Falcons Trade Rumors: ATL Hasn't Liked Offers for No. 4 Pick; Talks Continuing

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

Atlanta Falcons helmets during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Don Wright/Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons have reportedly been engaged in trade talks regarding the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

According to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, the Falcons have "not yet received an offer to their liking," but continue to hold talks.

Since the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers are expected to take quarterbacks with the first three picks, there is a great deal of intrigue surrounding the Falcons at No. 4, as they could address any number of needs or trade out.

Assuming Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and either Trey Lance or Mac Jones come off the board with the first three picks, the Falcons will have their choice of one of two top-caliber quarterbacks or the best player at any other position.

Since elite talent at every position other than quarterback will be available, it stands to reason that there could be some teams interested in moving up to the No. 4 slot.

Among the potential targets for teams moving up would be Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Teams may also want to trade up if the quarterback they covet—such as Lance, Jones or Justin Fields—escapes the top three.

If the Falcons stand pat, quarterback is a possibility given that Matt Ryan is nearly 36 years of age and may be approaching the twilight of his career.

Ryan enjoyed a solid year in 2020, completing 65.0 percent of his passes for 4,581 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but the Falcons went just 4-12 and have finished with a losing record in each of the past three seasons.

Having a former NFL MVP in Ryan on the roster would given the Falcons the luxury of taking a quarterback and not having to rush him in the lineup. Fields, a Georgia native, could be a popular pick among Falcons fans.

While Atlanta would be rolling the dice to some degree by taking a quarterback, the slam-dunk pick appears to be Pitts, who is widely regarded as the top tight end in the draft by a significant margin and one of the best tight end prospects in years.

The Falcons already have a solid tight end in Hayden Hurst, but new head coach Arthur Smith loved running multiple tight end sets during his time as offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. Taking Pitts would give Ryan a pass-catching corps of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Pitts and Hurst, which would be among the NFL's best.

Atlanta does have a lot of holes it needs to fill, especially on the defensive side of the ball, so it is understandable why first-year general manager Terry Fontenot may be considering moving down, especially after seeing the San Francisco 49ers surrender three first-round picks to the Miami Dolphins to go from No. 12 to No. 3.