After hypothesizing about what the final roster will look like and what players will perform well, today I'm going to take another dive into the realm of hypothetical: what if the Falcons had not been able to trade for Julio Jones?
Draft day trades of that caliber usually don't work out. Originally, the Falcons had attempted to work out a trade with the Bengals to draft standout UGA receiver AJ Green. The trade was rumored to have fallen through at the last minute, with the Bengals electing to draft a WR to a team that has major holes on the offensive line and defense. Mike Brown isn't always the most reasonable man.
So, for kicks, let's just assume the Browns trade also fell through. The Falcons would have picked at the No. 26 spot, where it's reported they were heavily targeting OT Gabe Carimi, who in reality went to the Bears a few picks later. Had that happened, the offseason might have gone in a much-less exciting, more Dimitroff-like direction.
For starters, Carimi is a right tackle, a bruiser in the running game. His arrival would likely have meant the end for Tyson Clabo, who was heavily coveted by the Bills this offseason. With Clabo in Buffalo, he would likely have been beaten for five sacks by Cameron Wake, sucked into Ralph Wilson's void and never be heard from again (at least Bills fans would be happy).
That also means the Falcons would have kept Dahl. The Rams, who would have then lacked the sufficient number of former Falcons to survive, might have tried harder to pry Jason Snelling away from Atlanta instead of Norwood.
Finally, no Julio leaves a big gap at receiver. Falcons fans likely have to endure another season of Michael Jenkins starting at receiver. With Jenkins still around, Mike Mularkey refuses to pass the ball unless on third down, claiming "Jenkins is the best run-blocker in the history of the game." Matt Ryan shakes his head in confusion.
No big trade for Julio Jones means a "boring" offseason for the Falcons. No Julio means the Falcons get absolutely zero national attention, and remain in relative obscurity despite finishing 13-3 last season. Heck, no Julio means I probably don't survive the lockout and turn to watching soccer. Anybody want to join the Alex Morgan fan club with me?
For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic.