NFL purists often dabble in hypocricy when comparing the pro and "amateur" game, most notably when they demean college football's long recruiting season as "dirty" and filled with misinformation. We're not denying the flavor of dirty crootin' (savor immorality's signature smokiness!), but NFL Draft coverage has become just as infested with red herrings as the collegiate version.
Does that imply we don't believe Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King's claim that the Falcons plan to make a big play to land one of the Draft's two most explosive receivers -- Alabama's Julio Jones or Georgia's A.J. Green? Well... maybe.
Even a casual "Easter-Christmas" member of the Church of Drew Magary can tell you that King is famous for his hedged-bet predictions and news items. His initial Tweet stated that it’s probably not even possible for Atlanta to package only draft picks (roster players can’t be moved in the lockout) to jump high enough for Green (projected Top 5) or Jones (projected Top 10).
ESPN has mirrored King's essentially worthless assessment - that the Falcons WANT Green or Jones, but likely can't get to them, so they won't make a move. Pardon us for questioning the deans of NFL coverage, but as a fanbase that's been groomed by five years of media coverage to view Thomas Dimitroff as a disciple of the New England system, this potential -- and apparently impossible anyway -- move to grab a big name receiver seems to be a lot more Matt Millen than Scott Pioli.
Then again, nothing is more New England than misinformation. Atlanta might be staying truer to the Patriots' script than anyone realizes by masking their true intentions through a junk scoops given to key media members.
Maybe it was King's unnecessarily harsh damnation of the "Matty Ice" nickname after he's spent decades filing teary-eyed, poetic features from the rectum of various Pro Bowl QBs, but if it's possible for the Atlanta fan base to fall further in love with Dimitroff, faking out the national scorn of the pro football bloggeratti would be a Draft Day love letter to Falcons fans.
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.