The Atlanta Falcons are sitting on a goldmine with the No. 4 overall pick. If they stay, they can grab their future franchise quarterback or the top player on the board who is outside the QB position. If they trade out, they’ll gain more draft capital on top of their nine picks.
The Falcons are checking out all of their options, including trading back. The club has taken calls with the most recent being from the New England Patriots, according to Jeff Howe of TheAthletic.com.
The Patriots have the No. 15 spot and moving up to No. 4 would mean they would be looking to draft a quarterback. Howe adds that Ohio State’s Justin Fields is the signal-caller they want.
“With the Patriots, these trade discussions are a strong indication they’ve found conviction in at least one of those top QBs, and word is they think highly of Justin Fields – highly enough that they’ve even spoken with the Falcons about the fourth pick.”https://t.co/sQhixRjetm
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) April 28, 2021
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What Would New England Give Up?
It’s going to be costly for the Patriots to move up 12 spots. The San Francisco 49ers made a big leap up in March to the No. 3 spot and had hand over their third-round pick this year and their first-round picks in both 2022 and 2023.
The Falcons are likely asking for the same price. Bill Belichick might not be willing to budge, but after not getting what he wanted with Niners’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency, he could be desperate to make a move this big.
As for the Falcons, they are not in dire need for a quarterback since they’re set to have Matt Ryan as their starter for the next two seasons. Moving back all the way to No. 15 could be risking their plans to draft the “best available” or an “impact player.”
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Falcons Are Carefully Weighing All Options
The Falcons are not afraid to answer calls. But it’s all going to come down to what that trade partner is willing to give up and how that will impact Atlanta in the long run.
“It’s really case by case, and we have to weigh it,” Fontenot told reporters this week. “Wherever that team is and the assets, the draft capital, that that team would give up, and we have to look at the player we would get at 4 compared to us anticipating the players that we would be looking at, at that later pick, and obviously taking into consideration the future picks that we would get. So it’s really a weighing process at that point.”
Again, the Patriots could be too far back at No. 15, but the Falcons are not canceling out moving back. They’re also not opposed to taking a QB even if he sits for a year.
“When you’re picking at 4, we’re trying to take an impact player. Whether it’s a player that’s going to sit or a player that’s going to play right away, we want to bring in an impact player that fits the culture, that has the right makeup and that we have clear vision for that player,” Fontenot said. “So whether that’s someone who is going to sit or that’s someone who is going to play day one, we have to have a clear vision, and we have to feel really good about not only the player and the skill set but also the person that we’re bringing into the building.”