Atlanta Falcons: NFL analyst thinks Fontenot will trade back

Atlanta Falcons helmets on the bench Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons helmets on the bench Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2021 NFL Draft really starts with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons hold the No. 4 overall pick in the draft and we all know what’s going to happen with the first three picks. All three- Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers- who pick before the Falcons are going to select quarterbacks.

The order? Likely Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and then your guess between Mac Jones, Trey Lance or Justin Fields.

But what happens after the 49ers come off the clock? That’s what the rest of the NFL is truly interested in at this point.

NFL analyst thinks the Atlanta Falcons will trade their No. 4 pick

The Falcons have several options laid out before them as to what they could do with this pick.

They could take a quarterback to sit behind Matt Ryan for a couple of seasons. Perhaps a Justin Fields or Trey Lance is too much to pass up picking this high in the draft and the franchise decides they’re going to address their future rather than the current roster.

They could take the best overall non-QB, likely an offensive player. If the Falcons are going this route, as many believe they will, they could take TE Kyle Pitts or OT Penei Sewell with that No. 4 overall pick.

Or they could trade back, gain more capital and address their roster situations that way.

Fantasy Pros’ NFL Expert Matt Barbato was asked what he thinks the most likely outcome is for the Falcons and though he believes the franchise is considering all of its options, he thinks they’ll ultimately trade out of the spot.

"“Atlanta’s decision will determine how the rest of their draft shakes out. Personally, I think their new leadership elects to trade back, compile picks and try to address as many holes as possible. Ryan is under contract through the 2023 season and basically can’t be released unless Atlanta wants to pay an exorbitant amount in dead cap space. That makes it harder to draft a top passer in this year’s draft,” Barbato said."

If Barbato is right and the Falcons do choose to trade back, there needs to be quite the capital gained in return. The Falcons could get as many as two future first-rounders for their pick this year and they could be looking at several mid-rounders, including netting a second-rounder this year.

There’s no doubt that Terry Fontenot and that front-office staff are going to consider all their options and the leverage they possess in a trade with that No. 4 pick is off-the-charts, which is another reason that the Falcons are being extremely careful with giving any kind of clarity as to what they might do in that spot.

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