With the Jaguars, Jets, and 49ers locked into taking quarterbacks with the first three picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the intrigue begins with the Falcons.
And the owners of the fourth overall pick are open for business:
With teams locked into the first three overall picks, the Atlanta Falcons now have received trade calls from multiple teams and “are open to moving” out of the No. 4 spot, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 6, 2021
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Atlanta is “open to moving” the No. 4 overall pick after receiving calls from teams with interest in moving up. This has been a likely scenario since the Falcons restrucutred Matt Ryan’s contract during the first week of free agency. That move essentially removed the remote possibility of Atlanta dealing Ryan. Moreover, it might’ve moved them off drafting a first-round quarterback in 2021 altogether.
For what it’s worth, SI.com’s Albert Breer describes the conversations as “exploratory.” As owners of the highest-available pick for teams looking for a trade-up, the Falcons are in a place to ask for a king’s ransom and dictate the rest of the draft. And yet, Breer predicts the Falcons will stick with the pick and take a quarterback. Even still … it sounds as if the Falcons will listen to all offers and give someone the opportunity to knock their socks off before making that decision.
Perhaps that team should be the Bears.
Even after signing Andy Dalton and assuring him he would be QB1 to start 2021, there isn’t a firm commitment beyond that. And because it sounds like GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy are collaborating on drafting a quarterback at some point later this month. In his recent press availability, Nagy offered up his belief there are “a lot of good quarterbacks” in this class. Meanwhile, Pace believes it bodes well for a young quarterback having Dalton and Nick Foles to lean on upon arrival. Nagy and Pace have mastered the art of using a lot of words to say nothing of consequence, but those are low-key strong hints suggesting the Bears are in the market to draft a quarterback. And thus, potential players to trade UP in the NFL Draft.
There will be no shortage of competition for the Bears to hold off, should they be interested in moving up. The Broncos and Patriots come to mind as teams that would be willing to risk it for the biscuit. Unfortunately, for Chicago, Denver (9th pick) and Patriots (15th) have better first-round pick capital to deal from when dialing up Atlanta. I don’t imagine the Falcons want to fall too far down the draft board. After all, picking fourth has its perks. In other words, a theoretical offer from the Bears must trump what those teams can offer. I’d be willing to do it for the right quarterback. And I don’t imagine I’m alone, especially if it meant locking in a true franchise QB. But I’m unsure if Chairman George McCaskey would green-light such a move when his GM is a lame duck. Nevertheless, we need to follow this developing situation.