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Report: Falcons looking to trade up for C.J. Henderson or Javon Kinlaw

Let’s talk through a few scenarios and what that means for the 49ers

NFL Combine - Day 6 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Kyle’s update 10:37 a.m.: Ben Allbright believes the Falcons are moving up for Javon Kinlaw:

Wednesday’s NFL Draft rumor mill is that the Atlanta Falcons want to trade up for Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson, who has been mocked to the San Francisco 49ers. Atlanta has been aggressive during the Thomas Dimitroff era, so this is no surprise. Since 2008, the Falcons have traded up five times in the first round, including once in each of the past two seasons. Jacksonville’s general manager David Caldwell previously worked in Atlanta, so many are connecting the two teams to execute this trade. The Falcons hold the 16th pick while the Jaguars hold the 9th pick.

Any trade up is good news for the 49ers because it means another position player, likely a wide receiver, will fall to the 13th overall pick. Jacksonville is a sneaky team to take a wideout, so them moving behind San Francisco is key as well. One possible scenario is the Jets and Raiders both passing on receivers and all three of the “top guys” being available for Kyle Shanahan. Could you imagine the team passing on a receiver if that happens? The pitchforks would come out. On the flip side, Cleveland trades OBJ and selects a receiver, then the Jets and Raiders follow suit, and now the 49ers are in no man’s land. There are endless possibilities.

Let’s talk through one plausible scenario. Henry Ruggs is the only one of the “big three” available at 13. Henderson is as well. To risk not letting the speedy cornerback fall anymore, Dimitroff calls John Lynch and offers 78 for 13. You miss out on Ruggs but add a much-needed third-round pick. For me, it’s a no-brainer. I’m saying yes to that deal every time. Some may feel the drop-off is too steep from Ruggs to the fourth-best receiver. I’ve talked about how contested catches are troublesome for receivers as it tells you they’re not getting open. If you remove screens from the equation, 22% of Rugg’s targets were contested situations. That’s top-five in the class.

We are eight days away from the NFL Draft, and rumors will only pick up from here. Any team considering trading up signals, the 49ers will be able to get their guy at 13.