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NFL Draft: Should The Atlanta Falcons Trade Down?

Atlanta Falcons in action vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta Falcons in action vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mab Sidam
ANALYST
Modified 12 Apr 2021
Feature

The NFL Draft is drawing closer and no one knows exactly what the Atlanta Falcons are going to do with the 4th overall selection. The Falcons find themselves in a pretty enviable position. They could select the best player on their board or trade down to stockpile more assets and draft capital. What path should the Falcons take?

NFL Draft: Falcons Stay At 4

If the Atlanta Falcons stay at 4 during the NFL Draft, they get to draft with way more freedom than the teams around them. The Falcons already have a franchise QB, so they don’t need to swing for the fences like the 49ers but only need to come to a decision on what the future of the franchise is.

If the organization still believes in Matt Ryan, then they must take the best-skilled guy available as no franchise-changing defensive prospects are available in this draft. Being the best skilled player is an interesting question as everyone slated to go at 4 is special in their own way. Kyle Pitts of Florida is a matchup nightmare, DeVonta Smith’s floor/ ceiling are both mysteries and Ja’Marr Chase took a year off due to COVID to polish his skill set and we don’t really know how much better he has become. Any one of these three can immediately help Matt Ryan be a better quarterback while also taking some of the offensive burden away from fellow star wideouts Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

Also Read: What is Matt Ryan’s contract breakdown?

If the organization feels they have run their course with Matt Ryan, the 4th overall pick in this upcoming NFL Draft allows them to begin the process of moving off Ryan. Quarterbacks projected to be available at the 4 spot include; Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones. Lance and Fields allow for more imagination. Lance is as promising as he is raw and Fields has to overcome the negative perception around OSU QB’s such as Cordale Jones and Dwayne Haskins. While Lance is extremely intriguing, the pick should be Fields if he is available, Fields is a local kid with all the upside, Fields can make all the throws and finally he is just way more of a proven prospect than Lance at this point.

NFL Draft: Falcons Trade Down

Atlanta Falcons in action against Los Angeles Chargers
Atlanta Falcons in action against Los Angeles Chargers
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The Atlanta Falcons are in transition. They recently got a new head coach (Arthur Smith), whose current team is simply not good enough to contend for the Super Bowl and their defense was atrocious last year. Trading down in this NFL Draft allows them to accumulate players and draft capital rather than betting all hopes on one man solving a multitude of problems. Trading down gives Smith more to work with as he shapes his roster to suit his football beliefs. There will be plenty of suitors for the #4 come NFL Draft day so the Falcons could potentially get a haul.

Final Decision

Unless Justin Fields is there, the Falcons should take Kyle Pitts. NFL Draft picks are fine, but actual contributors are better. Fields has all the potential in the world he can breathe new life into this franchise, while Pitts seems all but certain to be the next dominant receiving tight end which would suit new head coach Arthur Smith pretty well as he made plenty of use of TE’s during his time as Tennessee Titans OC.

NFL Draft picks have nothing but potential, and potential alone doesn’t win any games. Fields/ Pitts are franchise-altering pieces and wouldn’t take long to justify the investment.

Published 06 Apr 2021, 11:40 IST
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