The Atlanta Falcons are set to make a selection at No. 8 overall for the second year in a row during the 2023 NFL Draft. Of course, unless they trade away the pick.
That’s exactly what The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner proposed the Falcons do in his latest NFL mock draft.
Baumgardner suggested the Falcons pursue a trade back, recommending they move the No. 8 pick to the New York Jets for the No. 13 overall selection and a 2024 third-round pick.
Then at No. 13 overall, Baumgardner predicted Atlanta to draft cornerback Devon Witherspoon.
“The Falcons’ original pick at No. 8 could be a trade-down spot, too, if a tackle-needy team behind Atlanta decides it has to have Peter Skoronski (the best offensive lineman on the board) or Paris Johnson Jr,” Baumgardner wrote. “I’m not sure Atlanta would be able to move this pick, so someone could come up for the fourth QB, but we’ll see.
“Either way, the Falcons might have a shot to draft Witherspoon, which would make them happy. He’d be worth the investment.”
With both offensive tackles signed through the 2025 season, Atlanta doesn’t need another tackle. The Falcons also don’t need a quarterback with Desmond Ridder expected to start throughout the 2023 season. The team signed veteran signal caller Taylor Heinicke to be Ridder’s backup.
If the Falcons remain at No. 8, Witherspoon may very well be the player they chose. The Illinois product is a consensus top 3 cornerback in the draft class and has been a popular top 10 choice in many mock drafts. Furthermore, he would fill a position of need for Atlanta.
Trading back from No. 8 would allow the Falcons to still get one of the top cornerbacks in the class while also acquiring additional draft capital for next season.