With the certainty that the Atlanta Falcons will not be in the playoffs, we can look forward to the 2023 NFL Draft for excitement. With one week remaining in the regular season, there is still a lot to be decided when it comes to draft order—even the first-overall pick has yet to be decided with the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans in play.
With that, it seems like a good time to lay out the possible scenarios for where we could pick in late April if we win or lose, plus what other teams could have an impact.
Atlanta Falcons could pick anywhere from 6th-9th depending Sunday’s results
The Atlanta Falcons currently hold the seventh-overall pick and while their win over the Cardinals prevented them from having a top-five pick, having a ton-ten pick is good enough. There are great players found everywhere in the draft.
There are three teams outside the Falcons and Buccaneers game that could affect where the Dirty Birds select—the Panthers, the Rams, and the Raiders.
If Atlanta loses to the Buccaneers at home on Sunday, then the Rams would determine where they select in the draft.
- 6th overall: Falcons lose, Rams win (@ Seahawks)
- 7th overall: Falcons lose, Rams lose
Now, if the Falcons are able to beat the Buccaneers then these are your potential scenarios:
- 8th overall: Either Panthers (@ Saints) or Raiders (vs. Chiefs) win
- 9th overall: Panthers and Raiders lose
Here’s the other deal, the Buccaneers could rest players since they have already clinched the NFC South. Early reports are that they won’t, but things can change quickly between now and game time. Even if they do play, some starters may not play the entire game.
In other words, this increases the chance that the Falcons win, and if you value having as high of a draft pick as possible, then that is not a good sign. The Saints just beat the Eagles and will host the Panthers while the Raiders will play the Chiefs; there is a good chance both Carolina and Las Vegas lose which would slot the Falcons at ninth if they win.
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However, if I had to make an educated guess, I would say they will stay exactly where they are with the seventh pick. The Bucs haven’t been great this year but they still have Atlanta’s number, and the Rams are down so many players and have to travel to Seattle.
The good news is that they are guaranteed a top-ten pick, and as previously stated, that is good enough. The Falcons will either get a top talent or a massive return if they trade down.