons, is the general manager of the St. Louis Rams and is sitting there with the 16th and 22nd picks in the draft.

The New England Patriots and Dimitroff former mentor Bill Belichick are right in front of the Falcons at 29.

The Falcons have made it clear that they are a needs-based drafting team under Dimitroff. That means they are not going to sit in their spot and take the best available player.

They have needs at cornerback, defensive end, linebacker, tight end and right guard.

They've got their guys identified -- FSU cornerback Xavier Rhodes, Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant, Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree or Stanford tight end Zach Ertz -- and they're going to try to move up to get them.

Here's a look at Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff's trading record:

2012: The Falcons made a trade with Baltimore to move down seven spots in the third round to take tackle Lamar Holmes. They picked up a fifth-round pick and selected defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi with the 164th overall pick. The Ravens picked up running back Bernard Pierce with the 84th pick the Falcons sent them. The Falcons gave up a seventh-rounder (229 overall) to the Eagles in the Asante Samuel trade. The Eagles used that pick to select running back Bryce Brown.

2011: There was the 5-for-1 mega-deal with Cleveland to move up 21 spots in order to land wide receiver Julio Jones. Later, in the fifth round after the spotlight was off the Falcons, he sent two picks to St. Louis in order to move up 10 spots to scoop up running back Jacquizz Rodgers.

2010: Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks, who left school a year early, was slipping in the draft. Dimitroff sent two picks to St. Louis to move up 14 spots to acquire Franks. He's played some nickel back and was the punt returner for most of last season.

2009: Dimitroff felt he could get his guy by going back 13 spots in the fifth round. The Falcons made a deal to send their fifth-round pick to Dallas. They moved back 13 spots and picked up a seventh-round pick for their troubles. They drafted offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds in the fifth and Vance Walker in the seventh. Reynolds has opened the last two seasons as a starter at right guard. Walker was a contributor before signing with Oakland in free agency.

2008: There was a run on left tackles. With the Falcons needing protection for Matt Ryan, Dimitroff sent two second-round picks and a fourth-round pick to Washington in order to move back into the first round and select Sam Baker with the 21st overall pick. They also received third- and fifth-round picks. The Falcons used those picks to select wide receiver Harry Douglas (84th overall) and defensive end Kroy Biermann (154th).

Notes

-- Falcons safety William Moore was arrested and charged with simple battery on Thursday, according to Fulton County Jail Records.

"We are aware of the situation involving William Moore and are in the process of gathering more information," the Falcons said in a statement. "Because this is now a legal matter, the club will have no further comment at this time."

No details were immediately available about the specifics of the arrest.

-- The Falcons have targeted players from some of the nation's football factories in the draft during their history.

The Falcons have selected 11 players each from Oklahoma and the University of Southern California since 1966, more than any other school.

Atlanta has also chosen 10 players each from Ohio State and Wisconsin, including Badgers center/guard Peter Konz and fullback Bradie Ewing in 2012.

-- With 38 draft selections in five years at the helm, Dimitroff has tapped into players in 13 conferences. Since 2008, Atlanta has selected more players from the SEC than any other conference, with 11 players coming out of the powerhouse league.

SEC: S Charles Mitchell (Mississippi State), DT Travian Robertson (South Carolina), WR Julio Jones (Alabama), LB Akeem Dent (Georgia), DE Cliff Matthews (South Carolina), CB Chevis Jackson (LSU), RB Thomas Brown (Georgia), TE Keith Zinger (LSU), DT Peria Jerry (Mississippi), DT Corey Peters (Kentucky) and OL Mike Johnson (Alabama).

Big 12: LB Curtis Lofton (Oklahoma), S William Moore (Missouri), LB Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri), CB Dominique Franks (Oklahoma) and WR Kerry Meier (Kansas).

Pac-12: RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon), OT Sam Baker (USC), S Thomas DeCoud (California), LB Robert James (Arizona State) and CB Wilrey Fontenot (Arizona).

ACC: QB Matt Ryan (Boston College), K Matt Bosher (Miami), G Garrett Reynolds (North Carolina), LB Spencer Adkins (Miami) and DT Vance Walker (Georgia Tech).

Big Sky: DE Kroy Biermann (Montana) and S Shann Schillinger (Montana).

Big 10: C/G Peter Konz (Wisconsin), FB Bradie Ewing (Wisconsin).

Western Athletic: OL Andrew Jackson (Fresno State), CB Chris Owens (San Jose State).Big East: WR Harry Douglas (Louisville).

Conference USA: T Lamar Holmes (Southern Mississippi).

Sun Belt: DE Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy).

Atlantic 10: DE Lawrence Sidbury (Richmond).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There's talent in this group; it's just a matter of assessing where those talents are and how you can use whatever the talent is when you do draft them, and how you navigate that. In 2008, I thought we did a very fine job with our coaching staff in how we eased Matt Ryan in, as well as the other teams and their coaching staffs. You can take a quarterback in this draft, and put him in the right situation with the right approach, and you can win a lot of games." -- Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff on the quarterbacks available in the 2013 draft.

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NFL Team Report - Atlanta Falcons - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

TEAM NEEDS

Tight end: Despite the return of tight end Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons will still heavily scout Stanford's Zach Ertz, Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert and San Diego State's Gavin Escobar, the top three tight ends available in the draft. All three have shown that they are capable pass catchers as flex tight ends. While the team is elated with the return of Gonzalez, they still need to upgrade the position moving forward. Also, look for the Falcons to continue developing Chase Coffman as a pass-catching threat. He made some clutch catches down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Right guard: Look for Peter Konz, who started nine games as a rookie, to slide over to center with Todd McClure having retired. That would leave a hole at right guard. Garrett Reynolds opened the season as a starter and is returning from back surgery. Philipkeith Manley is a player that the Falcons developed last season and may be ready to give him shot. Brandon Moore is a potential free-agent target if the Falcons want a veteran to help secure the interior of the passing pocket.

Linebackers: In the playoffs, while trying to stop read-option offenses, the Falcons had trouble with containing tight ends in the pass defense. Some of the top linebackers and possible targets in the draft include LSU's Kevin Minter, North Carolina's Kevin Reddick and Kansas State's Arthur Brown.

Cornerback: The Falcons released starting cornerback Dunta Robinson on March 1 and have not replaced him. Brent Grimes left for Miami as a free agent. The Falcons, who liked the play of Robert McClain last season at nickel, appear to be a little thin at cornerback. The team will likely focus on the position in the draft with Mississippi State's Jonathan Banks and Washington's Desmond Trufant as possibilities.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (3)

--FB Mike Cox came on strong, but will have to compete with Bradie Ewing for the lead role.

--S Chris Hope was a valuable reserve and on special teams. He played in the playoffs in some three-safety alignments.

--LB Mike Peterson was a good insurance policy last season. He likely has played his last snaps in the league.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

--TE Michael Palmer (not tendered as RFA) is a solid blocker and deceptive route-runner.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--T Sam Baker: UFA; $41.5M/6 yrs, $18.25M guaranteed.

--TE Tony Gonzalez: UFA; $14M/2 yrs, $3.5M SB.

--S William Moore: Potential UFA; $29.512M/5 yrs, $8.25M SB/$14M guaranteed.

--G Garrett Reynolds: Potential UFA; $2.58M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB/$700,000 guaranteed.

--RB Antone Smith: Potential RFA; $1.425M/2 yrs, $65,000 SB.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--RB Steven Jackson: UFA Rams; $12M/3 yrs, $3.5M SB/$4M guaranteed.

--DE Osi Umenyiora: UFA Giants; $8.5M/3 yrs, $2.5M SB/$5M guaranteed.PLAYERS LOST

--DE John Abraham (released).

--T Tyson Clabo (released/post-June 1 designation).

--CB Brent Grimes: UFA Dolphins; $5M/1 yr, $2.25M SB/$3M guaranteed.

--C Todd McClure (UFA; retired).

--QB Luke McCown: UFA Saints; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--CB Christopher Owens: UFA Browns; $1M/1 yr.

--CB Dunta Robinson (released.

--DE Lawrence Sidbury: UFA Colts; terms unknown.

--OT Will Svitek: UFA Patriots; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--RB Michael Turner (released/failed physical).

--DT Vance Walker: UFA Raiders; $1.3M/1 yr.

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