NFL Draft 2023 Rumors: QBs C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson Considered by Falcons

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMarch 8, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 03: Quarterback Anthony Richardson of Florida speaks to the media during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 3, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons are reportedly giving serious consideration to drafting a quarterback in the first round.

Josh Kendall of The Athletic reported C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis all confirmed meetings with the Falcons at the combine, and it "stands to reason" Atlanta also interviewed Bryce Young.

The Falcons have the No. 8 pick in the first round. It's likely at least one of the four first-round quarterback prospects will still be available by pick No. 8, but few teams are ever particularly thrilled sitting around and waiting for their fourth-favorite quarterback to be available.

If Atlanta decides on a quarterback in Round 1, it's much more likely the team trades up—perhaps all the way to the No. 1 pick. Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles has been open about the team's desire to move down from the No. 1 spot, but he's made it clear it will come with a hefty cost.

"No one's gonna rush me," Poles told Peter King of NBC Sports. "I know I can get a '24 one and a '25 one. You're telling me for the next two years I'll have two ones? That's either four really good players, or if we're cruising, we can still trade back."

A team has not traded the No. 1 overall pick before the draft since 2016, when the Los Angeles Rams moved up to take Jared Goff. Before then, the most recent time was the Falcons' move up in the 2001 draft to take Michael Vick.

Young has long been the favorite to be taken with the top overall selection, but his hold on that spot may be loosening. Teams came away from the combine understandably concerned about his 5'10" frame after he was listed at 6'0" at Alabama. Young was also the only quarterback of the four to not throw in Indianapolis, allowing Stroud, Richardson and Levis to all impress and shrink the gap.