The Atlanta Falcons are sitting in the No. 4 slot for April’s NFL Draft. What if they decide to trade up or trade down? What would it cost to move up, or what could they get in return?
Wednesday night we did a YouTube live discussing the trades of the past for teams looking to move up into the Top 5 of the NFL Draft. Would any of those moves make sense for the Falcons and who might Atlanta take if they moved down?
This is one of the most intriguing drafts in years with the only certainty being the Jacksonville Jaguars look sure to draft quarterback Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson.
The New York Jets at No. 2 look like they could be interested in a quarterback and could take Justin Fields out of Ohio State or BYU’s Zach Wilson.
That leaves the Miami Dolphins in the action seat. The Dolphins likely won’t take a quarterback, which would put them in a perfect position to trade down.
Each of the last four teams to trade up into the top five of the NFL Draft ended up taking a quarterback.
In 2018 the New York Jets sent the Indianapolis Colts three second-round draft picks to move from No. 6 to No. 3, and they took Sam Darnold.
In 2017 The Chicago Bears sent the San Francisco 49ers two third-round picks and a fourth to swap spots from four to three, taking Mitch Trubisky.
In 2016 the St. Louis Rams sent the Tennessee Titans two first, two second, and two third-round picks to move up to No. 1 overall and take Jared Goff.
Also in 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles swapped places with the Cleveland Browns moving from No. 8 to No. 2. The Eagles also sent a third and fourth round pick in 2016 and a first and second-round pick in 2017. The Eagles took Carson Wentz.
Moving up into the Top 5 is expensive. The cheapest of those deals was two third round picks and a fourth in 2017.
It won’t be that easy for the Falcons to move up one spot this year, because the Dolphins are in position to take the last of the big three quarterbacks. Teams like the Eagles at No. 6 and Panthers at No. 8 will make much more compelling offers.
So if the Falcons want to then move down, they’ll need to start sending smoke signals that they’re genuinely interested in taking a quarterback at No. 4 that isn’t one of the big three, either Mac Jones of Alabama or Trey Lance of North Dakota State.
If the Falcons trade down the 2018 deal between the Jets and Colts, where the Colts picked up three second-round picks should be the minimum the Falcons should ask for in return.
If the Falcons stay put, there are still good options at No. 4. Last week we discussed taking offensive tackle Penei Sewell out of Oregon should the Falcons not take a quarterback.
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