Gonzalez trade has implications on the draft

The Falcons’ acquisition of Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez in exchange for a 2010 second-round draft pick triggers a series of scenarios not only for each team but for this weekend’s draft.

The Chiefs’ trade of the longtime face of the franchise and arguably their best player continues an overhaul that started with the hiring of Scott Pioli as general manager and Todd Haley as coach this offseason. The deal is a boon for the Falcons, who not only land a top-tier player for the only position of weakness on their offense but keep their draft picks for this weekend.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, remain without a second-round draft pick for this weekend’s draft — for now — having traded that selection to the Patriots for QB Matt Cassel. The willingness to part with Gonzalez, a 10-time Pro Bowler, for future picks could signal that Kansas City has a trade partner to move into the No. 3 overall spot it currently holds in the draft.

The Chiefs seemingly will target a tight end at some point in the draft after parting ways with the player who has held the position for the past 12 seasons. This trade also takes the Falcons out of the tight end hunt in the draft and turns their focus more to defense, where they need a defensive tackle, outside linebacker and cornerback.

This is the second major trade that Pioli has made with a former Patriots co-worker. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff worked alongside Pioli in New England as a top scout and personnel evaluator before being hired in Atlanta last year.

Steve Wyche

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