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Falcons Linked with NFL Draft Trade Up by

The Atlanta Falcons are being linked to a trade up in the NFL Draft from No. 8 to No. 3 by analytics expert Cynthia Frelund.

Her column is titled Four win-win trade scenarios in Round 1, but it’s hard to picture Falcons fans feeling like winners if her proposed trade were to happen.


Round 1, 2023: No. 3 overall


Round 1, 2023: No. 8 overall
Round 2, 2023: No. 44
Round 3, 2023: No. 75
Round 4, 2024

Frelund is quick to point out that this trade feels lopsided in favor of the Arizona Cardinals.

So what happens if Houston doesn’t select a QB with the No. 2 overall pick? A number of teams will very likely come calling for the Cardinals’ choice at No. 3. The reality is, this haul looks a bit lopsided in favor of Arizona, but it’s actually one of the most even trades possible, according to the Jimmy Johnson trade chart (and other modified charts). And as in real estate, the best bid wins.

Atlanta has publicly talked about 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder being the guy under center, but if the opportunity to select the second quarterback in the draft presented itself, it would seem hard to pass up, given the very smart offseason acquisitions, along with third-year coach Arthur Smith being an exceptional architect for the play-action game (SEE: Ryan Tannehill‘s improvement in Tennessee). Using play-action is one of the biggest contributing factors in terms of how well quarterbacks have successfully transitioned to the NFL level over the past five seasons.

The NFC South landscape is very different this season versus last, and this scenario spells opportunity if Atlanta can get key positions right.

Cynthia Frelund,

At this point Ridder has to feel like the most disrespected player in the NFL. Despite “very smart acquisitions”, the Falcons are universally expected to be a bottom five or six team in the league again because of their quarterback.

The haul Frelund is sending the Cardinals isn’t far off from what it might have taken to get Lamar Jackson. The contract is a much different animal, but general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith seem content with building the strongest team possible around the quarterback.

Getting the No. 2 quarterback in the draft might feel like a tantalizing prospect, but not at that cost. Despite what the Jimmy Johnson trade chart may say, there are big questions around the quarterback class this year.

Giving up a haul to move up for the second-best quarterback doesn’t feel like a win-win.

If the Falcons feel the need to make a move on draft day, moving back feels like a much better and more likely option.

Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at, Managing Editor at 247Sports, VP Content Operations at Sports Illustrated and more. Scott has appeared as a recruiting and NFL Draft analyst on dozens of media including ESPN, NFL Network, USA Today, NY Times, and more.