Mel Kiper is the Godfather of NFL Mock Drafts, and the analyst from ESPN has pegged the Atlanta Falcons to trade up in his latest.
In his most recent mock, Kiper is following a recent trend of the Falcons moving up in the draft to take a quarterback. This time it’s Zach Wilson of BYU in the No. 2 pick from the Jets.
We discussed on Wednesday what it would cost the Falcons to move up and what they might get in return for the Falcons to move down. The cheapest option would appear to be a package similar to the 2018 trade that ironically saw the Jets send the Colts three second-round picks to swap spots from No. 6 to No. 3.
Another viable tactic is the Falcons are trying to enhance their No. 4 pick by giving every indication that they will take a quarterback. Each of the last four trades into the Top 5, the team moving up has taken a quarterback.
If Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, and Ohio State’s Justin Fields are taken with the first three picks, the Falcons will need to convince teams they are willing to take Mac Jones of Alabama or Trey Lance of NDSU if they want to trade down.
If the Falcons have made their decision and consider either Wilson or Fields the superior prospect, the only way to guarantee getting said player is to trade up to No. 2.
If the Falcons want to guarantee getting either, they’ll need to trade up.
Frankly, moving up from No. 4 looks prohibitively expensive for the Falcons. Atlanta will need a replacement for Matt Ryan sooner rather than later. The Falcons quarterback will turn 36 before the start of the season.
But overspending on a quarterback looks more like mortgaging the future, not building for it.