Are the Atlanta Falcons one of the six teams calling for the third pick?

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Right now, NFL general managers are doing everything they can to cover all potential scenarios that might happen in the 2023 NFL Draft. One of those things is calling around about potential trades, and the latest rumor is that "at least six teams have inquired with the Arizona Cardinals about trading up for the third-overall pick."

The Atlanta Falcons currently hold the eighth-overall selection, could they be one of the six or more teams that have called about trading up to the third-overall pick.

The Atlanta Falcons could conceivably be looking to land the third-overall selection

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, there have been six teams, at least, that have inquired about trading for the Arizona Cardinals' third-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. With the Atlanta Falcons having a few needs they could be one of those teams looking to secure one of the best prospects in the draft.

The practical view:

Let's start out by taking a logical approach to figuring out if the Falcons are one of those teams. What are the Falcons' biggest needs? Pass rusher, linebacker, wide receiver, left guard, and depending on who you ask, quarterback.

Obviously, only two of those positions would be worth trading up for based on who the best prospects are—pass rusher and quarterback.

In my opinion, I think people are underestimating the chance that the Falcons will take a quarterback but even saying that I don't think it will happen. So, it leaves one position, pass rusher; a position that they have been trying to figure out since the release of John Abraham.

Two names would really be in play here, Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson. I think there is a good chance they have fallen in love with one of these prospects and are seriously thinking about trading up to secure them.

Looking at how the draft might play out, you have quarterbacks likely going one and two to the Panthers and Texans, then you have the Cardinals who are a wild card and, as you might guess based on this report, are likely to trade out of the pick. Then picks five through seven could all be destinations for the two edge rushers.

I know there are people out there saying "Well, why would Atlanta trade for the third pick instead of the fifth pick?" Well, what people often forget is that just because a team might be interested in acquiring a specific pick doesn't mean the team with that specific pick would be interested in trading it.

If the Falcons are confident that, let's say Will Anderson won't be there at eight—which is an easy assumption—then they know that one of the teams ahead of them has a high grade on Anderson, meaning that team would have to be blown away by a trade offer to trade back. Sometimes in the draft, to get a specific player you have to trade for a pick higher than need be. It all comes down to each team's situation; just because a team has a pick higher than you, doesn't mean they want to trade that pick.

All in all, yes, I think when you look at this practically, the Falcons might be one of the many teams looking to land the third pick.

The statistical view

From a statistical view, there are 32 teams in the NFL. Obviously, the Cardinals aren't calling themselves for the selection, and it is improbable that the Panthers and Texans are calling, so that would mean there is about a 20% chance it is the Falcons.

Now let's dig a little bit deeper and rule out teams based on circumstances. You can rule out the Browns, Broncos, Dolphins, 49ers, and Rams since they are the teams who don't have a first-round pick. Then you can also rule out the Bears who already traded down, the Jets who are focused on Aaron Rodgers and don't want to trade away other picks that could be used to land him, and then the teams who are lower down the order.

The two teams I would almost guarantee have called are the Colts, who want to secure the third quarterback, and the Titans, who need to find a quarterback. Then I could see the teams picking five through eight being interested (which includes the Falcons). As well as the Eagles (with their two first-round picks), Patriots, Packers, Steelers, Chargers, or Jaguars; for a defensive lineman or, in the Patriots' case, a quarterback.

If I am correct in my assessment that means there is a 50% chance, at least, the Falcons have been one of the teams in contact with the Arizona Cardinals.


When taking everything into account, I am pretty confident that Terry Fontenot and the Falcons have been in contact with Monti Ossenfort and the Arizona Cardinals about the third pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. If I had to guess who their target would be, my guess would be Will Anderson Jr.

Also, for what it is worth, there is a connection between Atlanta and Arizona as the Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort was the Titans' director of player personnel in 2020 when Arthur Smith was their offensive coordinator.

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